Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 6 Dec 13

This will be a catch-up entry, as I was unable to do yesterday’s statistics, due to my evening management class.

Only about 10 chain stores still post monthly results any more. Mostly, they report a weak November.

Layoff announcements continue to run at 2-year highs, at 45,314 in November vs 45,730 in October.

Gallup’s US Payroll to Population employment rate was steady at 43.7%.

The first revision of Q3 GDP came it at a 3.6% annualized rate. Sadly, this was almost all due to inventory accumulation. Final sales were actually revised downwards to 1.9%. The GDP price index came in at 2.0%.

Weekly initial jobless claims fell 23,000 to 298,000. The 4-week moving average fell 9,500 to 322,250. Continuing claims fell 21,000 to a recovery low of 2.744 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 2 points to -31.3 this week.

Factory Orders fell -0.9% in October. Ex-transportation orders were unchanged.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $6.8 billion last week, with total assets of $3.933 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $2.2 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply increased by $15.4 billion last week.

The BLS reports that 203,000 net new jobs, while the unemployment rate fell to 7.0%. Average hourly earnings rose 0.2%, while the average workweek rose 0.1 hours to 34.5 hours. The labor force participation rate rose 0.2% to 63%, as an additional 818,000 persons entered the labor force. The number of unemployed fell by –365,000, while the number of persons not in the labor force fell by -268,000. Using the historical average labor force participation rate, the real rate of unemployment is 11.54%.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment index for December rose a sharp 7.4 points to 82.5.

Consumer credit rose a sharp $18.2 billion in October.

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