The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index (which measures Americans’ financial conditions and attitudes about the economy) edged higher in November, with sustained strength in the current conditions and expectations components.
- The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators rebounded from last month’s hurricane-impacted report to a betterthan-expected 1.2% surge in October. The reading, used by economists to gauge the health of the U.S. economy, points to continued economic acceleration and strength.
- Existing-home sales unexpectedly rose by 2.0% in October to an annualized rate of 5.48 million; analysts nevertheless suggested a still-limited supply of affordable housing.
- Mortgage-purchase applications jumped 5% higher in the week ending November 17 despite a slight rise in mortgage rates. Refinancing activity (which is sensitive to small rate changes) decreased by 5% in the same period.
- Durable-goods orders pivoted 1.2% lower in October against expectations for a 0.4% gain. Orders for non-defense capital goods eased by 0.5%, while commercial aircraft also registered a strong decline. However, continued strength in capital goods shipments (used to calculate equipment spending in gross domestic product) suggested strong economic momentum.
- Initial jobless claims retreated by 13,000 to 239,000 in the week ending November 18. The less-volatile four-week moving average climbed by 1,250 to 239,750, just the second upward move in two months. Continuing claims were unchanged at 1.90 million in the week ending November 4. Economists expect the tight labor market to eventually boost wage growth as companies seek talented workers.
- Purchasing managers in both the services and manufacturing sectors reported still-solid but decelerating growth in November, according to Markit’s preliminary survey.
- Eurozone economic growth accelerated in November to a betterthan-expected 57.5, the best reading in seventy-nine months, according to initial data from the composite purchasing managers’ index. Services and manufacturing both improved.
- The U.K. economy expanded by 0.4% during the third quarter, in line with the previous three-month period, as strong consumer spending offset worsening external trade. Year-over-year growth was also in line with the prior reading, rising 1.5%.
- Chinese industrial profits surged in October by 25.1% year-overyear. Year-to-date profits advanced by 23.3% on continued growth in mining and manufacturing.
- Japanese manufacturing expanded for the fifteenth consecutive month in November by an estimated 53.8, the fastest pace since early 2014. Output and new orders strengthened as a weaker yen helped boost external demand.
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