In the News
Factory orders rose $8.1 billion, or 1.7%, in September to a seasonally adjusted $490.8 billion. This follows a 0.1% decrease in August. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders decreased 0.2% in September.
Non-manufacturing activity rose to 55.4 in October from 54.4 in September. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 46th straight month of expansion in the services sector.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending November 1 fell 7%. Purchase volume fell 5%. Refinancing applications decreased 8%.
The index of leading economic indicators — designed to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months — rose 0.7% in September, following an identical 0.7% increase in August.
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 2.8% in the third quarter of 2013. This follows a 2.5% pace of growth in the second quarter of 2013.
According to the Federal Reserve, monthly consumer credit debt rose $13.7 billion in September for a total credit debt level of $3.051 trillion. Revolving debt, which includes credit cards, decreased $1.2 billion to $846.9 billion. Non-revolving debt, including loans for cars, rose $15.8 billion to $2.204 trillion.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending November 2 fell by 9,000 to 336,000. Continuing claims for the week ending October 26 rose by 4,000 to 2.868 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 348,250. The unemployment rate rose to 7.3% in October from 7.2% in September. Employers added 204,000 jobs in October.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on international trade on November 14 and industrial production on November 15.