Weekly Economic Update: April 28 - May 2, 2014

May 05 2014

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Pending home sales increased 3.4% in March to 97.4. The Case-Shiller home price index increased 0.8% in February. GDP grew a lower-than-expected 0.1% in the advance estimate for Q1 of 2014. The FOMC announced that the policy rates remain unchanged with the fed funds target rate at a range of zero to 0.25%, and taper continues an additional $10 billion cut split between Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to a pace of $45 billion in monthly purchases. Auto sales decreased 2.2% in April to an annual pace of 16.04 million units. Personal income rose 0.5% in March while personal spending increased 0.9%. The ISM index rose 1.2 points to a better-than-expected 54.9 in April. Construction spending increased a lower-than-expected 0.2% in March. The economy added a better-than-expected 288,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in April while the unemployment rate fell sharply to 6.3%. Factory orders increased 1.1% in March. Initial jobless claims rose 14,000 to 344,000 for the week ended 4/26.

• Pending home sales increased 3.4% in March to 97.4. This is positive change from nine straight months of declines.

• The Case-Shiller home price index increased 0.8% in February. The index is up an unadjusted12.9% from a year ago. The Washington, D.C. area is up slightly 0.1% for the month and up 9.1% from a year ago.

• GDP grew a lower-than-expected 0.1% in the advance estimate for Q1 of 2014. Market expectations were for a 1.1% increase. Absent the spending on services and healthcare, the WSJ notes some economists believe GDP might have been negative. Exports, business equipment, residential investment, inventory investment, and government purchases were down. Weather was a considerable factor for this quarter.

• The FOMC announced that the policy rates remain unchanged with the fed funds target rate at a range of zero to 0.25%, and taper continues an additional $10 billion cut split between Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to a pace of $45 billion in monthly purchases.

• Auto sales decreased 2.2% in April to an annual pace of 16.04 million units. Annualized sales are up 5.6% from a year ago.

• Personal income rose 0.5% in March while personal spending increased 0.9%. Personal income is up 3.4% from a year ago, while personal spending is up 4.0%.

• The ISM index rose 1.2 points to a better-than-expected 54.9 in April. Growth in employment was a highlight of the ISM manufacturing report.

• Construction spending increased a lower-than-expected 0.2% in March. Construction spending is up 8.4% from a year ago.

• The economy added a better-than-expected 288,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in April while the unemployment rate fell sharply to 6.3%. Private payrolls increased 273,000 and government payrolls were up 15,000. The net revision for the prior two months was up 36,000. However, the labor force also fell 806,000, with the number of persons employed falling by 73,000 and the number unemployed falling by 733,000.

• Factory orders increased 1.1% in March.

• Initial jobless claims rose 14,000 to 344,000 for the week ended April 26th.

 

 

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