So, here’s the deal. While I love doing car reviews—and I fancy that people enjoy reading them—doing them is a bit of a burden. It’s a burden either financially, because I have to rent the car for a few days, or in time and effort as I have to acquire them by…other means.
What I really need is regular access to a press fleet, and I haven’t been successful in being able to do that. So, I’m wondering, do any of you, dear readers, have any ability to help me get into the press fleet pool, or otherwise get access to review vehicles? If so, contact me at dale-at-dalefranks.com.
Chain stores—at least those that still report monthly sales results—are reporting slightly higher rates of year-over-year sales growth for September.
Initial weekly jobless claims fell 13,000 to 263,000. The 4-week average fell 3,000 to 267,500. Continuing claims rose 9,000 to 2.204 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 1.8 points to 44.8 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $2.1 billion last week, with total assets of $4.486 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-1.3 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-46.6 billion in the latest week.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 25.5% last week, with purchases up 27% and refis 24.0%. This huge jump is the result of new disclosure rules, under the TILA-RESPA regulatory change.
The Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index was unchanged in September at 32.
Consumer credit rose $16.0 billion in August, with revolving credit up $4.0 billion.
A drop in exports, combined with a surge of new iPhone imports, increased the US Trade Deficit to $-48.3 billion in August.
The Gallup Economic Confidence Index dropped another point in September, to -14.
Reebok reports that last week’s retail sales rose, but only to a weak 0.9% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 0.7%.
Gallup’s US Self-Reported Consumer Spending Measure fell slightly from $89 to $88 in September.
The PMI Services Index fell -1 to 55.1 in September.
The Fed’s Labor Market Conditions Index fell to 0.0 in September from 2.1 the previous month.
The ISM Non-Mfg Index fell -2.1 points to 56.9 in September.
This week’s finely-crafted podcast is available on the Podcast Page.
A weak 142,000 net new jobs were created in September, far below expectations. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1%. Average hourly earnings were unchanged, and average weekly hours declined -0.1 hours to 34.5 hours. The labor force participation rate fell -0.2% to 62.4% as 236,000 people left the labor force. The labor force participation rate is the lowest since October, 1977, continuing the decline in the labor force that began in 2000.
This decline is why I no longer calculate the unemployment rate using pre-crisis average LFPR. We no longer know what the “correct” LFPR is, or should be.
Factory Orders declined -1.7% in August, with non-durables down -1.1% and durable goods down -2.3%. Core capital goods fell -0.8%. This is a very weak report all around.
September motor vehicle sales surged 2.3% to a far better than expected 18.2 million annual rate.
Challenger reports that announced layoffs reached 58,887 in September, and the YTD number of 493,431 is now higher than all of last year.
The PMI manufacturing index was 53.1 in September, little changed from August.
The ISM Manufacturing index dropped -0.9 points to a barely positive 50.2, the lowest reading since May, 2013.
Construction spending rose 0.7% in August, and is up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis.
Gallup’s US Payroll to Population rate was unchanged in September at 45.3%.
Initial weekly jobless claims rose 10,000 to 277,000. The 4-week average fell 1,000 to 270,750. Continuing claims fell 23,000 to 2.219 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 1.1 points to 43.0 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-13.4 billion last week, with total assets of $4.484 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-8.5 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $34.0 billion in the latest week.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -6.7% last week, with purchases down -6.0% and refis down -8.0%.
ADP reports an estimate of 200,000 net new private-sector jobs for September.
The Chicago PMI dropped -5.7 points to 48.7. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction. This is a volatile indicator, however, it is often seen as a predictor of the national PMI, which is due out tomorrow.