In the News

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending September 7 rose 11.1%. Refinancing applications increased 12%. Purchase volume rose 8%.

The trade deficit increased to $42 billion in July from a revised $41.9 billion in June. Exports fell $1.9 billion or 1% to $183.3 billion. Imports fell $1.8 billion or 0.8% to $225.3 billion.

Wholesalers increased their inventories 0.7% to $485.2 billion in July. Sales at the wholesale level fell 0.1% to $402.4 billion in July. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 2.7% higher since July 2011.

The producer price index, which tracks wholesale price inflation, rose 1.7% in August, following a 0.3% increase in July. Compared to August 2011, wholesale prices have risen 2%. Core prices — excluding food and fuel — rose 0.2% in August.

Retail sales rose 0.9% to $406.7 billion in August. This follows a revised 0.6% increase in July. Compared to August 2011, retail sales have increased 4.7%.

Consumer prices rose 0.6% in August, following a flat reading in July. Compared to August 2011, consumer prices have risen 1.7%. Consumer prices at the core rate — excluding volatile food and energy prices — were up 0.1% in August.

Industrial production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities fell 1.2% in August after a 0.5% rise in July. Compared to August 2011, industrial production has increased 2.8%. Capacity utilization eased to 78.2% in August from 79.2% in July.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending September 8 rose by 15,000 to 382,000. Continuing claims for the week ending September 1 fell by 49,000 to 3.282 million.

from Prospect Mortgage Economic Update

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