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January 6, 2000

s Sales of new single-family residences totaled 865,000 at an
annual rate in November, 7.1 percent below October’s rate
and 12.2 percent less than a year earlier.
s First-time claims for state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits
totaled 309,000 for the week ending Jan. 1, up 33,000 from the
previous week. UI claims averaged 285,000 during December,
its lowest average since November 1973.
s The National Association of Purchasing Managers’ (NAPM)
diffusion index of manufacturing activity registered 55.5 percent in
December, down 0.7 percentage points from November’s reading.
For the fourth quarter, however, the NAPM index averaged
56.1 percent, its highest reading in five years.
s After falling 1 percent between August and October, the nominal
value of manufacturers’ new orders for durable and nondurable
goods increased 1.2 percent in November. Manufacturers’
shipments also increased 1.2 percent in November after rising
0.4 percent in October. The value of their inventories, following
a 0.4 percent increase in October, rose an additional 0.5 percent
in November.
s Measured in real terms, the value of new construction put into place
in November totaled $556.4 billion, an increase of $12.9 billion,
or 2.4 percent, from October’s total. Construction spending
during the October-November period was 0.4 percent above
its third-quarter average.
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) 444-8808 or (314) 444-8809.
Information in this publication is also included in the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) electronic
bulletin board at (314) 621-1824 or internet World Wide Web server at

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