Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks

Dale Franks’ QandO posts

Economic Statistics for 16 Mar 16

The Consumer Price Index fell -0.2%, but prices less food and energy rose 0.3%. On a year-over-year basis, prices are up 1.0% overall, and 2.3% at the core.

Housing starts rose 5.2% to a 1.178 million annualized rate while permits dropped -3.1% to 1.167 million.

Industrial production fell -0.5% in February, as capacity utilization in the nation’s factories fell -4.0% to 76.7%.

The Federal Open Markets Committee left short-term interest rates unchanged, with a Fed Funds target rate of 0.25%-0.50%.

The Federal Open Markets Committee projected today that annual GDP growth will not exceed 2.3% for the foreseeable future.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -3.3% last week, with purchases up 0.3% and refis down -6.0%.

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Economic Statistics for 15 Mar 16

Producer Prices for Final Demand fell -0.2% in February, were unchanged less food and energy, and up 0.1% less food, energy, and trade services. On a Year-over-year basis, prices were unchanged overall, up 1.2% less food and energy, and up 0.9% less food, energy, and trade services.

Retail sales fell -0.1% in February, both at the headline level, and less autos. Sales less autos and gas rose 0.3%.

After 7 months of contraction, the Empire State Manufacturing survey rose from -16.64 to 0.62 in March.

Business inventories rose an unwanted 0.1% in January, while a -0.4% drop in sales drove the stock to sales ratio to a hefty 1.40, the highest since May 2009.

The Housing Market Index was unchanged at 58 in March.

Foreign Demand for Long-Term U.S. Securities fell -12.0 billion in January, mainly on sales of US Treasuries.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales fell to 0.6% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 0.7%. Sales remain weak.

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Economic Statistics for 10 Mar 16

Information revenue in the 4th Quarter of 2015 rose 1.8%, compared to the revised 0.7% in the 3rd Quarter.

The US Treasury reported a budget deficit of $-192.6 billion in February. The deficit is up 8.7% overall in 2016 compared to February 2015.

Initial weekly jobless claims fell 18,000 to 259,000. The 4-week average fell 2,500 to 267,500. Continuing claims fell 32,000 to 2.225 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.2 points to 43.8 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $2.6 billion last week, with total assets of $4.481 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-0.9 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $14.0 billion in the latest week.

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Economic Statistics for 4 Mar 16

A -2.1% decline in exports outpaced a -1.3% drop in imports to increase January’s trade deficit to $-45.7 billion.

242,000 net new jobs were created in February, as the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9%. The labor participation rate rose to 62.9%. On the negative side, however, average hourly earnings fell -0.1%, as did the average work week, down -0.2 hours to 34.4 hours. The U-6 unemployment rate, the broadest measure of underemployment, fell -0.2% to 9.7%.

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