Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 8 Jan 15

Chain stores reporting sales today are generally showing mostly higher rates of year-on-year sales growth in December.

Challenger’s count of layoff announcements for December totals 32,640 vs 35,940 in November and 30,623 in December 2013.

Gallup’s US Payroll to Population rate for December was 44.3%, virtually unchanged from November’s 44.2%.

Initial weekly jobless claims fell 4,000 to 294,000. The 4-week average fell 250 to 290,500. Continuing claims rose 101,000 to 2.452 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.9 points to 43.6 in the latest week, the highest level in seven years.

Consumer credit rose $14.1 billion in November, but revolving credit fell $-0.9 billion, the second contraction in the last four months.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $1.9 billion last week, with total assets of $4.5 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-0.6 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $12 billion in the latest week.

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