In the News
Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, fell 0.6% in October. On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales were 1.6% lower than October 2012.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending November 22 fell 0.3%. Purchase volume fell 0.2%. Refinancing applications increased 0.1%.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — rose 0.7% in September after a 1.3% increase in August. On a year-over-year basis, prices rose 13.3% when compared with September 2012.
The index of leading economic indicators — designed to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months — rose 0.2% in October, following a 0.9% increase in September.
Retail sales rose 2.6% for the week ending November 23, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 2.1%.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — decreased $4.6 billion, or 2%, to $230.3 billion in October. This follows a 4.1% increase in September. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, October orders posted a monthly decrease of 0.1%.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for November’s final reading rose to 75.1 from October’s final reading of 73.2. The current conditions component fell from 89.9 to 88. The expectations component rose from 62.5 to 66.8.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending November 23 fell by 10,000 to 316,000. Continuing claims for the week ending November 16 fell by 91,000 to 2.776 million, a new recovery low. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 331,750.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on construction spending on December 2 and new home sales on December 4.