Last week’s scheduled economic reporting included readings on construction spending, June’s FOMC meeting minutes, and reports on jobs and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.
Construction Spending Increased in May
The Commerce Department reported spending for construction rose to 0.90 percent in May as compared to a month-to-month increase of 0.40 percent posted in April. The year-over-year reading showed $1.93 trillion in construction spending in May. April’s data was revised downward from the original reading of 1.20 percent growth to 0.40 percent growth in construction spending.
Readings for construction spending include all phases of government and private construction projects. When construction spending increases. It indicates overall growth in the economy. Year-over-year construction spending was 2.40 percent higher in May.
Private-Sector Job Growth Exceeds Expectations in June
The Commerce Department reported the largest increase in private-sector job growth since July 2022. 497,000 jobs were added in June 2023, which surpassed analyst expectations of 220,000 jobs added. 267,000 jobs were reported in May’s reading. The increase in available jobs countered forecasts that the Federal Reserve’s recent series of interest rate hikes would slow inflation and dampen economic growth.
The national unemployment rate fell from 3.60 percent from 3.70 percent in May to 3.60 percent in June. In related news, weekly jobless claims rose to 248,000 claims from the previous week’s reading of 236,000 jobless claims filed. Analysts expected a reading of 220,000 claims filed.
Minutes of Federal Reserve Meeting: Fed Holds Federal Rate Range Steady in June
Members of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee voted to hold the Fed’s interest rate range at 5.00 percent to 5.25 percent. Committee members cited the tight labor market and current economic conditions that exceeded expectations. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that the Fed would likely raise its rate range two more times during 2023.
Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week’s the rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 10 basis points to 6.81 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.24 percent and 18 basis points higher.
This week’s scheduled economic reports include month-to-month and year-over-year readings on consumer inflation; the final monthly reading on consumer sentiment will be released along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.