The Commerce Department’s 3rd estimate of 3Q GDP was again revised downwards, to a 1.8% annualized rate.On a year over year basis, GDP was up 1.5% over 3Q 2010. The downward revision was led by a smaller decline in inventories and less growth in personal consumption.
Initial claims for unemployment fell for the 3rd consecutive week, down 4,000 to a much lower-than-expected level of 364,000. Continuing claims fell 79,000 to 3.546 million, the lowest level of the recovery.
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell to -0.37 in November from a revised -0.11 in October. Housing is still heavily negative in the report.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index climbed to -45 in the period ended December 18 from -49.9 the prior week.
Consumer sentiment continued to improve, to 69.9 in December from 64.1 in November.
The FHFA reported that house prices in October unexpectedly declined -0.2% after rising 0.4% in September. Analysts had expected a 0.3% rise in prices, not further downward price pressure.
The index of leading economic indicators rose 0.5% in November following October’s 0.9% increase. Positive elements include the treasury rate spread, building permits, consumer expectations, building permits, and falling unemployment claims.