Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 19 Apr 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

Initial jobless claims were 386,000 last week, while the previous week’s claims were revised sharply upwards to 388,000. The four-week moving average of 374,750 is the highest since January.

The index of Leading Indicators rose 0.3% in March, a growth rate that could best be described as sustainable, though not robust.

Manufacturing growth slowed slightly in the Philadelphia Fed district, as the Fed Survey slipped to 8.5 from last month’s 12.5.

Existing home sales were worse than expected for March, with sales down -2.6% to a 4.48M annual rate. Sales are hampered by tight credit and a still sluggish labor market.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to -31.4, tying the best reading since March, 2008.

Dale Franks
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3 Responses to Economic Statistics for 19 Apr 12

  • So the comfort index continues to rise, proving we’re comfortable with being lied to about the economy.

  • WASHINGTON (AP) — Momentum in U.S. hiring and home sales appears to be slowing, according to fresh data.

    The average number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits over the past month is at a three-month high. And fewer Americans bought previously owned homes in March after mild weather boosted sales in the previous two months.

    A possible weakening in two critical elements of the U.S. economy suggests growth could stay modest this year.

    “We are in for a few more quarters of moderate growth before stronger gains might appear,” said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors. More hiring is needed to drive up wages and salaries and fuel the recovery, he added.

    The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications dipped last week by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000. But that was only after the department revised up the previous week’s data to show 8,000 more people applied for benefits than first estimated.