Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks

Dale Franks’ QandO posts

Economic Statistics for 19 Mar 13

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

Housing starts rose a bit in February, to a 0.917 million annual rate, while building permits rose sharply to a 0.954 million rate.

In weekly retail sales, ICSC Goldman reports a 1.4% weekly sales increase, and a 2.3% year-on-year increase. Meanwhile, Redbook says sales rose a moderate 2.9% on a year-ago basis.

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Dale Franks
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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 17 Mar 13

This week, Bruce, Michael and Dale discuss the moral case for capitalism and CPAC & the future of conservatism.

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 15 Mar 13

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

The CPI jumped 0.7% in February, while the core rate, ex-food and -energy, rose 0.2%. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is up 2.0% at both the headline and core rates.

Industrial production rose a sharp 0.7% in February, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories rose 0.5% to 79.6%.

The Consumer Sentiment Index plunged to 71.8 for March from last month’s 77.6.

Foreign investment in US securities slowed to a net $25.7 billion in January, down from $64.2 billion in December.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell 0.8 points to 9.24 in March. Readings above 0 are generally positive.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 14 Mar 13

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

Initial jobless claims fell 10,000 to 332,000. The 4-week average fell 2,750 to 346,750, while continuing claims fell 89,000 3.024 million. The 4-week average and continuing claims are now at a recovery low.

The Producer Price Index rose 0.7% in February, while the core PPI, ex-food and –energy, rose 0.2%. On a year-over-year basis the PPI is up 1.8%, while the core rate is up 1.7%.

The nation’s current account deficit for the fourth quarter was a less-than-expected $110.4 billion.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.8 points to -31.6 in the latest week.

For the March 13 week, the Fed’s assets rose $56.6 billion, with the Fed’s balance sheet now totaling $3.167 trillion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $6.6 billion in the latest week.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 13 Mar 13

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

February retail sales surged a strong 1.1%, with sales ex-autos up 1.0, and sales ex-gas and autos up 0.4%.

Oil prices caused a 1.1% surge in February import prices, while export prices rose 0.8%. On a year-over-year basis, export prices rose 1.5% while import prices fell -0.3%.

Business inventories rose an unexpected 1.0% in January, driving the stock to sales ratio up to 2.9, the highest of the recovery.

The MBA Reports mortgage applications fell -4.7% last week, with purchases down -3.0% and re-fis down -5.0%.

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Dale Franks
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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 10 Mar 13

This week, Michael and Dale discuss the Rand Paul filibuster, The death of Hugo Chavez, and North Korea’s saber-rattling.

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 Mar 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Nonfarm payrolls surged to 236,000 net new jobs in February, as the unemployment rate fell to 7.7%. The average workweek rose slightly, to 34.5 hours, while average hourly earnings rose 0.2% to $23.82. Still, there are caveats. The civilian labor force continued to decline, as another 130,000 left the labor force, bringing the labor force participation rate down to 63.5, matching the low of August 2012 and the lowest since September, 1981. The U-6 unemployment rate, the Labor Department’s broadest measure of unemployment, fell a tick from 14.4% to 14.3%. Meanwhile, using the average labor force participation rate prior to the recession, real unemployment measures 11.47%, down very slightly from January’s 11.51%. While this month’s surge in employment is welcome, declining labor force participation still points to a lackluster jobs market.

Wholesale inventories rose 1.2% in January, while wholesale sales fell -0.8%, driving the stock-to-sales ratio up to 1.21, the highest reading since October.

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Dale Franks
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