US consumer spending was weak in October and orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft—seen as a measure of business investment in equipment and software—dropped in October for the second straight month.
Consumer spending adjusted for price changes, increased 0.2% in October after remaining flat in September, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Spending on nondurable goods increased 0.5% in October after decreasing 0.3% in September.
The Census Bureau reported that non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft fell 1.3% in October following a similar level decline in September.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index hit its highest level since July 2007 in November. In contrast, the Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index, which had rebounded in October, declined in November. The Index now stands at 88.7 (1985=100), down from 94.1 in October.
New figures released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Tuesday showed that mortgage lending is running at its lowest level in 13 years, with 2014 on pace to be the weakest for new loans since 2000.
There was also good news on Tuesday when the BEA revised up the annual growth rate for third-quarter real gross domestic product to 3.9% from the advance reading of 3.5%.
The upgrade was unexpected and the upgrade follows a 4.6% gain in the second quarter, putting growth over those six months at an annualised 4.25% rate.
However, the BEA revised down wages and salaries over the last two quarters. The growth rate for compensation last quarter was revised down from 4.0% to 3.5%, and down from 5.3% to 2.8% in the second quarter while corporate profits increased for the sixth consecutive quarter.
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