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Friday, January 20, 2012

Wells Fargo's Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary- January 20, 2012

- Industrial production rose 0.4 percent in December following a 0.3 percent decline during November, as production was driven by a 0.9 percent increase in manufacturing.

. Overall production would have been stronger if not for a 2.7 percent decline in the utilities segment, which was largely due to a sharp 8.5 percent decline in natural gas output amid unseasonably warm weather.

- The Producer Price Index (PPI) fell 0.1 percent in December, as falling prices for food, residential gas, and gasoline led the decline.

. Meanwhile, core PPI inflation increased to 3.0 percent year-over-year, the highest rate in two and a half years.

- Consumer prices were unchanged for the third consecutive month in December, but were up 3.0 percent from a year ago.

. The 2.2 percent year-over-year increase in core consumer prices was the highest in over three years.

- Existing home sales rose in December to a 4.61 million unit annual rate.

. Record low mortgage rates fueled a 23.1 percent surge in mortgage applications and a 10.3 percent jump in purchase applications in the last week.

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