Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 14 & 17 Aug 15

A hectic schedule prevented me from posting Friday’s economic data, so here it is, along with the releases from today.

14 Aug 15

Producer Prices for Final Demand rose 0.2% in July, with PPI-FD less food and energy rising 0.3%. On a year-over-year basis, PPI-FD is down -0.8 at the headline level, but up 0.6% at the core. The remaining set of data for PPI-FD are below:

PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services – M/M change: 0.2%
PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services – Y/Y change: 0.9%
PPI-FD Goods – M/M change: -0.1%
PPI-FD Goods – Y/Y change: -3.7%
PPI-FD Services – M/M change: 0.4%
PPI-FD Services – Y/Y change: 0.6%

The Fed reports that industrial production rose by 0.6% in July, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories rose 0.3% to 78.0%. The prime factor in the month’s jump was a 10.6% surge in motor vehicle production.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index index fell -0.2 points to 92.9 in August.

17 Aug 15

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey plunged deeply into negative territory for August, falling from 3.86 to -14.92. This is the weakest reding for this indicator since 2009.

The NAHB’s Housing Market Index rose 1 point to 61 in August, as new homes are becoming a source of strength for the economy.

E-Commerce retail sales in the 2nd Quarter of 2015 rose a strong 4.2%, with a year-on-year gain of 14.1%.

A strong dollar was a plus for foreign investment in Jun, as net foreign demand for US securities rose $10.1 billion to $103.1 billion.

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One Response to Economic Statistics for 14 & 17 Aug 15

  • Billionaire investor George Soros has opened new equity stakes in Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Coal Inc., the country’s top two coal producers, according to a Form 13F-HR filed Aug. 14.

    Soros acquired more than 1 million shares of Peabody and 553,200 shares of Arch in the second quarter, according to the filing. He reported no other coal holdings in the period.

    Soros makes investments through his Soros Fund Management LLC fund. Soros’ holdings may have changed significantly since the end of the second quarter ended June 30.

    Soros last invested in the coal sector in 2014 when he opened a large stake in coal and gas producer CONSOL Energy Inc., but he later liquidated it.

    Both Peabody and Arch have seen their market values plummet amid extremely difficult operating conditions for domestic producers caused by competition from cheap natural gas, new environmental regulations and a slowing export market.

    … and a big shout out to President Barack Obama .. without his “War on Coal”, George Soros could never have bought it so low.