Last Week in the News
Existing home sales rose 10% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million units from a revised 4.12 million units in August. The inventory of unsold homes on the market declined 1.9% to 4.04 million, a 10.7-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 12-month supply in August.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a seasonally adjusted basis — fell 0.3% in August after a 0.2% decrease in July. On a year-over-year basis, prices rose 1.7% compared with August 2009.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending October 22 rose 3.2%. Refinancing applications increased 3%. Purchase volume rose 3.9%.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — rose 3.3% in September after decreasing a revised 1% in August. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, orders posted a monthly decrease of 0.8%.
New home sales rose 6.6% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000 units from a rate of 288,000 units in August. Economists had expected a pace of 300,000 units.
The Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product — the total output of goods and services produced in the U.S. — increased at an annual rate of 2% in the third quarter of 2010.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 21,000 to 434,000 for the week ending October 23. Continuing claims for the week ending October 16 fell by 122,000 to 4.35 million, the lowest level since the recovery began.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on construction spending on November 1, factory orders on November 3 and pending home sales on November 5.
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