June 18, 2012
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending June 8 rose 18%, the highest level since May 2009. Refinancing applications increased 19%, the highest level in more than a year. Purchase volume rose 13%, the highest level in six months.
Consumer prices fell 0.3% in May. For the year, consumer prices are up 1.7%. Consumer prices at the core rate - excluding volatile food and energy prices - were up 0.2% in May, matching April's pace.
The producer price index, which tracks wholesale price inflation, fell 1% in May. It was the largest one-month drop since July 2009 and follows a 0.2% decrease in April. On a year-over-year basis, seasonally adjusted wholesale prices were up 0.8% in May. Core prices - excluding food and fuel - rose 0.2% in May.
Retail sales fell 0.2% to $404.6 billion in May. This follows a downwardly revised 0.2% decrease in April. On a year-over-year basis, retail sales increased 5.3% in May.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for June's preliminary reading fell to 74.1 in June, a 2012 low, from 79.3 in May.
Industrial production at the nation's factories, mines and utilities fell 0.1% in May, after a 1% rise in April. Compared to a year ago, industrial production increased 4.7% in May. Capacity utilization eased to 79% from 79.2% in April.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending June 9 rose by 6,000 to 386,000 from a revised 380,000 the prior week. Continuing claims for the week ending June 2 fell by 33,000 to 3.278 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on housing starts on June 19 and existing home sales and leading economic indicators on June 21.