Economic Update, September 3, 2012
Provided courtesy of Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, rose 2.4% in July after a 1.4% decrease in June. On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales are up 12.4% compared with July 2011.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — rose 2.3% in June, following a 2.2% increase in May. On a year-over-year basis, prices rose 0.5% compared with June 2011.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending August 24 fell 4.3%. Refinancing applications decreased 6%. Purchase volume rose 1%.
The consumer confidence index fell to 60.6 in August from a revised 65.4 in July. The index was benchmarked at 100 in 1985, a year chosen because it was neither a peak nor a trough in consumer confidence.
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 1.7% in the second quarter of 2012, compared to the initial estimate of 1.5%. This follows a 2% pace of growth in the first quarter of 2012.
Retail sales rose 0.5% for the week ending August 25, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 3.4%.
Factory orders rose 2.8% in July to a seasonally adjusted $478.6 billion, following a 0.5% decrease in June. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders increased 0.7% in July.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending August 25 were unchanged at 374,000. Continuing claims for the week ending August 18 fell by 5,000 to 3.316 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on construction spending on September 4 and the employment situation on September 7.