In the News
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending October 11 rose 0.3%. Purchase volume fell 5%. Refinancing applications increased 3%. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 66% of total applications from 64% the previous week.
The monthly National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index fell two points in October to 55. An index reading above 50 indicates positive sentiment about the housing market.
Retail sales fell 0.7% for the week ending October 12, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 1%.
The Bloomberg consumer comfort index fell 4.4 points this week to minus 34.1 on its scale of minus 100 to plus 100. In a separate, forward-looking measure, the number of Americans who say the economy is getting worse rose 13 points, the most in two years. The reason for the decline was attributed to the government shutdown.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending October 12 fell by 15,000 to 358,000. Continuing claims for the week ending October 5 fell by 43,000 to 2.859 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 336,500.
Due to the shutdown of the Federal government, reports on the consumer price index, housing starts, industrial production and the index of leading economic indicators were not available.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on existing home sales on October 21, new home sales on October 24 and durable goods orders on October 25.