Dale Franks’ QandO posts
On the podcast page. Our culture is weak and sick. Thankfully, there are still some fun cars out there.
The Empire State Manufacturing survey for May pulled out of negative territory, but only to a soft 3.09 from -1.19.
Industrial production fell for the 5th straight month in April, down -0.3%, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factory’s fell -0.2% to 78.2.
The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index plunged from 95.9 to 88.6 in May.
E-Commerce retail sales rose 3.5% in the 1st Quarter of 2015, with year-on-year growth of 14.5%.
Foreign demand for long-term US securities rose $17.6 billion in March. China reclaimed the top spot from Japan as holders of US bonds.
Initial weekly jobless claims fell 1,000 to 264,000. The 4-week average fell 7,750 to 271,750. Continuing claims were unchanged at 2.229 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -0.2 points to 43.5 in the latest week.
Producer Prices for Final Demand fell -0.4% in April. PPI-FD less food and energy fell -0.2%, but rose 0.1% less food, energy and trade services. Goods prices fell -0.7%, and Services prices fell -0.1%. On a year over year basis:
Less Food and Energy: 0.8%
Less Food, Energy, Trade Services: 0.7%
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $28.5 billion last week, with total assets of $4.501 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $6.3 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $27.6 billion in the latest week.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -3.5% last week, with purchases down -0.2% and refis down -6.0%.
Retail sales were unchanged in April, while sales less autos rose 0.1% and sales less auto and gas were up 0.2%. All of these numbers were, obviously, below expectations.
April export prices fell -0.6%, while import prices fell -0.3%. On a year-over-year basis, prices are down -6.3% for exports, and -10.7% for imports.
The Atlanta Fed’s Business Inflation Expectations survey shows yearly inflation expected at 1.9% in May, up from 1.7% in April.
Business Inventories rose 0.1% in March, while a 0.4% increase in sales lowered the stock-to-sales ratio a tick to 1.37.
The Fed’s Labor Market Conditions Index fell from -0.3 to -1.9 in April, remaining in negative territory for two consecutive months.
Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose to a better, but still-soft 2.1% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.6%.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose solidly in April, up 1.7 points to a higher-than-expected 96.9.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) softened unexpectedly to 4.994 million in March from 5.133 million in February.
The Treasury’s budget for April showed a higher-than-expected surplus of $156.7 billion. Individual income taxes are up a year-on-year 12.9%. Corporate taxes, which make up only 9.3% of receipts, are up 11.8%. Total receipts are up 8.9%. Spending, meanwhile, increased 6.4%, led by an 8.2% increase in Medicare. Defense spending is down 3.0% from last year.
This week’s podcast is up at the podcast page.
In post-Constitutional America, we’ll be required to be ever so nice to each other.
Wholesale inventories rose 0.1%, but a -0.2% drop is sales leaves the stock-to-sales ratio at a chubby 1.30.
The March Employment Situation shows 223,000 net new jobs created, with the unemployment rate dropping -0.1% to 5.4%. Labor force participation rose a tick to 62.8%, which is still at 1978 levels. Average hourly earnings rose just 0.1%, while the average workweek is unchanged at 34.5 hours. The already weak February report was revised sharply downwards to 85,000 net new jobs from the already weak initial report of 126,000.
Chain stores reported generally lower year-on-year rates of sales growth for April, mainly due to the early Easter this year.
Price weakness in the oil sector led the big jump in Challenger’s April layoffs report, which jumped to 61,582. A third of those layoff came from the oil sector.Today’s number is a huge increase from March’s 36,594.
Gallup’s US Payroll to Population unemployment index fell from 44.1 to 43.9 in April.
Initial weekly jobless claims rose 3,000 to 265,000. The 4-week average fell 4,250 to 279,500. Continuing claims fell 28,000 to 2.228 million. Jobless claims are currently at a 15-year low.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1 point to 43.7 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $1.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.473 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-11.3 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-27.4 billion in the latest week.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -4.6% last week, with purchases up 1.0% but refis down -8.0%.
ADP is signaling that Friday’s Employment Situation will be weak, showing just 169,000 new private sector jobs in April.
2015’s weak 1st Quarter economy pulled productivity down by -1.9%, while unit labor costs surged 5.0%. On a year-over-year basis, productivity is up only 0.6%, though labor costs are also restrained at 1.1%.
Gallup’s U.S. Job Creation Index rose 2 points in April to 31.
March’s trade deficit was much higher than expected at $-51.4 billion. This may push 1st Quarter GDP into negative territory on revision.
Gallup’s U.S. economic confidence index for April fell from -2 in March to -9.
Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales weakened again, falling to 1.4% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.6%.
The PMI Services Index fell -1.8 points to a still-strong 57.4 in April. Both costs and finished prices rose, some of the first inflation signals of any report.
The ISM non-manufacturing index strengthened from 56.5 to 57.8 in April. Unlike the PMI, however, there are no signs of price pressure.