Good and UP :) Retail sales rose 0.2% to $426.6 billion in August. This follows a 0.4% increase in July. Compared to August 2012, retail sales have increased 4.7%.
Good and Up :) The producer price index, which tracks wholesale price inflation, rose 0.3% in August, following a flat reading in July. On a year-over-year basis, wholesale prices were up 1.4% in August. Core prices — excluding food and fuel — were unchanged in August.
Not so good :( The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending September 6 fell 13.5%. Purchase volume fell 3%. Refinancing applications decreased 20%.
Good and Up :) Wholesalers increased their inventories 0.1% to $500 billion in July. Sales at the wholesale level also rose 0.1% to $426.1 billion in July. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 5.7% higher than July 2012. The seasonally adjusted wholesale inventories/sales ratio in July was 1.17.
Not so good :( The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for September's preliminary reading fell to 76.8 from 82.1 in August.
Good and up :) Total business sales increased 0.6% to $1.293 trillion in July, up 4.6% from a year ago. Total business inventories rose 0.4% to $1.661 trillion in July, up 3.2% from a year ago. The total business inventories/sales ratio in July was 1.28.
Good and better :) Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending September 7 fell by 31,000 to 292,000. Continuing claims for the week ending August 31 fell by 73,000 to 2.871 million, a new recovery low. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 321,250, the lowest level since October 2007.