Economic Update – March 8, 2010





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Last Week in the News

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Consumer spending rose 0.5% to $52.4 billion in January, slightly more than economists had anticipated. Personal income increased 0.1% to $11.4 billion.

The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly index of manufacturing activity was 56.5 in February after reaching 58.4 in January. Nevertheless, it was the seventh straight month of expansion. A reading above 50 signals expansion.

The Commerce Department reported that total construction spending fell 0.6% in January after falling 1.2% in December. Economists had expected a decrease of 0.7%.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications for the week ending February 26 rose 14.6% to 629.9. Purchase volume increased 9% to 214.5. Refinancing applications jumped 17.2% to 3,054.3.

The monthly index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 53 in February from 50.5 in January. A reading above 50 signals expansion. Economists had anticipated a reading of 51. The reading was the highest since October 2007.

The National Association of Realtors reported that its pending home sales index, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, fell 7.6% in January after a revised 0.8% increase in December.

The Labor Department reported productivity rose at an annual rate of 6.9% in the fourth quarter. Labor costs fell at an annual rate of 5.9%.

Factory orders rose 1.7% in January, slightly below the 1.8% increase economists had anticipated. It was the fifth straight gain and follows a 1% increase in December.

The unemployment rate held at 9.7% in February. Employers cut 36,000 jobs in February, far fewer than expected. The four-week average for continuing jobless claims fell 134,000 to 4.5 million.

Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on wholesale trade on March 10, international trade on March 11 and retail sales on March 12.

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  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Economic Update   March 8, 2010 | CT Real Estate
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Economic Update   March 8, 2010 | CT Real Estate
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Economic Update   March 8, 2010 | CT Real Estate
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Economic Update   March 8, 2010 | CT Real Estate
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Economic Update   March 8, 2010 | CT Real Estate
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