Last Week in the News

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 36,000 to 383,000 for the week ending February 5, the lowest level since early July 2008. Continuing claims for the week ending January 29 fell by 47,000 to 3.88 million.

Retail sales rose 2.2% for the week ending February 5, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 2.5%.

Wholesalers increased their inventories 1% in December, following a 0.2% drop in November. Sales at the wholesale level rose 0.4% in December after a 1.9% increase in November.

The trade deficit increased 5.9% to $40.58 billion in December from $38.32 billion in November. Economists had expected a trade deficit of $40.5 billion. Exports rose 1.8% to $162.96 billion. Imports increased 2.6% to $203.55 billion.

The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for February’s preliminary reading rose to 75.1 from 74.2 in January. It was the highest level since June 2010. The index hit a 30-year low of 55.3 in November 2008.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending February 4 fell 5.5%. Refinancing applications decreased 7.7%. Purchase volume fell 1.4%.

According to the Federal Reserve, consumer credit debt rose in December by $6.1 billion, or 3%, for a total credit level of $2.41 trillion. Revolving debt, which includes credit cards, increased by $2.3 billion, or 3.5%. Non-revolving debt, including loans for cars, rose by $3.8 billion, or 2.8%.

Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing market index on February 15, housing starts on February 16 and the index of leading economic indicators on February 17.


About sfpeninsulaestates
Raleigh Real Estate - We Serve Clients, not just Locations John and Svetlana (Lana) Raleigh: the Raleigh Real Estate Team

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