Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks

Dale Franks’ QandO posts

Observations: The QandO Podcast for 10 Feb 13

This week, Bruce Michael, and Dale discuss drone strikes and the media.

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.

Economic Statistics for 8 Feb 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Wholesale inventories fell -0.1% in December, while wholesale sales were unchanged, keeping the stock-to-sales ratio steady at 1.19.

The US trade gap narrowed in December, falling to -$38.5 billion, largely due to a big drop in iPhone imports, and increased exports. Exports rose 2.1%, while imports dropped -2.7%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 7 Feb 13

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

Initial jobless claims fell 5,000 to 366,000, while the 4-week average fell 2,250 to 350,500. Continuing claims rose 8,000 to 3.224 million.

Monthly chain store sales are being reported today, with a generally positive trend, and some chains with very strong results. The signs are pointing to a 0.5% overall increase in ex-auto, ex-gas sales for the government’s retails sales report for January.

Non-farm business productivity fell a greater than expected -2.0% in the 4th quarter of 2012, while unit labor costs rose 4.5%. Business output declined to a 0.1% annualized rate from Q3’s 4.7%, while hours worked rose 2.2$. Unit labor costs were boosted by a 2.4% increase in compensation costs. Overall, this is a very disappointing report.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose almost a point to -36.3 in the latest week.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 5 Feb 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index fell 0.9 points to 55.2. There were signs of strength in the report, however, with the employment index rising 2.2 points to 57.5, the highest monthly jump in 7 years.

In weekly retail sales, ICSC-Goldman Store Sales rose 2.4% for the week, and up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis, but the 4-week average is still below trend. Redbook reports a very soft 1.5% year-over-year sales increase. Both reports indicate January retail sales are weak.

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Dale Franks
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No podcast this week

Apparently Bruce and Michael prefer to watch the Superbowl, our nation’s annual celebration of Communism, than do a podcast that may help spread the word about individual liberty.

Meanwhile, in baseball, the only truly American game, pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in 8 days.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 1 Feb 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

It was another lackluster jobs report. Non-farm payrolls increased by 157,000 net new jobs in January. Average weekly hours were unchanged at 34.4, while average hourly earnings rose $0.04 to $23.78. The unemployment rate rose a tick to 7.9%. The labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 63.6%. The number of persons reporting themselves to be unemployed rose by 126,000 to 12,332. Those not in the labor force rose 169,000 to 89.008 million. The U-6 unemployment rate, the broadest gauge of unemployment the BLS produces, remained steady at 14.4%. Calculating the unemployment rate at the historical average of labor force participation, gives a real unemployment rate of 11.5%, up 0.1% from December.

The Reuters/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index for January rose 2.5 points to 73.8.

The final PMI Manufacturing Index for January rose 1.8 points to 55.8.

The ISM manufacturing index continued to move into positive territory, up 2.4 points to 53.1 in January.

Construction spending jumped 0.9% in December, and is up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis.

Car manufacturers are reporting monthly sales for January today. Ford, GM, and Chrysler all saw double-digit sales increases. GM: 15.9%, Ford: 22%, Chrysler: 16%. Other sales results today saw Volkswagen with a 7% increase, and Toyota with 27%. Overall, automakers are on track to sell 15 million to 15.5 million vehicles this year.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 31 Jan 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index continued its decline, falling to -37.5 this week. The index has lost 5.7 points so far this year.

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index rose to 55.6 for January, on increases in new orders and production.

The Employment Cost Index rose 0.5% in the 1st Quarter, while the year-over-year increase was 1.9%, as wage inflation remains restrained.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report shows a total of 40,430 announced layoffs for January.

Initial jobless claims rose 38,000 to 360,000 last week, erasing last week’s sharp decline. The 4-week average fell 7,000 to 352,000. Continuing claims rose 22,000 to 3.197 million.

Personal income rose a sharp 2.6% in December, while consumer spending rose 0.2%. The PCE Price index, an inflation measure, was unchanged at both the headline and core levels. On a year-over-year basis, personal income rose 6.9%, while spending rose 3.6%. The PCE price index rose 1.3%, with a core rate increase of 1.4%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 30 Jan 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

The Commerce Department reports that 4th Quarter GDP came in well below expectations, declining -0.1%. The GDP Price Index, an inflation measure, rose 0.6%. Government purchases fell by 6.6%, leading the decline, but the rest of the report is generally more sluggish than in the 3rd quarter, with final sales of domestic product rising only 1.1%, versus 2.4% in the 3rd quarter.

MBA Purchase applications fell -8.1% last week, with mortgages down -2.0% and re-fis down -10.0%.

ADP estimates a gain of 192,000 private payroll jobs in December.

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Dale Franks
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