Free Markets, Free People
Economic Statistics for 01 Mar 12
The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:
Chain stores are reporting sales today, and a large majority are reporting greater rates of year-on-year sales growth in February than in January.
Initial jobless claims were 351,000, down 2,000 from the prior week. The 4-week moving average fell 5,500 to 354,000.
Personal income rose 0.3% in January, up 3.6% for the year. Personal expenditures rose 0.2% for the month, and 3.8% for the year. The Core PCE price index rose 0.2% for the month, and 1.9% for the year.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index posted at -38.8 for the 26 Feb period. This is almost a 4-year high. I don’t know whether that’s supposed to make me happy at the increase, or sad that the high is still a negative number.
The ISM Index fell to 52.4 this month, from 54.1 last month, indicating a slower rate of manufacturing growth.
Construction spending came in well below expectations of a 1% increase, posting a -0.1% decline for the month, though it’s still 7.1% higher than a year ago.