Economic Update, February 6, 2012
Courtesy of Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — fell 1.3% in November after an identical 1.3% decrease in October. On a year-over-year basis, prices fell 3.7% compared with November 2010.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending January 27 fell 2.9%. Refinancing applications decreased 3.6%. Purchase volume fell 1.7%.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly composite index of manufacturing activity rose to 54.1 in January after a reading of 53.1 in December. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 30th straight month of expansion.
Total construction spending rose 1.5% to $816.4 billion in December from $804 billion in November. Economists had anticipated an increase of 0.5% in December. Compared to a year ago, construction spending rose 4.3%.
Factory orders rose 1.1% in December to a seasonally adjusted $466.2 billion, following an upwardly revised 2.2% increase in November. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders rose 0.6% in December.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly composite index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 56.8 in January from 53 in December. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 26th straight month of expansion in the services sector.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to 367,000 for the week ending January 28. Continuing claims for the week ending January 21 fell by 130,000 to 3.437 million. The monthly unemployment rate fell to 8.3% in January, the lowest level since February 2009.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on wholesale trade on February 9 and international trade on February 10.