In the News
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — rose 2.4% in May after a 2.6% increase in April. On a year-over-year basis, when compared with May 2012, prices rose 12.2%, the largest annual gain since March 2006.
Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, fell 0.4% in June. On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales were 10.9% higher than June 2012.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending July 26 fell 3.7%. Purchase volume fell 3%. Refinancing applications decreased 4%.
The Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product — the total output of goods and services produced in the U.S. — increased at an annual rate of 1.7% in the second quarter of 2013. This follows a 1.1% pace of growth in the first quarter of 2013.
Manufacturing activity rose to 55.4 in July after a reading of 50.9 in June. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
Total construction spending fell 0.6% to $883.9 billion in June, following a 1.3% increase in May. Compared to June 2012, construction spending has risen 3.3% on a year-over-year basis.
Factory orders rose $7.6 billion, or 1.5%, in June to a seasonally adjusted $496.7 billion. This follows a 3% increase in May. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders decreased 0.4% in June.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending July 27 fell by 19,000 to 326,000. Continuing claims for the week ending July 20 fell by 52,000 to 2.951 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 341,250. The unemployment rate fell to 7.4% in July, its lowest level since December 2008. Employers added 162,000 jobs in July.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on international trade on August 6 and wholesale trade on August 9.