Beige Book: National economy continues to expand, but 1/4 of districts reporting weaker growth
According to the latest Federal Reserve Beige Book, 3 of the 12 districts (St. Louis, Philly and Kansas City) reported weaker growth in August. Although the national economy continued expanding at a moderate pace, trade concerns and challenges finding workers have delayed some businesses from moving forward.
August CPI up 0.2 percent from July and 2.7 percent year-on-year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, the same increase as in July. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.7 percent before seasonal adjustment, down from 2.9 percent in July.
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rebounds to 59.0, first rise in five weeks
Bloomberg: Americans’ confidence improved for the first time in five weeks supported by record-high views of the economy and more-upbeat assessments of personal finances. The Consumer Comfort Index rose to 59, just below 17-year high of 59.3.
Mortgage refinances fall to lowest level since December 2000, rates rise again
The Market Composite Index decreased 1.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans up 1.0 percent and refinances falling 6.0 percent to their lowest level since December 2000. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.84 percent from 4.80 percent.
Initial unemployment claims drop to lowest level since December 1969
In the week ending September 8, initial unemployment claims were 204,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 208,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised average. These are the lowest levels for these averages since December 6, 1969.