Economic Update, October 1, 2012
Provided courtesy of Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — rose 1.6% in July, following a 2.3% increase in June. On a year-over-year basis, prices rose 1.2% compared with July 2011.
The consumer confidence index rose to 70.3 in September from a revised 61.3 in August. This is the highest reading since February. The index was benchmarked at 100 in 1985, a year chosen because it was neither a peak nor a trough in consumer confidence.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending September 21 rose 2.8%. Refinancing applications increased 3%. Purchase volume rose 1%.
New home sales fell 0.3% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 373,000 units from an upwardly revised rate of 374,000 units in July. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales are up 27.7% compared with August 2011. At the current sales pace, there’s a 4.5-month supply of new homes on the market.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — fell $30.1 billion or 13.2% to $198.5 billion in August. This decrease follows a downwardly revised 3.3% increase in July. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, August orders posted a monthly decrease of 1.6%.
Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, fell 2.6% in August after a 2.4% increase in July. On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales are up 10.7% compared with August 2011.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending September 22 fell by 26,000 to 359,000. Continuing claims for the week ending September 15 fell by 4,000 to 3.271 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on construction spending on October 1 and factory orders on October 4.