Ed's Economic Update|
In The News
June 16, 2014
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending June 6 rose 10.3% from the previous week. Purchase volume rose 9%. Refinancing applications increased 11%.
Retail sales rose 0.3% to $437.6 billion in May. This follows a revised 0.5% increase in April. Compared to a year ago, May retail sales have increased 4.3%.
Wholesalers increased their inventories 1.1% to $530.6 billion in April. Sales at the wholesale level rose 1.3% to $450.2 billion in April. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 7.8% higher than April 2013. The seasonally adjusted wholesale inventories/sales ratio in April 2014 was 1.18.
Import prices rose 0.1% in May, following a 0.5% decrease in April. On a year-over-year basis, import prices were up 0.4% in May. Export prices also rose 0.1% in May, following a 1% decrease in April. Compared to a year ago, export prices were up 0.5% in May.
Total business sales increased 0.7% to $1,337.4 billion in April, up 5.4% from a year ago. Total business inventories rose 0.6% to $1,728.3 billion in April, up 5% from a year ago. The total business inventories/sales ratio in April was 1.29.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for June’s initial reading fell to 81.2 from May’s final reading of 81.9. The current conditions component rose from 94.4 to 95.4. The expectations component fell from 73.7 to 72.2.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending June 7 rose by 4,000 to 317,000. Continuing claims for the week ending May 31 rose by 11,000 to 2.614 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 315,250.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing market index on June 16 and housing starts on June 17.