The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly composite of manufacturing
activity unexpectedly rose to 51.6 in September after a reading of 50.6 in August. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
It was the 26th straight month of expansion. Total construction spending rose 1.4% to $799.1 billion in August, following an upwardly revised 1.4% decrease in July. Economists had anticipated a decrease of 0.2% in August.
Factory orders fell 0.2% in August to a seasonally adjusted $451 billion, following a revised 2.1% increase in July. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders also fell 0.2% in August.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending September 30 fell 4.3%. Refinancing applications decreased 5.2%. Purchase volume fell 0.8%.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly composite index of non-manufacturing activity fell slightly to 53 in September from 53.3 in August. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 22nd straight month of expansion in the services sector.
Wholesalers increased their inventories 0.4% to $464.3 billion in August. This followed a 0.8% rise in July. Sales at the wholesale level rose 1% to $401.3 billion in August. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 15.2% higher since August 2010.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 6,000 to 401,000 for the week ending October 1. Continuing claims for the week ending September 24 fell by 52,000 to 3.7 million. The monthly unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.1% in September.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on international trade on October 13 and retail sales on October 14.