5/19: METROINTELLIGENCE ECONOMIC UPDATE by P.Duffy

Leading Economic Index rose again in April

The Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in April to 126.9 (2010 = 100), following a 0.3 percent increase in March, and a 0.5 percent increase in February. While the majority of leading indicators have been contributing positively in recent months, housing permits followed by average workweek in manufacturing have been the sources of weakness among the U.S. LEI components.

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Mortgage applications fall 4.1 percent in latest survey

The Market Composite Index decreased 4.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 3 percent and refinances dipping 4 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances remained unchanged at 4.23 percent.

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Initial unemployment claims fall 4,000 in latest report

In the week ending May 13, initial unemployment claims were 232,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 236,000. The 4-week moving average was 240,750, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 243,500.

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