Economic Data Points for Week of 8/25
- The Conference Board Leading Economic Indicator (LEI) index rose 0.9 percent in July to 103.3. According to Conference Board Economist Ataman Ozyildirim, the reading suggested “the economy is gaining traction and growth should continue at a strong pace for the remainder of the year.”
- According to the U.S. Labor Department, the number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 298,000 for the week that ended Aug. 16 from 312,000 the week before. The four-week rolling average of first-time claims, meanwhile, rose to 300,750 from 295,750. The number of Americans who continued to receive federal unemployment benefits fell to 2.5 million—the lowest since June 2007—for the week that ended Aug. 9 from 2.549 million the week before. The Labor Department also announced last week that 36 states added jobs in July while 13 lost them and employment in Iowa stayed the same.
- According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the manufacturing sector in the eastern Pennsylvania region expanded at a faster pace in August as the bank’s general business index rose to 28.0 in August—its highest levels since March 2011—from 23.9 the previous month.
- In other economic news: U.S. consumer prices were up 0.1 percent from June 2014 to July 2014 and two percent from July 2013 to July 2014; the number of U.S. homes under construction increased 8.1 percent from June to July and were up 7.7 percent year-over-year; and sales of existing U.S. homes increased 2.4 percent from June to July, but was down 4.3 percent from July 2013.