Free Markets, Free People
Economic Statistics for 15 Feb 12
The following statistics were released today on the state of the US Economy:
The Mortgage Bankers’ Association reports that mortgage purchase applications fell -8.4%, while refinance apps rose just 0.8% last week. This brings the composite to a -1.0% drop.
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey’s General Business Conditions Index rose sharply to 19.53, the best reading in 18 months.
The Treasury reports that net demand for US securities was $17.9 billion in December, on $21.0 billion of sales, offset by $38.9 billion in sales of foreign securities from US accounts. Foreign buying of US long-term securities was weak, and foreigners were net sellers of US equities for the third month in a row.
The Fed reports industrial production was unchanged last month. Capacity utilization dropped to 78.5% from 78.6% in December.
The Housing Market Index rose sharply to 29 from last month’s 25. This is the 5th straight increase, and the second straight 4-point rise. One notes, however, that these increases have not yet shown up in the hard housing data.