Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 21 Nov 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Initial claims for unemployment fell 41,000 last week, to 410,000. The 4-week moving average rose to 396,250. Continuing claims fell 30,000 to 3.337 million. The huge swings of the past couple of weeks are clearly related to Hurricane Sandy, so getting any handle on the fundamentals of the labor market are impossible with the current weekly volatility.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell –2.2% last week, with purchases up 3.0% and refinancings –3.0%. Despite an overall decline in applications, purchase applications are trending up, which is a positive trend for the health of the housing market.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell –0.8 points to –33.9.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell more than 2 points to 82.7.

The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators rose 0.2% in October.

The Markit Economics PMI Manufacturing Index Flash rose more than a point to 52.4 for the mid-month flash. Anything over 50 generally indicates economic growth.

Dale Franks
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