In the News
Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, rose 6.7% in May, the highest level since December 2006. On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales were 12.1% higher than May 2012.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — rose 2.5% in April after a 1.4% increase in March. On a year-over-year basis, when compared with April 2012, prices rose 12.1%.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — increased $8 billion, or 3.6%, to $231 billion in May. This follows an identical 3.6% increase in April. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, May orders posted a monthly increase of 0.7%.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending June 21 fell 3%. Purchase volume rose 2%. Refinancing applications decreased 5%.
New home sales rose 2.1% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 476,000 units from a rate of 466,000 units in April. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales were 29% higher than May 2012. At the current sales pace, there is a 4.1-month supply of new homes on the market.
The Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product — the total output of goods and services produced in the U.S. — increased at a revised annual rate of 1.8% in the first quarter of 2013. This follows a 0.4% pace of growth in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending June 22 fell by 9,000 to 346,000. Continuing claims for the week ending June 15 fell by 1,000 to 2.965 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 345,750.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on construction spending on July 1 and factory orders on July 2.