|In the News
New home sales rose 25.4% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 444,000 units. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales were 21.6% higher than October 2012. At the current sales pace, there is a 4.9-month supply of new homes on the market.
Total construction spending rose 0.8% to $908.4 billion in October. Compared to October 2012, construction spending has risen 5.3% on a year-over-year basis.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending November 29 fell 12.8%. Purchase volume fell 4%. Refinancing applications decreased 18%.
Manufacturing activity rose to 57.3 in November after a reading of 56.4 in October. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the sixth consecutive month of expansion and the strongest reading since April 2011.
The trade deficit decreased from $43 billion in September to $40.6 billion in October. Exports rose $3.4 billion to $192.7 billion. Imports increased $1 billion to $233.3 billion.
Non-manufacturing activity fell to 53.9 in November from 55.4 in October. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 47th straight month of expansion in the services sector.
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 3.6% in the third quarter of 2013. This follows a 2.5% pace of growth in the second quarter of 2013.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending November 30 fell by 23,000 to 298,000. Continuing claims for the week ending November 23 fell by 21,000 to 2.744 million, a new recovery low. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 322,250. The unemployment rate fell from 7.3% in October to 7% in November, the lowest it has been since November 2008. Employers added 203,000 jobs in November.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on wholesale trade on December 10 and retail sales on December 12