1/4: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

December ISM Manufacturing Index dropped to 54.1, lowest level since November 2016

The December PMI® registered 54.1 percent, a decrease of 5.2 percentage points from the November reading of 59.3 percent, and the lowest level since November 2016.

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December job cuts declined 17.3 percent from November, but still up 35.3 percent year-on-year

December’s job cut total of 43,884 workers is 17.3 percent lower than the 53,073 cuts announced in November but 35.3 percent higher than the 32,423 cuts announced in the same month last year.  For all of 2018, the annual total is nearly 29 percent higher than last year and the highest total since 2015.

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Mortgage applications down 9.8 percent in latest survey, rates drop 2 basis points

The Market Composite Index decreased 9.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from two weeks earlier, with purchase loans falling 8.0 percent and refinances down 12.0 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.84 percent.

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