Economic Update Provided by Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
Week Ending November 28, 2011
Existing home sales unexpectedly rose 1.4% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million units from a downwardly revised 4.90 million units in September. The inventory of unsold homes on the market decreased 2.2% to 3.33 million, an 8-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 8.3-month supply in September. The inventory of unsold homes on the market is down from a 10.6-month supply in October last year.
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 2% in the third quarter of 2011, compared to the initial estimate of 2.5%. This follows a 1.3% pace of growth in the second quarter of 2011.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending November 18 fell 1.2%. Refinancing applications decreased 4%. Purchase volume rose 8.2%.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — fell $1.4 billion or 0.7% to $197.7 billion in October after a revised 1.5% decrease in September. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, orders posted a monthly increase of 0.7%.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for November’s final reading rose to 64.1 from 60.9 in October. It was the third monthly gain in a row for the index from the August low of 55.7.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 2,000 to 393,000 for the week ending November 19. Continuing claims for the week ending November 12 rose by 68,000 to 3.691 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on new home sales on November 28 and pending home sales on November 30.