Economic Update, November 12, 2012
Provided courtesy of Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for November’s preliminary reading rose to 84.9 from 82.6 in October. It was the highest level since July 2007.
Retail sales fell 0.2% for the week ending November 3, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 1.4%.
Non-manufacturing activity fell slightly to 54.2 in October from 55.1 in September. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 34th straight month of expansion in the services sector.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending November 2 fell 5%. Refinancing applications decreased 5%. Purchase volume fell 5%.
According to the Federal Reserve, monthly consumer credit debt rose $11.4 billion in September for a total credit debt level of $2.737 trillion. Revolving debt, which includes credit cards, decreased $2.9 billion to $852 billion. Non-revolving debt, including loans for cars, rose $14.3 billion to $1.885 trillion.
The trade deficit decreased to $41.5 billion in September from a revised $43.8 billion in August. Exports rose $5.6 billion or 3.1% to $187 billion. Imports increased $3.4 billion or 1.5% to $228.5 billion.
Wholesalers increased their inventories 1.1% to $494.2 billion in September. Sales at the wholesale level rose 2% to $414 billion in September. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 4.4% higher since September 2011.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending November 3 fell by 8,000 to 355,000. Continuing claims for the week ending October 27 fell by 135,000 to 3.127 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on retail sales on November 14 and industrial production on November 16.