By Valorie Rice
EBR Senior Business Information Specialist
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for August were released October 29th. Phoenix prices rose 1.5 percent July to August and had an 18.6 percent year-over-year increase compared to the 12.8 percent of the 20-city composite. Las Vegas had the highest one-year change with 29.2 percent.
The September Producer Price Index was released October 29th. Prices for finished goods decreased by 0.1 percent over the month compared to an increase of 0.3 percent in August. The unadjusted year-over-year change for September was 0.3 percent, which is the lowest 12-month change since October 2009.
The Conference Board released the October Consumer Confidence Index on October 29th. Predictably, the index was sharply lower this month, moving to 71.2, thanks to consumers’ uncertainty over the federal shutdown and debt-ceiling predicament.
The Consumer Price Index for September, released October 30th, stated that prices increased 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the month. Inflation over the last 12 months was at 1.2 percent before seasonal adjustment and 1.7 percent less food and energy. With the release of the September CPI data, the annual Social Security cost of living adjustment was also reported. The COLA, based on comparing consumer prices for July through September to the year before, will be 1.5 percent for 2014. This is lower than last year (1.7 percent) and is the smallest increase since 2003, when benefits went up only 1.4 percent.
Arizona initial unemployment claims were lower the third week in October, moving to 4,804 from 6,079 the week before. The four-week average for Arizona was higher for a second week in a row at 5,385. Nationally, unemployment claims for the week of October 26 dropped to a seasonally adjusted 340,000. The four-week average was up by 8,000 to 356,250, which is the highest it has been since April.
Hands and calculator photo courtesy Shutterstock.