1. The second estimate of first quarter 2013 real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) resulted in a minor downward revision in the previously reported growth rate―from 2.5% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) to 2.4%. This estimate is based on more complete data than the first estimate, but will be updated further near the end of June
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  3. Investment in nonresidential structures was revised down from a 0.3% decline to a 3.5%  drop
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  5. Consumer spending was revised up slightly from an increase of 3.2% to an increase of 3.4%
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  7. Government was an even greater drag on GDP than previously reported, revised to -4.9% from the original -4.1%. Federal government spending fell 8.7%, down from the previously reported 8.4% decline. The drop in federal spending included a plunge of 12.1% in defense spending, revised from a decrease of 11.5%. State and local government spending was down 2.4%, revised from a decrease of  1.2%

  8. The collapse of a bridge section on I-5 north of Seattle is a sad reminder of the paramount need for infrastructure repair, maintenance, and upgrade around the nation. The Seattle area is already feeling the economic cost of the loss of the bridge. Although not noticeable at the national level, these incidents have significant impact on the local economy

  9. Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke’s reminder that the Fed‘s asset purchase program,  which has kept interest rates near historic lows, will not last forever sent a tremor through the financial markets. Interest rates rose on the “news”―with mortgage rates moving up the most. The Freddie Mac 30-year fixed rate mortgage jumped to its highest level in a year

  10. Total commercial construction spending rose 0.4% in April to $860.8 billion (SAAR). Year-to-date not seasonally adjusted (NSA) spending increased 4.5% compared to the same period in 2012. The April spending number includes the following:
    • Nonresidential building construction spending fell 1.4% to $288.3 billion, and year-to-date was 1.1% lower than in 2012  
    • Heavy engineering (non-building) construction spending jumped 3.0% to $264.1 billion, but year-to-date was 1.4% lower than a year ago  
    • New residential construction spending was up 1.5% to $200.8 billion, and year-to-date was up 37.5% from a year ago
  11. Housing appears to have taken a temporary pause, but the outlook remains good
    • Single-family housing starts fell for the second month in a row, down 2.1% to 610,000 (SAAR) in April after tumbling 4.4% in March. The 3-month moving average for single-family housing starts was essentially flat at 628,000 in April, down 0.2% from March. Single-family building permits rose a strong 2.5% to 614,000 in April, its highest level since May 2008. The 3-month moving average for single-family permits increased 1.5% to 604,000 — its highest level since June 2008. The rise in permits indicates an eventual return to increasing single-family residential construction activity  
    • The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) registered its first positive signal in 2013, turning up 3 points in May to 44―reflecting continued strong housing demand throughout much of the country. The uptick in optimism is in spite of builders’ concern about rising building materials costs and their difficulty in obtaining financing for new projects  
    • For the second month in a row, new home sales rose strongly, up 2.3% to 454,000 (SAAR) in April following a 3.5% jump in March  
    • House prices continue on their upward path. The seasonally adjusted (SA) 10-city and 20-city S&P/Case-Shiller®  Home Price index have both increased for twelve months in a row. For March,  they were up 1.4% and 1.1%, respectively. On a year-over-year NSA basis, the 10-city index was up 10.3%, and the 20-city index was up 10.9%. For all 20 cities, home prices were up on a monthly SA basis for the fourth month in a row and on a NSA year-over-year basis for the third month in a row  
    • The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) Purchase-Only Home Price Index increased 1.3% (SA) in March,  its fourteenth consecutive monthly increase. On a year-over-year NSA basis, the index was up 7.2%  
    • Multifamily housing starts nose-dived 38.9% to 243,000 (SAAR) in April after climbing 25.6% in March and 11.6% in February. The 3-month moving average, which smooths out these erratic monthly movements, fell 4.1% to 319,000 from March  
    • The April 3-month moving average of multifamily building permits jumped 7.5% to 348,000. The rise in multifamily permits appears to be an indication that developers and investors have not abandoned the market. For now, they are slowing the start of new multifamily projects to allow the market to absorb the recent availability of new rental space
  12. The April AIA Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped over 3 points to 48.6 from 51.9 in March, the second monthly decline in a row. April was also the first time that the ABI fell below 50 since July 2012.A reading below 50 indicates decreased billings — a negative for future commercial construction

  13. The April Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods fell for the second consecutive month, down 0.7% (SA) after decreasing 0.6% in March. On a year-over-year NSA basis, the April PPI was up 0.6%

  14. A price index for inputs used in nonresidential construction, excluding capital equipment, slipped 0.1% (NSA) in April after decreasing 0.2% in March. The index was down 0.4% (NSA) from April 2012, while the PPI for inputs for residential construction was up 1.4%

  15. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 0.4% (SA) in April after a 0.2% decline in March. The NSA CPI was up 1.1% from April 2012. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, increased slightly in April, up 0.1% (SA) after rising the same amount in March. On a year-over-year basis, the index was up 1.7% (NSA) in April