MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Initial unemployment claims edge down 1.1 percent as continued claims decline 8.3 percent
In the week ending October 3, initial unemployment claims were 840,000, a decrease of 9,000, or 1.1 percent, from the previous week’s revised level. The advance number continued claims during the week ending September 26 was 10,976,000, a decrease of 1,003,000, or 8.3 percent, from the previous week’s revised level. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending September 19 was 25,505,499, a decrease of 1,003,179, or 3.8 percent, from the previous week.
Home Purchase Sentiment Index up another 3.5 points in September, but down 10.5 points year-on-year
The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased 3.5 points in September to 81.0, rising for the second consecutive month and continuing the rebound from late spring. Three of the six HPSI components increased month over month, with consumers reporting a substantially more optimistic view of home-selling conditions, expected home price growth, and the labor market, but a more pessimistic view of homebuying conditions and mortgage rate expectations. Year on year, however, the HPSI is still down 10.5 points.
August consumer credit use rose 2 percent, but revolving credit alone fell 11.25 percent
In August, consumer credit decreased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2 percent. Revolving credit — such as for credit cards — decreased at an annual rate of 11.25 percent, while nonrevolving credit — such as for car loans and student loans — increased at an annual rate of 0.75 percent.
August trade deficit rose 5.9 percent to highest level since 2006
The international goods and services deficit was $67.1 billion in August, up 5.9 percent to the highest level since August of 2006. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $22.6 billion, or 5.7 percent, from the same period in 2019, in part due to stimulus payments made to consumer and businesses as the result of the Covid-19 pandemic.