In the News
Retail sales rose 1.2% for the week ending November 9, the strongest increase since August, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 2.3%.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending November 8 fell 1.8%. Purchase volume fell 1%. Refinancing applications decreased 2%.
The trade deficit increased from $38.7 billion in August to $41.8 billion in September. Exports fell $0.4 billion to $188.9 billion. Imports increased $2.7 billion to $230.7 billion.
The Labor Department reported that in the third quarter of 2013, productivity increased at an annual rate of 1.9% and labor costs decreased at an annual rate of 0.6%.
Industrial production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities fell 0.1% in October after a 0.7% increase in September. Compared to October 2012, industrial production has increased 3.2%. Capacity utilization fell to 78.1% in October from 78.3% in September.
Wholesalers increased their inventories 0.4% to $506.3 billion in September. Sales at the wholesale level also rose 0.6% to $430.5 billion in September. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 3.9% higher than September 2012. The seasonally adjusted wholesale inventories/sales ratio in September was 1.18.
Import prices fell 0.7% in October, following a 0.1% increase in September. On a year-over-year basis, import prices were down 2% in October. Export prices fell 0.5% in October, following a 0.4% increase in September. Compared to a year ago, export prices were down 2.1% in October.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending November 9 fell by 2,000 to 339,000. Continuing claims for the week ending November 2 were unchanged at 2.87 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 344,000.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing market index on November 18 and existing home sales onNovember 20.