Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 30 Aug 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Personal income rose 0.3% in July, while personal spending rose 0.4%. The PCE price index was unchanged at both the headline and core levels. Year-over-year, the PCE shows 1.3% inflation, with the core rate, which doesn’t count food or energy costs, at 1.6%.

Initial Jobless claims were unchanged at 374,000. The 4-week moving average rose slightly to 370,250. Continuing claims fell 5,000 to 3.316 million.

Following last month’s strong results, today’s sales reports from chain stores are good to mixed, and, on net, slightly higher than last month.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index remains weak, rising only 0.1 to -47.3, following a 6-week decline in the index.

The Kansas City Fed manufacturing index rose to 5 in July from 3 in June, indicating a slightly better growth rate. That headline hides some underlying weakness, however, as the production index fell from last month’s 12 to 2 in July. New orders are also declining, though at a slightly slower rate than last month, as the index rose to -4 from -7.

Dale Franks
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3 Responses to Economic Statistics for 30 Aug 12

  • Completely unrelated but I figured I’d pass it on.  It is about the CIA and the NY Times.
    When a newspaper does this sort of thing it should be considered a propaganda outlet.  At least that is what it is called in various countries run by tin horn dictators.  But here, meh, its the norm.  It is amazing that the NY Times has any credibility left.

  • Have you thought about reporting the ‘corrections’ to the jobless claims each week? The initial reports each consistently underestimate the claims by 2,000 or so, and are ‘corrected’ upward the next week. Looking at the last month: on 8/2 the report was 365K; on 8/9 the report was 361K, “down 6,000” because the revised number for 8/2 was 367K, up 2,000; on 8/16, 366K “up 2,000” because 8/9 was revised up 3,000 to 364K; on 8/23, 372K “up 4,000” because 8/16 was revised up 2,000 to 368K; and most recently 8/30, 374K “unchanged” because 8/23 was revised up 2,000.
    Real convenient, isn’t it, that the widely reported initial claims number are always low, because this allows them to magnify improvements and minimize worsening statistics. From 8/2 to 8/23 the actual numbers rose from 365K to 374K, up 9,000. But the initial claims were reported as *unchanged* if you sum the changes reported (8/9 down 6,000, 8/16 up 2,000, 8/23 up 4,000).