Total distance traveled by vehicles on all U.S. roads and streets were an estimated 264.2 billion miles in October, the Department of Transportation reports. This is a 2.6% increase from the 257.6 billion miles traveled in October of 2013.
The rolling 12 month total of vehicle miles driven is 2.989 trillion miles. That is 1.6% below the high of 3.039 trillion miles in November of 2007.
The rolling 12 month total of vehicle miles driven per capita was 12.02 thousand. That is down 9.1% from the June 2005 high of 13.22 thousand miles per capita.
The map from the release shows that, year over year, travel increased in all 5 U.S. regions in October, rising the most in the south gulf.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 6.1% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million. This annual rate is 2.1% higher than the 4.83 million-unit level in November 2013.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says sales activity was choppy throughout the country in November and housing inventory began its seasonal decline. “Fewer people bought homes last month despite interest rates being at their lowest levels of the year,” he said. “The stock market swings in October may have impacted some consumers’ psyches and therefore led to fewer November closings. Furthermore, rising home values are causing more investors to retreat from the market.”
“Lagging homebuilding activity continues to hamstring overall housing supply and is still too low in relation to this year’s promising job growth,” says Yun. “Much faster price and rent appreciation – easily exceeding wage growth – will occur next year unless new construction picks up measurably.”
The existing home sales rate in all 4 U.S. regions in November:
- Northeast: 0.68 million from 0.71 million month prior.
- Midwest: 1.13 million from 1.24 million month prior.
- South: 2.09 million from 2.16 million month prior.
- West: 1.03 million from 1.14 million month prior.
Total housing inventory at the end of November decreased 6.7% to 2.09 million existing homes available for sale. That represents a 5.1 month supply at the current sales pace. Unsold inventory is 2.0% above a year ago, when there were 2.05 million existing homes available for sale.
The median time on market for all homes was 65 days in November. That is up from 63 days in October. Short sales were on the market for a median of 116 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 65 days, and non-distressed homes took 63 days. 32% of homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month.
The national median existing home price for all housing types was $205,300, up 5.0% from a year ago.
The Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index (CFNAI) was a reading of +0.73 in November, up from October’s revised reading of +0.31. The positive figure indicates that the index is above its historical trend. The index’s 3-month moving average is at +0.48.
54 of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in November, while 36 made negative contributions. 36 indicators improved from September to October, while 31 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, 6 made negative contributions.
The Production and Income index component registered +0.64 from +0.09 last month. Employment and Hours was +0.17 from +0.22, Personal Consumption and Housing was -0.10 from -0.11, and Sales, Orders, and Inventories was +0.02 from +0.11.
The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data: 1) production and income; 2) employment, unemployment, and hours; 3) personal consumption and housing; and 4) sales, orders, and inventories. Each of these data series measures some aspect of overall macroeconomic activity.
It is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. Since economic activity tends toward trend growth rate over time, a positive index reading corresponds to growth above trend and a negative index reading corresponds to growth below trend.
In November, the unemployment rate decreased in 41 U.S. states, increased in 3 states, and was unchanged in 6 states.
The unemployment rate is higher than a year ago in 4 states: Iowa (4.3% vs 4.2%), Louisiana (6.5% vs 5.6%), West Virginia (6.3% vs 6.2%), and Alaska (6.6% vs 6.5%).
Recall that the national jobless rate in November was 5.8%.
Initial jobless claims for the week ending December 13 were a seasonally adjusted 289k, down from the prior week’s revised reading of 295k. Not seasonally adjusted, jobless claims for the week were 327k.
Individual states that had changes in claims of more than 1k (not seasonally adjusted):
The 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims was 299k.
The number of unemployment insurance recipients, or continuing claims, for regular state programs was 2.373 million, down from the previous week’s revised reading of 2.520 million.
The insured unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployment insurance recipients as a share of covered employment, was 1.79%,down from 1.90% the week prior.
90.12% of all U.S. jobs are covered by state unemployment insurance programs.
Of the 9.110 million Americans currently unemployed, 26.05% receive unemployment insurance.
Jobless claims and the unemployment rate:
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.3% in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.3%.
The core CPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.1% in November and is up 1.7% year over year.
The All Food index increased 0.2% in and is up 3.2% from a year ago. The All Energy index decreased 3.8% and is down 4.9% from a year ago.
The Producer Price Index for final demand decreased 0.3% in November, seasonally adjusted. The index for final demand increased 1.4% for the 12 months ended in November.
The core PPI, which excludes food and energy, was unchanged and is up 1.7% from a year ago.
U.S. privately-owned housing starts in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.028 million. This is 1.6% below the revised October estimate of 1.045 million, and is 7.0% below the November 2013 rate of 1.105 million.
Single-family starts decreased to an annual rate of 0.677 million from 0.716 million and multi-unit starts increased to 0.351 million from 0.329 million.