Free Markets, Free People
Economic Statistics for 2 Feb 12
Today’s economic statistical releases:
Chain store sales are coming in mixed today, with no identifiable spending or consumer trends. It’s looking like there’ll be little change to the upcoming retail sales report this month, which was disappointingly unchanged in December.
The Challenger Job Cut Report indicates that layoff announcements rose to 53,486 in January from 41,785 in December. That’s a big monthly jump, and raises warning signs about employment.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to -44.8 from last month’s -46.4.
Initial claims for unemployment fell 12,000 to a lower-than-expected 367,000. the 4-week moving average posted a a 2,000 decline to 375,750.
Productivity growth in the 4th quarter slowed to a lower than expected 0.7% from 2.3% in the previous quarter. Unit labor costs rose 1.2%, compared to the previous quarter’s drop of -2.5%.