Sales of new single-family houses in May rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000 according to the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. The May rate is 2.2 percent above the revised April rate of 534,000 and is 19.5 percent above the year-ago rate of 457,000.
New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 1.8 percent to $228.9 billion in May, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. New orders for manufactured durable goods has been down three of the last four months.
Existing home sales increased 5.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.35 million in May according to the National Association of Realtors, up from a revised 5.09 million in April. Existing home sales have increased year over year for the last eight months.
Small business confidence is the key leading indicator for job growth, says ABA Chief Economist James Chessen.
The rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4 percent this week, down from last week’s 4.04 percent, Freddie Mac said today. At this time last year, the 30-year FRM rate averaged 4.17 percent.
The Consumer Price Index increased 0.4% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, led by sharp increases in prices for gasoline. Prices are unchanged from one year ago, a slight improvement from the 0.1% decline reported last month.
Though the Committee noted that economic activity has expanded moderately after the first quarter, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee in its June meeting reaffirmed its view that the current 0% to 0.25% target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate.
Housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.036 million, 11.1 percent below the revised April estimate of 1.165 million, but 5.1 percent above the May 2014 estimate of 986,000.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) rose 5 points to a level of 59 in June, the highest reading since September.