Courtesy of Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending December 2 rose 12.8%. Refinancing applications increased 15.3%. Purchase volume rose 8.3%.
Factory orders fell 0.4% in October to a seasonally adjusted $450.03 billion, following a revised 0.1% decrease in September. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders rose 0.2% in October.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly composite index of non-manufacturing activity fell slightly to 52 in November from 52.9 in October. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 24th straight month of expansion in the services sector.
Retail sales fell 2.3% for the week ending December 3, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 3.8%.
Wholesalers increased their inventories 1.6% to $470.2 billion in October. This followed a revised 0.2% rise in September. Sales at the wholesale level rose 0.9% to $406 billion in October. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 13.1% higher since October 2010.
The trade deficit decreased to $43.5 billion in October from an upwardly revised $44.2 billion in September. Exports fell 0.8% to $179.2 billion. Imports decreased 1% to $222.6 billion.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for December’s preliminary reading rose to 67.7 from 64.1 in November. It was the fourth monthly gain in a row for the index.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 23,000 to 381,000 for the week ending December 3. Continuing claims for the week ending November 26 fell by 174,000 to 3.583 million, the lowest level since September 2008.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on retail sales on December 13 and consumer inflation on December 16.