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Economic Statistics for 1 Aug 12 (Updated)

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

US motor vehicle sales: Chrysler reports a 12% sales increase, with 126,089 vehicles sold. GM sales were down -6% at 201,237, while Ford dropped -4% to 173,966. Volkswagen sales for June rose 27.3% to 37,014. Toyota sales rose 26% to 164,898. Nissan was up 16.2% to 53,744. Overall, auto sales so far this year remain on track for 14.4 million units sold, which would be more than a 12% increase over 2011.

The Federal Open Markets Committee meeting has announced that monetary policy will remain unchanged for now. Their assessment of the economy is that growth has slowed since the last meeting.

The ISM Manufacturing Index remains little changed this month, at a slightly contractionary 49.8. New orders are also weak, at 48.0.

Construction spending rose 0.4% in June, and was up 7.0% over June 2011, another indication of a modest uptrend in construction and housing.

The ADP Employment Report predicts that non-farm payrolls will rise 163,000 in July, indicating continued weakness can be expected in Friday’s Employment Situation report.

Markit Economics’ final PMI Manufacturing Index for July dropped to 51.4 from the preliminary estimate of 52.5.

An interesting bit in today’s Treasury Refunding announcement is that the Treasury is studying the possibility of negative rates at bond auctions. This would allow you to pay the Treasury for the privilege of lending it money.

For the third straight week, MBA Purchase Applications declined, falling -2.0%. The overall index rose 0.2%, though, as re-fi apps rose 0.8%. The drop in purchase apps raises questions about how solid the recent moderate rise in the housing sector really is.

Dale Franks
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