Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks

Dale Franks’ QandO posts

Economic Statistics for 26 Feb 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

New home sales in January rose 15.6% to an annualized 437,000 in January, though large seasonal factors may exaggerate the winter months. Monthly supply dipped to 4.9 months from 5.6 months in December, as supplies constrain sales.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose a steep 10 points in February, to a better than expected 69.6.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose a strong 0.9% in December, and is up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. Similarly, the FHFA House Price Index rose 0.6% in December, and is up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis.

In weekly retail sales, Redbook is reporting a respectable 2.7% year-over-year sales growth. ICSC-Goldman Store Sales are up only 0/1% from last week, but up 2.9% from last year.

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Economic Statistics for 21 Feb 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

Consumer prices were unchanged in January, but the core CPI (ex-food and energy) rose 0.3%. On a year-over-year basis the CPI is up 1.6%, and the core CPI is up 1.9%.

The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators rose 0.2% in January, though the consumer expectations component is still depressed.

The Philadelphia Fed survey fell from -5.8 to a worse than expected -12.5 for February, as mid-Atlantic regional business conditions worsened.

Initial jobless claims surged by 20,000 to 362,000 last week. The 4-week average rose 8,000 to 360.750, and continuing claims rose 11,000 to 3.148 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to -33.4, the highest level of the year so far.

Existing home sales rose slightly, up 0.4% to an annual rate of 4.92 million. Sales are up 9.1% on a year-ago basis.

The PMI Manufacturing Index Flash fell -0.3 points to 55.2, though this is still firmly in positive territory.

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Economic Statistics for 20 Feb 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

Producer prices rose 0.2% in January, at both the headline and core level. Year over year, the PPI rose 1.4% and was up 1.8% ex-food and energy.

The MBA reports mortgage applications fell again, down -1.7% with both purchases and re-fis down -2.0%.

Housing starts were less than expected at a 0.89 million annual rate in January. Permits, however, rose to a 0.925 million annual rate.

ICSC-Goldman reports retail sales rose 2.7% from last week, and only 1.8% from last year. Redbook, however, reports a 3.1% annual increase.

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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 17 Feb 13

This week, Bruce Michael, and Dale discuss the state of the union. The actual one, not the fantasy one Obama outlined in his speech.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.


As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.

Economic Statistics for 15 Feb 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

Industrial production fell -0.1% in January, while capacity utilization dropped -0.2% to 79.1%.

The Empire State Mfg Survey jumped 18 points to 10.04, the first positive reading since July.

December’s net inflow of long-term US securities is a sizable $64.2 billion. Foreign buying of equities was especially strong.

Consumer sentiment rose 2.5 points to 76.3 in February’s mid-month reading.

Fourth quarter e-commerce sales rose 4.4% from the 3rd quarter. E-commerce made up a record 5.4% of all retail sales.

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Economic Statistics for 14 Feb 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

Initial jobless claims fell 27,000 to 341,00, and the 4-week average stands at 352,500, down 10,000 from last month. Continuing claims fell 130,000 to 3.187 million. The unemployment rate among insured works has dropped to a recovery low of 2.4%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped slightly to -35.9, staying inside the 3.1 point band it’s occupied since the start of the year.

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Economic Statistics for 13 Feb 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

January retail sales rose only 0.1%. Sales ex-autos rose 0.2%, as did sales ex-autos and ex-gas.

Business inventories rose 0.1% in December, but a slightly higher rate of business sales brings the stock-to-sales ratio down a tick to 1.278.

Import prices jumped 0.6% in January on higher energy prices, but were down -1.3% from last year. Export prices rose 0.3% in January, up 1.1% from last year.

The MBA reports mortgage applications fell -6.4% in the latest week, with purchases down -10.0%, and re-fis down -6.0%.

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2013 SOTU Liveblog

Well, I was gonna try and liveblog this via a service like CoverItLive, but that’s no longer free, and the free ones only allow a very small number of monthly views. So, I guess I have to step back into the past and liveblog it Old Skool. You’ll need to refresh the page regularly, if you’re following along.

I hope CoverItLive fails spectacularly.

So, this is the night when the president turns his full focus on jobs. Again. For the 5th time.

18:10 OK, the King is entering the House of Commons.

18:13 One of the best improvements to politics I can think of would be for the president to transmit a written SOTU to Congress. If nothing else, it would deprive Sheila Jackson-Lee of her photo op.

18:16 If I was Obama, I wouldn’t start off by talking about the Constitution.

18:18 We have cleared away the rubble of crisis. Not true. You’re still president.

18:19 Obama talks about revitalizing the economy, as if his policies weren’t an obstacle to that.

18:22 I guess Obama was for the sequester before he was against it.

18:23 I think it’s precious that Obama talks as if Social Security was remotely sustainable in its current form.

18:24 "Everyone must pay their fair share," especially the rich, those greedy, bloated, plutocratic bastards.

18:24 Obama wants "bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform" that leaves the system of income taxation essentially unchanged. Like Social Security. Our entire political class lives in the past, and they don’t even seem to know it.

18:30 Obama is pushing 3D printing. That’s a really good idea. In a couple of years, home 3D printers will make great guns.

18:31 "Nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime." And yet, somehow, they will.

18:34 I can not believe this guy is implicitly taking credit for energy production increases done in SPITE of, bet because of, his policies.

18:36 We can choose to believe humans cause climate change. Or we can believe that it has something to do with the thermonuclear furnace in the sky. As a great number of scientists believe, since he’s all giddy about science.

18:37 Man, this guy loves executive orders.

18:39 "I’m proposing a partnership with the private sector," because there just isn’t enough crony capitalism yet.

18:41 Let’s help people buy more homes. Like we did, you know, before 2008, with the Community Reinvestment Act.

18:42 Preschool for every child in America. Why not puppies, too? Better yet, why not let the states take care of this?

18:44 German kids are ready for a job when they graduate high school. Because Germany doesn’t have the NEA, resisting every possible education reform. I’d be satisfied if high schools graduated students who were literate.

18:46 Every kid shouldn’t go to college. Not all the baby turtles make it to the ocean.

18:46 "Putting more boots on the southern border." Right. Just let Canadians come in willy-nilly. Maple lover.

18:49 The Violence Against Women Act is an anathema. The Federal Government has no general police power.

18:51 "No one who works should live in poverty!" Raise the minimum wage and fewer poor people will work. Hey, why stop at $9 an hour? Make it $100, and we’ll all be farting through silk.

18:54 We will have stronger families, stronger communities, and a stronger America, by ensuring the government takes and spends more of their money.

18:54 "By the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over." And by the end of the next year, the Taliban will be back in charge.

18:56 Al-Qaeda is dead! Yay!

18:58 "The leaders of Iran should know that now is the time for a diplomatic solution." That’ll have ’em quaking in their boots.

19:00 "We should remember that today’s world presents not only dangers, but opportunities." Not just pain, but joy. Also, blinding glimpses of the obvious.

19:03 So, far this administration’s batting average on change in the Mideast isn’t very good.

19:04 "We will maintain the best military in the world!" But a smaller, less capable one than we used to have.

19:06 Wait, long lines at polling places are a violation of fundamental rights? Umm, the right not to be inconvenienced by queues?

19:08 "What I’ve said tonight matters little." That would’ve been the perfect place to stop.

19:09 So. Gun control. roll out the dead kids. Never mind that murders have declined by half since 1991. Guns are bad.

19:11 "The victims deserve a vote" on gun control! No. They don’t. NO ONE DESERVES A VOTE ON MY RIGHTS.

19:14 So, why hasn’t this little black lady voted since 1964? Am I missing something?

19:15 "The word ‘citizens’ describes what we believe." Really? ‘Cause clearly you believe in a lot of things I don’t.

Well, basically it was the same tired crap he’s pushed for the last 4 years. Government is the market. Rich people owe us stuff. Blah, blah, blah. Thank God it was shorter than I feared.

I can’t believe this dolt is president. But, I guess the libs thought that about Bush, so we’re even.

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