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January 3, 2002

USFinancialData
THE WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS:
s In November, the inflation-adjusted value of construction spending
totaled $721.9 billion, an increase of 0.8 percent from October’s
level. By category, real private construction fell 0.4 percent in
November, while public construction increased 4.9 percent. Measured
from a year earlier, total construction spending is up 1.8 percent.
s Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits totaled
447,000 for the week ending Dec. 29, 2001. During the last four
reporting weeks, claims averaged 409,750. The four-week moving
average fell to its lowest level since the week ending Sept. 1, 2001.
s The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) index of manufacturing activity rose from 44.5 in November to 48.2 in December. The
December reading was the highest since October 2000. An index
value below 50 percent indicates that proportionately more respondents reported declines in economic activity than reported increases
in activity. (The ISM was formerly known as the National Association of Purchasing Management.)
s After rising 12.5 percent in October, the nominal value of new orders
to manufacturers for durable goods fell 4.8 percent in November.
New orders for nondefense capital goods, however, rose 4.8 percent
in November after increasing 5.9 percent in October.
s In December, the Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence
measured 93.7 (1985 =100), up 10.4 percent from November.
December’s increase was the largest since February 1996.
All data are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise indicated.
U.S. Financial Data is published weekly by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of
St. Louis. For more information on data, please call (314) 444-8590. To be added to the mailing
list, please call (314) 444-8809.
Information in this publication is also included in the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) data base
on the internet at www.stls.frb.org/fred.


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102