Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks

Dale Franks’ QandO posts

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Economic Statistics for 1 May 15

April motor vehicle sales fell -4.1% from a strong March, to still fairly robust 16.5 million annual rate.

The Markit PMI manufacturing index for April fell -1.6 points to 54.1 in April.

Weakness in the employment component held the ISM manufacturing index unchanged for April at 51.5.

The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index was unchanged in April at 95.9.

March construction spending dropped -0.6% against expectations of an increase of 0.4%, showing basic weakness in the construction sector. 


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Economic Statistics for 30 Apr 15

Personal income was unchanged in March, while personal spending rose 0.4%. The PCE Price index rose 0.2% overall and 0.1% at the core. On a year-over-year basis, income is up 3.8% while spending is up 3.0%. The PCE Price Index is up 0.3% overall, but up 1.4% when food and energy is excluded, the so-called core rate.

The Employment Cost Index rose 0.7% in the 1st Quarter of 2015. On a year-ago basis, employment costs have risen 2.6%.

The Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index jumped from 46.3 to 52.3 in April. It’s worth noting, though, that this is a volatile index.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined for the 3rd straight week, from 45.2 to 44.7 in the latest week.

Initial weekly jobless claims fell 34,000 to 262,000. The 4-week average fell 1,250 to 283,750. Continuing claims fell 74,000 to 2.253  million. This weeks number of claims was the lowest since April of 2000.

The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-18.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.472 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-3.2 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-1.9 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 29 Apr 15

The initial GDP estimate for the 1st Quarter of 2015 was for 0.2% annualized growth, down from an unrevised 2.2% in the 4th Quarter of 2014. The GDP Price index fell -0.1% for the quarter. Exports were a drag on GDP as a strong dollar is inhibiting foreign demand. Business spending (nonresidential fixed investment) contracted in the quarter, while personal spending (personal consumption expenditures) slowed abruptly. Lower demand also caused an unwanted upswing in inventories.

The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index rose 1.1% in March to 108.6.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -2.3% last week, with purchases unchanged, but refis down -4.0%.

The Federal Open Markets Committee left interest rates unchanged today, with a Fed Funds target rate of 0%-0.25%. The FOMC’s statement says growth has “slowed” since the committee last met in March, but view the slowing as temporary, saying that economic activity will expand at a “moderate” pace.


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Economic Statistics for 28 Apr 15

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose to a still-soft 1.4% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 0.8%.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose 0.9% in February, and is up 5.0% from a year ago.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell from 101.3 to a much lower than expected 95.2 in April.

The Richmond Fed manufacturing index rose 5 points to a still-negative -3 in April.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index fell -5.2 points in April, but remains strong at 114.3.


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Economic Statistics for 23 Apr 15

Coming after yesterday’s strong existing home sales, new home sales for March were very disappointing, falling sharply by -11.4% to a 481,000 annual rate.

The Markit PMI manufacturing index flash for April fell -1.1 points to 54.2.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.2 points to 45.4 in the latest week.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 1,000 to 295,000. The 4-week average rose 1,750 to 284,500. Continuing claims rose 50,000 to 2.325 million.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $4.3 billion last week, with total assets of $4.490 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-1.4 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-40.6 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 22 Apr 15

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 2.3% last week, with purchases up 5.0% and refis up 1.0%.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index rose 0.7% in February, and is up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis.

Existing home sales surged 6.1% in March to a 5.190 million annual rate. On a year-over-year basis, sales are up 10.4%.


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