Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks

Dale Franks’ QandO posts

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Economic Statistics for 21 May 15

Existing home sales fell -3.3 % in April to a worse-than-expected 5.04 million annual rate, as weakness continues in the housing sector.

The Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey fell -0.8 points in May to 6.7.

The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators jumped 0.7% in April, mainly on increases in building permits. Oddly, the jump in permits hasn’t yet shown up as strength in the constructions sector.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index fell -8 points in May to a deeply negative -13.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index improved from -0.42 in March to a still-negative -0.15 in April.

May’s flash reading for the PMI manufacturing index fell -0.4 points to a 16-month low of 53.8.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 10,000 to 274,000. The 4-week average fell 5,500 to 266,250. Continuing claims fell 12,000 to 2.211 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index slipped -1.1 points in the May 17 week to 42.4.

The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-20.8 billion last week, with total assets of $4.480 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $4.0 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $22.8 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 19 May 15

The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index fell -2 points in May to 54.

April housing starts soared 20.2% to a much better than expected 1.135 million annual rate, while permits were 1.143 million.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales softened to 1.8% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s already-soft 2.1%.


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Economic Statistics for 15 May 15

The Empire State Manufacturing survey for May pulled out of negative territory, but only to a soft 3.09 from -1.19.

Industrial production fell for the 5th straight month in April, down -0.3%, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factory’s fell -0.2% to 78.2.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index plunged from 95.9 to 88.6 in May.

E-Commerce retail sales rose 3.5% in the 1st Quarter of 2015, with year-on-year growth of 14.5%.

Foreign demand for long-term US securities rose $17.6 billion in March. China reclaimed the top spot from Japan as holders of US bonds.


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Economic Statistics for 14 May 15

Initial weekly jobless claims fell 1,000 to 264,000. The 4-week average fell 7,750 to 271,750. Continuing claims were unchanged at 2.229 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -0.2 points to 43.5 in the latest week.

Producer Prices for Final Demand fell -0.4% in April. PPI-FD less food and energy fell -0.2%, but rose 0.1% less food, energy and trade services. Goods prices fell -0.7%, and Services prices fell -0.1%. On a year over year basis:

PPI-FD: -1.3%
Less Food and Energy: 0.8%
Less Food, Energy, Trade Services: 0.7%
Goods: -5.5%
Services: 0.9%

 The Fed’s balance sheet rose $28.5 billion last week, with total assets of $4.501 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $6.3 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $27.6 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 13 May 15

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -3.5% last week, with purchases down -0.2% and refis down -6.0%.

Retail sales were unchanged in April, while sales less autos rose 0.1% and sales less auto and gas were up 0.2%. All of these numbers were, obviously, below expectations.

April export prices fell -0.6%, while import prices fell -0.3%. On a year-over-year basis, prices are down -6.3% for exports, and -10.7% for imports.

The Atlanta Fed’s Business Inflation Expectations survey shows yearly inflation expected at 1.9% in May, up from 1.7% in April.

Business Inventories rose 0.1% in March, while a 0.4% increase in sales lowered the stock-to-sales ratio a tick to 1.37.


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Economic Statistics for 12 May 15

The Fed’s Labor Market Conditions Index fell from -0.3 to -1.9 in April, remaining in negative territory for two consecutive months.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose to a better, but still-soft 2.1% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.6%.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose solidly in April, up 1.7 points to a higher-than-expected 96.9.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) softened unexpectedly to 4.994 million in March from 5.133 million in February.

The Treasury’s budget for April showed a higher-than-expected surplus of $156.7 billion. Individual income taxes are up a year-on-year 12.9%. Corporate taxes, which make up only 9.3% of receipts, are up 11.8%. Total receipts are up 8.9%. Spending, meanwhile, increased 6.4%, led by an 8.2% increase in Medicare. Defense spending is down 3.0% from last year.


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