The National Association of Realtors
, the nation’s largest trade association, reported an increase
in existing home sales
for the month of October
. The sales data come on the heels of yesterday’s reasonably decent news on housing starts and building permits for the same month.
The U.S. Commerce Department put out some mixed housing data earlier this morning. On point, the agency reported that housing starts
had eased by 2.8% last month, coming in at a seasonally adjusted 1.009 million units on an annualized basis. That was down from the revised September estimate of 1.038 million homes started. Still, this total was just a tad below the estimate of 1.030 million homes started.
The U.S. Commerce Department
reported that the nation's industrial output eased slightly
, while factory utilization
likewise ticked lower
. Both metrics had been expected to show increases in the latest month. So, this was a somewhat disappointing way for the nation's industrial base to commence the fourth quarter.
The Commerce Department
earlier this morning reported that retail sales had increased by a modest 0.3% in October. That was somewhat better than the 0.2% gain, which had been forecast for the latest month. Such sales were up 4.1% over the past year.
The Labor Department reported earlier this morning that the nation had added 214,000 new positions in October
. That was a bit less than the 233,000 payrolls that had been expected. However, job totals for both August and September were revised upwards. On point, the total non-farm payroll employment gain for August went from 180,000 to 203,000; the increase for September was revised from 248,000 to 256,000.
The Institute for Supply Management's
report on non-manufacturing activity
came in slightly below its expected rate of improvement. This metric came in at 57.1 for October, which while well above the 50.0 level, which separates an expanding non-manufacturing sector from one that is contracting, the result was a tad below the 58.0 level forecast.
Fourth-quarter economic reports
are beginning to be issued, with this morning's release of figures from the Institute for Supply Management
, an Arizona-based research group, leading the way.
The nation's gross domestic product
increased by a more moderate, but still appreciable, 3.5% in the third quarter according to the U.S. Commerce Department. That increase was somewhat better than the 3.0% gain estimated, but well under the 4.6% rise that was tabulated during the second quarter.
The Federal Reserve
has voted to do more or less the expected during the latest FOMC meeting. The central bank decided to conclude
its popular bond-buying program
at the end of this month.
The Conference Board
, a private research organization based in New York City, has reported that consumer confidence
rose smartly this past month, increasing to a reading of 94.5. That compared favorably with the September survey result of 89.0. Expectations had been that this index would have come in at 87.9.