Last Week in the News
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — fell 0.7% in September after a 0.2% decrease in August. On a year-over-year basis, prices rose 0.6% compared with September 2009.
The consumer confidence index rose to 54.1 in November from a revised 49.9 in October. It was the highest level in five months. The index was benchmarked at 100 in 1985, a year chosen because it was neither a peak nor a trough in consumer confidence.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly composite index of manufacturing activity fell slightly to 56.6 in November after reaching 56.9 in October. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 16th straight month of expansion.
Total construction spending rose 0.7% to $802.3 billion in October, following a revised 0.7% increase in September. Economists had anticipated a drop of 0.4% in October.
The National Association of Realtors reported that its pending home sales index, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, rose 10.4% in October after a 1.8% decrease in September.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly composite index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 55 in November from 54.3 in October. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 11th straight month of expansion.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 26,000 to 436,000 for the week ending November 27. Continuing claims for the week ending November 20 rose by 53,000 to 4.27 million. The unemployment rate rose to 9.8% in November from 9.6% in October.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on wholesale trade on December 9 and consumer sentiment on December 10.