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After a strong second quarter, August’s Retail Sales report did not meet the consensus mark following gains in July (a revised plus 0.1 percent). Month-to-month, August retail sales were down 0.3 percent (-0.1 percent excluding autos). The strength of consumer demand is a factor considered by Federal Reserve officials.
The August Consumer Price Index increased more than expected, up 0.2 percent from July and up 1.1 percent year-over-year. Core CPI jumped 0.3 percent, which is the largest increase in 5 months. Increases in rent, medical care, motor vehicle insurance, apparel and communication offset declining prices of used vehicles, household furnishings, recreation and airline fares.
This week in the economy:
- The purchase application index of MBA Mortgage Applications jumped 4.2 percent in the September 9 week, up 8 percent year-over-year. The refinance sector also increased by a respectable 2 percent.
- Initial Jobless Claims increased by 1,000 in the September 10 week to 260,000, pulling the 4-week average down to 260,750.
- The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to 42.2 from last week’s reading of 44.
What’s on economic calendar for the week of September 19, 2016:
- Monday – Housing Market Index
- Tuesday – Housing Starts, FOMC Meeting Begins
- Wednesday – MBA Mortgage Applications, FOMC Meeting Announcement
- Thursday – Jobless Claims, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, FHFA House Price Index, Existing Home Sales
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