The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo monthly housing market index was unchanged in August at 15. An index reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market.
The combined construction of new single-family homes and apartments in July fell 1.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 604,000 units. Single-family starts decreased 4.9%. Multifamily starts rose 7.8%. Applications for new building permits, seen as an indicator of future activity, fell 3.2% to an annual rate of 597,000 units.
Industrial production at the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose 0.9% in July. Compared to a year ago, industrial production is up 3.7%. Capacity utilization rose to 77.5% in July.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending August 12 rose 4.1%. Refinancing applications increased 8%. Purchase volume fell 9.1%.
The producer price index, which tracks wholesale price inflation, rose 0.2% in July after a 0.4% decrease in June. For the year, seasonally adjusted wholesale prices are up 7.2%. Core prices — excluding food and fuel — rose 0.4% in July.
Existing home sales fell 3.5% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.67 million units from a revised 4.84 million units in June. The inventory of unsold homes on the market decreased to 3.65 million, a 9.4-month supply at the current sales pace, up from a 9.2-month supply in June.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 9,000 to 408,000 for the week ending August 13. Continuing claims for the week ending August 6 rose by 7,000 to 3.7 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on new home sales on August 23 and gross domestic product on August 26.