Dale Franks’ QandO posts
The Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell to 7.78 in February from January’s 9.95.
The NAHB housing market index fell -2 points in February to 55.
E-Commerce sales from the 4th Quarter of 2014 fell to 2.3%, down from 3.6% in the 3rd Quarter. Year-on-year, sales are up 14.6%, while e-commerce sales to 0.1% to account for 6.7% of all retail sales.
This week’s extension of the Ace of Spades HQ podcast is up on the Podcast page.
January export prices fell -2.0%, while import prices fell -2.8%, fueled mainly be falling oil prices, and stoking deflation fears. On a year-over-year basis, export prices are down -5.4% while import prices have declined -8.0%.
The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell -4.5 points to 93.6 in February.
Initial weekly jobless claims rose 25,000 to 304,000. The 4-week average fell 3,000 to 289,750. Continuing claims fell 51,000 to 2.354 million.
Retail sales fell -0.8% overall in January, while sales less autos fell -0.8%, and sales less autos and gas rose 0.2%.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.2 points to 44.3 in the latest week.
Business inventories rose only 0.1% in December, but business sales fell a very sharp -0.9%. The stock-to-sales ratio jumped to a troubling 1.33, the highest since July 2009.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $1.4 billion last week, with total assets of $4.502 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $0.9 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply jumped by $71.6 billion in the latest week.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -9.0% last week, with purchases down -7.0% and refis down 10.0%.
The US Treasury reports that the January budget deficit was $-17.5 billion, which is 6.2% higher than a year ago. In January, receipts rose 8.7%, while spending rose 8.3%. For the US Government’s fiscal year so far, the total deficit now stands at $-194.2 billion vs. $-182.8 billion a year ago.
Redbook reports retail sales slowed substantially last week, to 2.1% on a year-ago basis, from last week’s 3.8%.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell from December’s very strong 100.4 to a respectable 97.9 in January.
Wholesale inventories rose 0.1% in December, while a -0.4% drop in sales pushed the stock-to-sales ratio up to 1.22, the highest since 2009.
Go to the Podcast page immediately to hear our in-depth discussion of French politics!
The Labor Department reports that 257,000 net new jobs were created in January, while the unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 5.7%. In addition, December’s jobs gain was revised sharply upwards from 252,000 to 329,000. The labor force participation rate rose 0.2% to 62.9% as 1,051,000 workers returned to the labor force, which accounts also for the increase in the unemployment rate. Average hourly earnings rose 0.5%, while average weekly hours remained unchanged at 34.6 hours. The real rate of unemployment, based on the historical labor force participation rate of 66.2%, fell slightly to 10.35% from 10.56% in December.
Consumer credit rose $14.8 billion in December, helped by a big $5.8 billion jump in revolving credit.
Chain stores today are reporting mostly stronger rates of year-on-year sales growth in January vs December.
Challenger’s layoff count for January jumped to 53,041 from 32,640 in December. Troublingly, 40% of layoffs are in the energy sector.
Gallup’s US Payroll to Population rate fell -0.2% to 44.1%. Gallup estimates unemployment at 7.1%, and underemployment at 15.8%.
The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened in December, from $-39.0 billion to $-46.6 billion as exports fell -1.1% and imports rose 2.2%.
Initial weekly jobless claims rose 11,000 to 278,000. The 4-week average fell 6,500 to 292,750. Continuing claims rose 6,000 to 2.400 million.
The initial estimate of non-farm productivity for the 4th Quarter of 2014 is for a decline of -1.8%, while unit labor costs increased 2.7%.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.8 points to a still healthy 45.5 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $0.3 billion last week, with total assets of $4.500 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-7.3 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $67.5 billion in the latest week.
6,500 in the week to 292,750