Economic Update July 16, 2012
Courtesy of Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
Retail sales rose 2% for the week ending July 7, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 3%.
The trade deficit decreased to $48.7 billion in May from a revised $50.6 billion in April. Exports rose 0.2% to $183.1 billion. Imports fell 0.7% to $231.8 billion.
Wholesalers increased their inventories 0.3% to $484.1 billion in May. Sales at the wholesale level fell 0.8% to $409.6 billion in May. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 5.7% higher since May 2011.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending July 6 fell 2.1%. Refinancing applications decreased 3%. Purchase volume rose 3%.
The producer price index, which tracks wholesale price inflation, rose 0.1% in June, following a 1% decrease in May. On a year-over-year basis, wholesale prices were up 0.7% in June. Core prices — excluding food and fuel — rose 0.2% in June.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for July’s preliminary reading fell to 72 from 73.2 in June.
Import prices fell 2.7% in June, following a 1% increase in May. On a year-over-year basis, import prices were down 2.6% in June, led mostly by a decline in fuel prices. Export prices fell 1.7% in June after advancing 0.4% in May. Compared to a year ago, export prices were down 2.1% in June.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending July 7 fell by 26,000 to 350,000 from an upwardly revised 376,000 the prior week. Continuing claims for the week ending June 30 fell 14,000 to 3.304 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing market index on July 17, housing starts on July 18 and existing home sales on July 19.