Dale Franks’ QandO posts
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.
Boosted by aircraft and motor vehicles, factory orders rose an as-expected 2.1% in March, ending 7 straight months of decline.
Gallup’s US Consumer Spending Measure shows Americans’ daily self-reports of spending averaged $91 in April, up from $86 in March.
Social justice warriors are as dumb as they come. They probably don’t even realize that they’ll be successful in splitting the country apart. We talk about it on the podcast page.
April motor vehicle sales fell -4.1% from a strong March, to still fairly robust 16.5 million annual rate.
The Markit PMI manufacturing index for April fell -1.6 points to 54.1 in April.
Weakness in the employment component held the ISM manufacturing index unchanged for April at 51.5.
The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index was unchanged in April at 95.9.
March construction spending dropped -0.6% against expectations of an increase of 0.4%, showing basic weakness in the construction sector.
Personal income was unchanged in March, while personal spending rose 0.4%. The PCE Price index rose 0.2% overall and 0.1% at the core. On a year-over-year basis, income is up 3.8% while spending is up 3.0%. The PCE Price Index is up 0.3% overall, but up 1.4% when food and energy is excluded, the so-called core rate.
The Employment Cost Index rose 0.7% in the 1st Quarter of 2015. On a year-ago basis, employment costs have risen 2.6%.
The Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index jumped from 46.3 to 52.3 in April. It’s worth noting, though, that this is a volatile index.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined for the 3rd straight week, from 45.2 to 44.7 in the latest week.
Initial weekly jobless claims fell 34,000 to 262,000. The 4-week average fell 1,250 to 283,750. Continuing claims fell 74,000 to 2.253 million. This weeks number of claims was the lowest since April of 2000.
The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-18.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.472 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-3.2 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-1.9 billion in the latest week.
The initial GDP estimate for the 1st Quarter of 2015 was for 0.2% annualized growth, down from an unrevised 2.2% in the 4th Quarter of 2014. The GDP Price index fell -0.1% for the quarter. Exports were a drag on GDP as a strong dollar is inhibiting foreign demand. Business spending (nonresidential fixed investment) contracted in the quarter, while personal spending (personal consumption expenditures) slowed abruptly. Lower demand also caused an unwanted upswing in inventories.
The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index rose 1.1% in March to 108.6.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -2.3% last week, with purchases unchanged, but refis down -4.0%.
The Federal Open Markets Committee left interest rates unchanged today, with a Fed Funds target rate of 0%-0.25%. The FOMC’s statement says growth has “slowed” since the committee last met in March, but view the slowing as temporary, saying that economic activity will expand at a “moderate” pace.
Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose to a still-soft 1.4% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 0.8%.
The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose 0.9% in February, and is up 5.0% from a year ago.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell from 101.3 to a much lower than expected 95.2 in April.
The Richmond Fed manufacturing index rose 5 points to a still-negative -3 in April.
The State Street Investor Confidence Index fell -5.2 points in April, but remains strong at 114.3.
This week, we discuss the nation’s premier uranium salesperson. It’s up on the Podcast page.
Coming after yesterday’s strong existing home sales, new home sales for March were very disappointing, falling sharply by -11.4% to a 481,000 annual rate.
The Markit PMI manufacturing index flash for April fell -1.1 points to 54.2.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.2 points to 45.4 in the latest week.
Initial weekly jobless claims rose 1,000 to 295,000. The 4-week average rose 1,750 to 284,500. Continuing claims rose 50,000 to 2.325 million.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $4.3 billion last week, with total assets of $4.490 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-1.4 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-40.6 billion in the latest week.