Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 17 Feb 16

January housing starts fell -3.8% to a 1.099 million annual rate. Building permits fell -0.2% to a 1.202 million annual rate.

Producer prices rose 0.1% in January, and were up 0.4% less food and energy, and 0.2% less food, energy, and trade services. On a year-over-year basis, PPI-FD is down -0.2% overall, but up 0.6% less food and energy, and 0.8% less food, energy, and trade services.

With increased auto production, industrial production jumped 0.9% in January, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories rose 0.6% to 77.1%. Manufacturing rose 0.5%, as well.

The Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations Survey was unchanged in January, at an annual 1.8%. 

E-commerce retail sales rose only 2.1% in the 4th Quarter of 2015, compared to the 3rd Quarter’s 4.2% rise.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales little changed at a weak 0.7% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 0.6%.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 8.2% last week, with purchases down -4.0% but refis up 16.0%.

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