U.S. economy: new orders for durable goods flat in July, pending home sales fall, mortgage applications drop amid rising interest rates

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, orders for U.S. durable goods such as aircraft, automobiles, and heavy machinery that last at least three years were unchanged at 0.0% in July after rising 2.2% in June.

New orders for durable goods were impacted by a decline in transportation orders in July.

New orders for durable goods (capital goods excluding aircraft and weapons), an indicator of planned business spending, rose 0.4% in July after increasing 0.9% in June.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that its pending home sales index fell 1.0% month-over-month to 89.8, the lowest level since April 2020.

Low home inventories, rising home prices, and higher mortgage rates impact sales contracts

The Pending Home Sales Contract Index is a measure of the number of used home sales contracts that have been signed but not yet closed. It usually takes about 1-2 months for a contract to be signed and the sale to be completed.

Meanwhile, the MBA announced that mortgage applications fell 1.2% after falling 2.3% the previous week as mortgage rates rebounded.

The number of refinancing applications fell by 3% last week and by 83% compared to the same period last year.

The number of applicants for home equity loans fell by 1% last week and by 21% compared to the same period last year.

The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for loans up to $647,200 rose 5.65% from a 5.45% increase the previous week.

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