Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 7 May 15

Chain stores reported generally lower year-on-year rates of sales growth for April, mainly due to the early Easter this year.

Price weakness in the oil sector led the big jump in Challenger’s April layoffs report, which jumped to 61,582.  A third of those layoff came from the oil sector.Today’s number is a huge increase from March’s 36,594.

Gallup’s US Payroll to Population unemployment index fell from 44.1 to 43.9 in April.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 3,000 to 265,000. The 4-week average fell 4,250 to 279,500. Continuing claims fell 28,000 to 2.228 million. Jobless claims are currently at a 15-year low.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1 point to 43.7 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $1.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.473 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-11.3 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-27.4 billion in the latest week.

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