In the News
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — rose 1.3% in August after a 1.8% increase in July. On a year-over-year basis, when compared with August 2012, prices rose 12.8%.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending October 25 rose 6.4%. Purchase volume rose 2%. Refinancing applications increased 9%.
Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, fell 5.6% in September. On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales were 1.2% lower than September 2012.
Industrial production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities rose 0.6% in September, following a 0.4% increase in August. Compared to September 2012, industrial production has increased 3.2%. Capacity utilization rose to 78.3% in September from 77.9% in August.
Retail sales fell 0.1% to $425.9 billion in September. This follows a 0.2% increase in August. Compared to September 2012, retail sales have increased 3.2%.
Total business sales increased 0.3% to $1.297 trillion in August, up 4.2% from a year ago. Total business inventories also rose 0.3% to $1.668 trillion in August, up 3.1% from a year ago. The total business inventories/sales ratio in August was 1.29.
Consumer prices rose 0.2% in September, following a 0.1% increase in August. Compared to September 2012, consumer prices have risen 1.2%. Consumer prices at the core rate — excluding volatile food and energy prices — were up 0.1% in September.
Manufacturing activity rose to 56.4 in October after a reading of 56.2 in September. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the fifth consecutive month of expansion and the strongest reading since April 2011.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending October 26 fell by 10,000 to 340,000. Continuing claims for the week ending October 19 rose by 31,000 to 2.881 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 356,250.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on factory orders on November 4 and gross domestic product on November 7.