Last week’s economic reporting included readings on construction spending and public and private-sector employment data. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.
Census Bureau Reports Construction Sending Up by 9.8 Percent Year-Over-Year
Construction spending rose by nearly 10 percent year-over-year in April. Overall construction spending rose by $1.542 billion on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Construction spending rose by 0.20 percent in April, which fell short of the expected 0.50 percent reading, and was lower than the March reading of 1.0 percent growth in construction spending.
Residential construction spending increased by one percent in April as compared to the March reading of 2.60 percent. Spending on single-family construction rose by 1.30 percent in April as compared to the March reading of 2.20 percent. Rapidly rising construction costs were fueled by higher lumber costs, but builders said that increasing costs for steel, copper, and plastic also drove higher spending. Builders expect supply chain delays and rising prices to continue impacting all types of construction projects.
Mortgage Rates Inch Up, Jobless Claims Mixed
Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week, but average rates remained below three percent. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by four basis points to 2.99 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.27 percent and did not change from the previous week’s reading. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was five basis points higher at 2.64 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
First-time jobless claims were lower last week with 385,000 new claims filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 405,000 initial claims filed. Continuing claims rose to 3.77 million claims as compared to the previous week’s reading of 3.60 million ongoing jobless claims filed.
Jobs Increase as Unemployment Rate Falls
The government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report showed 559,000 public and private-sector jobs added in May; ADP reported 978,000 private-sector jobs added in May as compared to April’s reading of 654,000 private-sector jobs added. The national unemployment rate fell to 5.80 percent in May as compared to April’s reading of 6.10 percent and an expected reading of 5.90 percent.
This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.