9/5: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

August manufacturing index slips to 49.1 percent, lowest reading in more than three years

The ISM U.S. manufacturing PMI declined to 49.1 percent in August, or the lowest reading in more than three years (any reading under 50 percent indicates a contraction).  The August dip ended a 35-month expansion period where the PMI averaged 56.5 percent.



July construction spending rose 0.1 percent from June but down 2.7 percent year-on-year

Construction spending during July 2019 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,288.8 billion, up 0.1 percent from June but down 2.7 percent year-on-year. During the first seven months of this year, construction spending amounted to $733.8 billion, down 2.1 percent from the same period of 2018.



Mortgage applications dip 3.1 percent, rates drop 7 basis points

The Market Composite Index decreased 3.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans rising 4.0 percent (and up 5.0 percent year-on-year) and refinancing activity dropping 7.0 percent (but up 152 percent year-on-year).  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to 3.87 percent from 3.94 percent.