Thursday Economic Reports: Lookin' Pretty Good
2. (Reuters) - The number of U.S. businesses and consumers filing for bankruptcy fell 14 percent in the first half of 2012 and could end the year at the lowest level since before the 2008 financial crisis, according to data released today by Epiq Systems and the American Bankruptcy Institute.
3. The fixed rate for 30-year mortgages fell to another fresh low this week of 3.62%, according to Freddie Mac. The fixed rate for 15-year mortgages also dropped to a new low of 2.89%.
4. From the American Association of Railroads today: "Intermodal volume for the week totaled 253,497 trailers and containers, up 7 percent compared with the same week last year and the fifth highest-volume intermodal week ever for U.S. railroads."
5. "Planned layoffs fell to a 13-month low in June, as U.S.-based employers announced job cuts totaling 37,551 during the month. That is down 39% from the 61,887 announced job cuts in May, according to today's report on downsizing activity from Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The June total is 9.4% lower than the 41,432 planned job cuts announced during the same month a year ago. It is the lowest monthly total since May 2011, when employers announced plans to eliminate 37,135 workers from their payrolls."
6. "U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, was 8.0% in June, unchanged from May, but significantly better than the 8.7% from a year ago. Gallup's seasonally adjusted number, based on applying an estimate of the government's June adjustment, is 7.8%, an improvement from 8.3% in May, and down considerably from 8.5% in June 2011. Both the unadjusted and the adjusted numbers are at least tied for the lowest Gallup has recorded since it began collecting employment data in 2010."
7. Intrade odds of a U.S. recession this year? Less than one-in-six chance at 15.8%.