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Economic & Financial Highlights


Economic & Financial Highlights tracks data from a number of series. Below are the last seven days’ worth of charts, from newest to oldest, and analysis to provide context for the data. The “Search Charts” box at right allows you to search historical charts using various criteria.

U.S. Construction Spending

Filed under: Real Estate
Published on: July 18, 2014

The annualized rate of total U.S. construction spending increased slightly from April to May. Modest improvement in nonresidential spending from the month-earlier level was somewhat offset by a slight softening in residential spending from the month-earlier level.

U.S. Construction Spending, monthly, billions of dollars SAAR

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Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims

Filed under: Employment
Published on: July 18, 2014

In the week ending July 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to 302,000 from 305,000 the week prior. The four-week moving average, a less volatile gauge of underlying labor market conditions, was down to 309,000, the lowest number seen since the four-week period ending June 2, 2007. Claims have been relatively low and stable for the past eight weeks, averaging just under 311,000 and varying between 302,000 and 318,000.

Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims, four-week moving average, seasonally adjusted, thousands

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U.S. Construction Spending

Filed under: Real Estate
Published on: July 18, 2014

Total U.S. construction spending increased 6.64 percent in May from its year-earlier level. Residential construction spending and nonresidential construction spending increased 7.02 percent and 6.41 percent, respectively, on a year-over-year basis.

U.S. Construction Spending, monthly, year-over-year percent change

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Industrial Production

Filed under: Manufacturing
Published on: July 18, 2014

Industrial production (IP) rose 0.2 percent in June compared with May. Year over year, total IP was up 4.3 percent and increased at an annual rate of 5.5 percent in the second quarter of 2014. Manufacturing production edged up 0.1 percent compared with the previous month. It rose at an annual rate of 6.7 percent in the second quarter, notably faster than the 2.7 percent growth rate in 2013. Utility production continued to slide for the fifth consecutive month, falling 0.3 percent from May to June. Mining production offset the decrease in utilities, rising 0.8 percent for the month.

Industrial Production, year-over-year percent change

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Retail Sales

Filed under: Consumption
Published on: July 18, 2014

Total retail sales rose 0.2 percent in June from May. Both April and May were revised upward. Stripping out auto, gas, and building materials, core retail rose a respectable 0.5 percent month over month. Year over year, core retail sales grew at a 4.2 percent pace in June.

Retail Sales, year-over-year percent change, seasonally adjusted

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Housing Starts

Filed under: Real Estate
Published on: July 18, 2014

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts declined again in June. Total starts decreased 9.3 percent from May to June. Single-family starts decreased 9.0 percent during the same period. On a year-over-year basis, total starts increased 7.5 percent, and single-family starts fell 4.3 percent.

Housing Starts, monthly, SAAR, thousand units

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Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey

Filed under: Real Estate
Published on: July 18, 2014

The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) decreased from 3.24 percent a week earlier to 3.23 percent the week ending July 17. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.15 percent to 4.13 percent during the same period.

Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, percent, weekly

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Mortgage Loan Applications Volume Index

Filed under: Real Estate
Published on: July 18, 2014

Purchase mortgage applications dropped 7.6 percent the week ending July 11. Applications for mortgage loan refinancing declined 0.1 percent during the same period.

Mortgage Loan Applications Volume Index

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Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims

Filed under: Employment
Published on: July 16, 2014

In the week ending July 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to 304,000, down from 315,000 the week prior. The four-week moving average, a less volatile gauge of underlying labor market conditions, was also down from the previous week, to just under 312,000. Claims have been relatively low and stable for the past seven weeks, averaging just under 312,000 and varying between 304,000 and 318,000. An average this low has not been seen since the seven-week period ending June 23, 2007.

Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims: four-week moving average, seasonally adjusted, thousands

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