In the News
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for July’s final reading rose to 85.1, which is the best reading since July 2007.
New home sales rose 8.3% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000 units, a new recovery high. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales were 38.1% higher than June 2012. At the current sales pace, there is a 3.9-month supply of new homes on the market.
Existing home sales fell 1.2% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million units from 5.14 million units in May. Compared to a year ago, existing home sales were up 15.2% in June. The inventory of unsold existing homes on the market rose 1.9% to 2.19 million in June, a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from a 5-month supply in May.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending July 19 fell 1.2%. Purchase volume fell 2%. Refinancing applications decreased 1%.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — increased $9.9 billion, or 4.2%, to $244.5 billion in June. This follows a 5.2% increase in May. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, June orders were unchanged.
Retail sales rose 1.4% for the week ending July 20, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 2.1%.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending July 20 rose by 7,000 to 343,000. Continuing claims for the week ending July 13 fell by 119,000 to 2.997 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 price index on July 30 and construction spending on August 1.