Economic Update, February 13, 2012
Provided Courtesy of Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
According to the Federal Reserve, monthly consumer credit debt rose $19.3 billion in December for a total credit debt level of $2.498 trillion. Revolving debt, which includes credit cards, increased $2.8 billion to $801 billion. Non-revolving debt, including loans for cars, rose $16.6 billion to $1.697 trillion.
Personal income increased $61.3 billion or 0.5% in December. The personal savings rate was 4% in December, compared with 3.5% in November. Compared to a year ago, personal income rose 4.7%.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending February 3 rose 7.5%. Refinancing applications increased 9.4%. Purchase volume rose 0.1%.
Wholesalers increased their inventories 1% to $473.2 billion in December. This followed a revised 0.1% decrease in November. Sales at the wholesale level rose 1.3% to $413.1 billion in December. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 11.8% higher since December 2010.
The trade deficit increased to $48.8 billion in December from a downwardly revised $47.1 billion in November. Exports rebounded 0.7% to $178.8 billion. Imports advanced 1.3% to $227.6 billion.
Retail sales rose 1.8% for the week ending February 4, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 3.5%.
The Labor Department reported that in the fourth quarter, productivity rose at an annual rate of 0.7% and labor costs increased at an annual rate of 1.2%.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 15,000 to 358,000 for the week ending February 4. Continuing claims for the week ending January 28 rose by 64,000 to 3.515 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on retail sales on February 14 and housing starts on February 16.