In the News
Retail sales rose 0.6% to $421.1 billion in May. This follows a 0.1% increase in April. Compared to May 2012, retail sales have increased 4.3%.
Wholesalers increased their inventories 0.2% to $504.8 billion in April. Sales at the wholesale level rose 0.5% to $416.6 billion in April. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 0.7% higher than April 2012. The seasonally adjusted wholesale inventories/sales ratio in April was 1.21.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending June 7 rose 5%. Purchase volume rose 5%. Refinancing applications also increased 5%.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for June’s preliminary reading fell to 82.7 from 84.5 in May, which was the highest reading since July 2007.
Industrial production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities was unchanged in May after a 0.4% decrease in April. Compared to May 2012, industrial production has increased 1.6%. Capacity utilization fell to 77.6% in May from 77.7% in April.
The producer price index, which tracks wholesale price inflation, rose 0.5% in May, following a 0.7% decrease in April. On a year-over-year basis, wholesale prices were up 1.7% in May. Core prices — excluding food and fuel — rose 0.1% in May.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending June 8 fell by 12,000 to 334,000. Continuing claims for the week ending June 1 rose by 2,000 to 2.952 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 345,250.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing market index on June 17, housing starts on June 18 and existing home sales on June 20.