In the News
Existing home sales fell 1.9% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million units. Compared to a year ago, existing home sales were up 10.7% in September. The inventory of unsold existing homes on the market was unchanged at 2.21 million in September, a 5-month supply at the current sales pace.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending October 18 fell 0.6%. Purchase volume rose 1%. Refinancing applications decreased 1%.
The trade deficit increased from $38.6 billion in July to $38.8 billion in August. Exports fell $0.1 billion to $189.2 billion. Imports were unchanged at $228 billion.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — increased $8.2 billion, or 3.7%, to $233.4 billion in September. This follows a 0.2% increase in August. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, September orders posted a monthly decrease of 0.1%.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for October’s final reading fell to 73.2 from September’s final reading of 77.5. The current conditions component rose slightly from 92.6 to 92.8. The weakness came largely from the expectations component, which fell from 67.8 to 62.5.
Wholesalers increased their inventories 0.5% to $503 billion in August. Sales at the wholesale level also rose 0.6% to $428.4 billion in August. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 5.6% higher than August 2012. The seasonally adjusted wholesale inventories/sales ratio in August was 1.17.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending October 19 fell by 12,000 to 350,000. Continuing claims for the week ending October 12 fell by 35,000 to 2.847 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 348,250. The unemployment rate fell to 7.2% in September, its lowest level since December 2008. Employers added 148,000 jobs in September.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on pending home sales on October 28, the housing price index on October 29 and the consumer price index on October 30.