This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: Is U.S. Economic Growth Picking Up?
- The Chicago Federal Reserve’s National Activity Index, an indicator of future economic growth rose to -0.08 in October from -0.23 in September.
- The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond announced last week that the manufacturing sector in the Central Atlantic region improved this month. The bank’s manufacturing index increased to +4 in November from -4 in October due to improvements in the readings for new orders and employment.
- The number of individuals who filed for federal unemployment benefits in the United States increased to 251,000 for the week that ended November 19 from 233,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell, however, while the number of individuals who continued to file for benefits increased. That figure rose to 2.043 million for the week that ended November 12 from 1.983 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also rose.
- In other economic news: existing home sales in the United States increased two percent from September 2016 to October 2016 and were up 5.9 percent from October 2015 to October 2016; sales of new homes in the United States fell 1.9 percent between September and October, but were up 17.8 percent year-over-year; and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index increased to 93.8 in November from 87.2 in October.