Economic Update, June 4, 2012
Provided by Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
Total construction spending rose 0.3% to $820.7 billion in April from a revised $818.1 billion in March. Compared to April 2011, construction spending is up 6.8%.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — showed no change in March, following a 0.8% decrease in February. On a year-over-year basis, prices fell 2.6% compared with March 2011.
Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, fell 5.5% in April after a revised 3.8% increase in March. On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales are up 14.4% compared with April 2011.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending May 25 fell 1.3%. Refinancing applications decreased 1.5%. Purchase volume fell 0.6%.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly composite index of manufacturing activity fell to 53.5 in May after a reading of 54.8 in April. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
The Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product — the total output of goods and services produced in the U.S. — increased at a revised annual rate of 1.9% in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the initial estimate of 2.2%. This follows a 3% pace of growth in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending May 26 rose by 10,000 to 383,000 from a revised 373,000 the prior week. Continuing claims for the week ending May 19 fell by 36,000 to 3.242 million. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2% in May from 8.1% in April. Employers added 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on wholesale trade and international trade on June 8.