In the News
Retail sales rose 0.6% for the week ending December 29, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 2.7%.
Manufacturing activity rose to 50.7 in December after a reading of 49.5 in November. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
Total construction spending fell 0.3% to $866 billion in November, following a downwardly revised 0.7% increase in October. Compared to November 2011, construction spending has risen 7.7%.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending December 28 fell 21.6%. Purchase volume fell 14.8%. Refinancing applications decreased 23.3%.
Factory orders rose $200 million in November to a seasonally adjusted $477.6 billion. This follows a 0.8% increase in October. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders increased 0.2% in November.
Non-manufacturing activity rose to 56.1 in December from 54.7 in November. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 36th straight month of expansion in the services sector.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending December 29 rose by 10,000 to 372,000. Continuing claims for the week ending December 22 rose by 44,000 to 3.245 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 360,000. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.8% in December. Employers added 155,000 jobs in December.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on wholesale trade on January 10 and international trade on January 11.