Free Markets, Free People


Economic Statistics for 29 Feb 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US Economy:

The Commerce Department revised fourth quarter GDP growth up to 3.0% from the initial estimate of 2.8%. Mainly, the change stemmed from upward revision to nonresidential fixed investment, a downward revision to imports, and an upward revision to personal consumption. Interestingly, inflation, as measured by the GDP price index, was revised upwards to 0.9%. That’s quite a drop from 3Q, where it was measured at 2.6%, despite 3Q growth being significantly slower at 1.8%

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports mortgage applications fell by -0.3% last week as refinance apps dropped -2.2%. Purchase apps jumped 8.3%, though MBA isn’t impressed with that gain.  They note, "Purchase application volume increased over the week, but remains within the narrow and anemic range of activity we have seen since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit in May 2010."

The Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index rose sharply to 64 from 60.2 last month. The Production, New Orders, and Employment sub-indexes were all up sharply. The Chicago PMI is widely seen as a predictor of the national ISM Index, which is due out tomorrow.

The Feds "beige book", which compiles anecdotal evidence on economic conditions from each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts, is due out later today. This document generally serves as a guide to Fed policy makers at the regular meetings of the FOMC, which determine the Fed’s monetary policy moves.

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Dale Franks
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5 Responses to Economic Statistics for 29 Feb 12

  • High gasoline prices will make research into such alternatives more urgent, Chu said.

    “But is the overall goal to get our price” of gasoline down, asked Nunnelee.

    “No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy,” Chu replied. “We think that if you consider all these energy policies, including energy efficiency, we think that we can go a long way to becoming less dependent on oil and [diversifying] our supply and we’ll help the American economy and the American consumers.”

  • Does anyone really believe these statistics? I live in one of the few areas of the country that experienced some growth even during the worse part of the recession. And I do not see many signs of a growing economy. I DO, however, see lots of evidence of inflation.

    At any rate, I see things getting slightly better until mid year, and then we will see another dramatic plunge when the influence of new anti-energy regulations are fully felt.

    • @kyle8 They sure aren’t getting better as fast as I’m being told they are. It doesn’t just ‘turn around’ in 3 weeks. Reminds me of joke process flow diagrams where one box is labeled “miracle occurs here”.
      Well, from what I can tell, the ‘miracle’ occurred sometime between Sunday last and today.

    • @kyle8 Its possible that things are getting better but they have not registered on the visible side of things. For example, home repairs and improvement could be up, but those workman aren’t spending their money yet (maybe paying down bills, saving, etc.)

      In Cali, we still have tons of empty shops in strip malls, for example, But that could be a lagging indicator.

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