n the News
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — rose 2.2% in June after a 2.5% increase in May. On a year-over-year basis, when compared with June 2012, prices rose 12.1%.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending August 23 fell 2.5%. Purchase volume rose 2%. Refinancing applications decreased 5%.
Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, fell 1.3% in July. On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales were 6.7% higher than July 2012.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — decreased $17.8 billion, or 7.3%, to $226.6 billion in July. This follows a 3.9% increase in June. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, July orders posted a monthly decrease of 0.6%.
Retail sales rose 0.2% for the week ending August 24, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 1.9%.
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 2.5% in the second quarter of 2013. This follows a 1.1% pace of growth in the first quarter of 2013.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending August 24 fell by 6,000 to 331,000. Continuing claims for the week ending August 17 fell by 14,000 to 2.989 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 331,250.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on construction spending on September 3, international trade on September 4 and factory orders on September 5.