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Dale Franks

Dale Franks’ QandO posts

Economic Statistics for 18 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases, or rather release, since there’s only one, the Index of leading indicators.  Which actually looks pretty good this month, up 0.9%. There’s only one negative element for the month: vendor deliveries are showing slightly fewer delays, which pretty minor. The report indicates that the risk of a downturn or recession is receding. That’s good news.

Or, would be, if Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal weren’t ready to go belly up in default, destroy the Euro, trash global banking, and plunge the world into a Second Great Depression.

But, you take the good with the bad, right?

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 17 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

Initial jobless claims continue to improve slowly, dropping 2,000 this week to 388,000.

Housing starts stayed fairly steady, though off a bit at a 628,000 annual rate. Housing starts, however, jumped to 653,000, a positive sign for future construction.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index for the week improved to -50 from the last week’s -51.6.

The Philadelphia Fed Survey shows growth slowed in the Atlantic region, falling from 8.7 to 3.6.

E-Commerce sales rose 1.9%, following the 2nd quarter’s increase of 2.6%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 16 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

Like the PPI yesterday, the CPI softened last month, down -0.1%, and up 3.6% year over year. The core rate rose 0.1% last month and 2.1% last year.

The Mortgage Banker’s Association reports that mortgage application dropped sharply in the latest week, down -12.2%.

Industrial production was up sharply, rising 0.7% last month, while capacity utilization rate rose to 77.8% in the nation’s factories.

The Housing Market Index rose to 20, the 3rd consecutive 3-point jump, and the highest reading in 18 months.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 15 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

A decline in energy prices resulted in a -0.3% drop in producer prices, with the core rate, which excludes food and energy, remaining unchanged last month. On a year-over-year basis, producer prices have risen 6.1%, with the core rate rising 2.8%.

Retail sales activity continued to increase in October, rising 0.5% overall, and 0.3% excluding auto sales.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey edged back into positive territory for the first time since May, rising from -8.48 to 0.61. The six-month outlook is strengthening, with predictions of growth in new orders, which should, if it materializes, result in increased hiring as well.

Finally, in the two weekly retail sales reports, Redbook reports pre-Thanksgiving promotions helped boost store sales by 3.3%. ICSC-Goldman says sales rose 0.3% last week, up 3.21% from the year before.

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Dale Franks
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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 13 Oct 11

In this podcast, Bruce Michael, and Dale discuss Obama’s “Americans are lazy” comment, the failing EU. and the presidential race.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

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.

Cooking With the Troops

Cooking With the Troops is a 501(c)(3) charity that supports U.S. and Allied troops, their families, and caregivers worldwide. We’re helping them by taking part in their national sponsorship drive, which begins today. Among other things, I produced this video for them:

In brief, CWTT has four major programs to help our troops and their families.

Food Events provide a culinary change of pace — particularly for the wounded, injured, and ill — to help morale, and remind those taking part that their service and sacrifice is appreciated. Educational components are added where possible to add to the effectiveness of the events.

Culinary Career Transition helps those interested in culinary careers — particularly those that have to leave service because of their injuries — explore options and find the right career choice as well as the best investment of their educational benefits to reach that goal.

Homefront Support focuses on teaching how to do good food fast rather than fast food via fun events that cover food safety basics, cooking basics, nutrition, and more.

Frontline Support works to get the best possible culinary and nutritional care packages to the troops, and to make it possible for those at home to learn about life and nutrition at the front even as ways are found to do Food Events as close to the front as possible.

To do this, they need your help. Please click on the sponsorship banner on the sidebar to go to their donation page. Or simply click here.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 10 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

The trade deficit improved last month, falling to -$43.1 billion. Sadly, the improvement comes largely from gold purchases, which isn’t a sign of confidence or hope. It’s a sign of a panicked flight to safety, based on a growing financial terror about the Euro Zone. Yesterday, Barclay’s came out and said (PDF) what everyone has been fearing: Italy is going to default on its debt, and no amount of economic reform will stop it.  Bye-bye, Euro.  Also yesterday, as I predicted, the French and Germans are now discussing  a "core" Euro zone, which would consist of…France and Germany. If Italy goes down, there’s simply no way to wall off the resulting bank failures, credit tightening, and economic contraction that will result from the evaporation of those assets. Presumably, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland will auger in shortly after Italy does, as their debt becomes impossible to service in the resulting Italian contraction. Yet, somehow, the failures of this model of political-economic policy seem lost on American policymakers.

Initial jobless claims continue to edge down, coming in at 390,000 this week. Last week’s claims were revised upwards by 3,000 to 400,000.

Export prices fell -2.1% last month, while import prices dropped -0.6%. On a year-over-year basis, export prices are up 6.3%, and import prices are up 11%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index edged up slightly last week, though it remains near historic lows at 51.6.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 8 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index came roaring back this month rising 1.3 points to a still depressed 90.2.

In the weekly retail sales numbers, ICSC-Goldman reports same-store sales rose 1%, though the year-on-year rate dropped to 2.7%. Redbook, meanwhile, says year-on-year sales slowed significantly to 3.1%.

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Dale Franks
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Admin Note

There are no economic stats being released today, hence the lack of a post about same. In fact, it’s a bit of a lame week for economic stats. Not much happening other than the standard weekly reports.

Meanwhile, here at QandO, I’ve implemented a new commenting system called Livefyre. I learned about it Saturday at BlogWorld Expo, and it has a lot of neat features, foremost of which is that it directly ties the blog comments to Facebook, Twitter, and, soon, Google Plus. It also allows you to sort the comments by date, post directly to your social media account, has a much more effective conversation threading model, and a host of other little improvements to the WordPress basic commenting functionality. Enjoy.

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Dale Franks
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