Economic Update December 3, 2012
Provided courtesy of Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — increased slightly to $216.9 billion in October. This increase follows a downwardly revised 9.2% increase in September. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, October orders posted a monthly increase of 1.5%.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — rose 0.3% in September, following a 0.8% increase in August. On a year-over-year basis, prices rose 3% compared with September 2011.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending November 23 fell 0.9%. Refinancing applications decreased 2%. Purchase volume rose 3%.
New home sales fell 0.3% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 368,000 units from a downwardly revised rate of 369,000 units in September. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales were up 17.2% compared with October 2011. At the current sales pace, there’s a 4.8-month supply of new homes on the market.
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 2.7% in the third quarter of 2012, compared to the initial estimate of 2%. This follows a 1.3% pace of growth in the second quarter of 2012.
Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, rose 5.2% in October after a revised 0.4% increase in September. On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales were up 13.2% compared with October 2011.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending November 24 fell by 23,000 to 393,000. Continuing claims for the week ending November 17 fell by 70,000 to 3.287 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on construction spending on December 3 and factory orders on December 5.