Economic Update Provided by Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
Week Ending November 5, 2011
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending November 4 rose 10.3%. Refinancing applications increased 12.1%. Purchase volume rose 4.8%.
According to the Federal Reserve, consumer credit debt rose in September by $7.39 billion for a total credit level of $2.452 trillion. Revolving debt, which includes credit cards, fell by $627 million to $789.6 billion. Non-revolving debt, including loans for cars, rose by $8 billion to $1.662 trillion.
Wholesalers decreased their inventories 0.1% to $462 billion in September. This followed a revised 0.3% decline in August. Sales at the wholesale level rose 0.5% to $403.1 billion in September. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 15% higher since September 2010.
The trade deficit decreased to $43.1 billion in September from a revised $44.9 billion in August. Exports rose 1.4% to $180.4 billion. Imports increased 0.3% to $223.5 billion.
Import prices fell 0.6% in October, following a 0.3% increase in September. On a year-over-year basis, import prices are up 11%, led mostly by a sharp rise in fuel prices. Export prices fell 2.1% in October after advancing 0.4% in September. For the year, export prices are up 6.3%.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for November’s preliminary reading rose to 64.2 from 60.9 in October. It was the third monthly gain in a row for the index.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 to 390,000 for the week ending November 5. That’s the lowest level since April. Continuing claims for the week ending October 29 fell by 92,000 to 3.615 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on retail sales on November 15 and housing starts on November 17.