Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 12 Mar 15

Initial weekly jobless claims fell 36,000 to 289,000. The 4-week average 3,750 to 302,250. Continuing claims rose 13,000 to 2.417 million.

Falling auto sales drove overall retail sales down -0.6% in February. Sales less autos fell -0.1%, and sales less autos and gas fell -0.2%.

Export prices fell -0.1% in February, while import prices rose 0.4%. On a year-ago basis, prices are down -5.9% for exports and -9.4% for imports.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -0.2 points to 43.3 in the latest week.

Business inventories were unchanged in January, while a -2.0% drop in sales drove the stock-to-sales ratio up to 1.35. The stock-sales ratio has been rising steadily since July, 2014.

February’s Treasury deficit was $192.3 billion, and the fiscal year-to-date deficit is 2.7% higher than February 2014 at $386.5 billion.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $1.7 billion last week, with total assets of $4.489 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $1.7 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-7.1 billion in the latest week.

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