Free Markets, Free People

Economy

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Economic Statistics for 31 Oct 14

Personal income rose by 0.2% in September, while personal spending declined by -0.2%. The PCE Price index rose 0.1% at both the headline and core rates. On a year-over-year basis, consumer spending has risen 1.4%, while the PCE Price index has risen 1.5%.

The Employment Cost Index rose 0.7% in the 3rd Quarter of 2014, due mainly to upward pressure on wages and salaries. On a year-over-year basis, the ECI is up 2.2%.

The Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index rose nearly 6 points to 66.2 in October.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose half a point to 86.9 in October, the highest since July 2007.

Oh, and…uh…Boo!


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Economic Statistics for 30 Oct 14

The initial estimate for 3rd Quarter 2014 GDP came in at 3.5% annualized, led by personal consumption expenditures. The GDP price index rose at 1.3% annualized.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 3,000 to 287,000. The 4-week average fell 250 to 281,000. Continuing claims rose 29,000 to 2.384 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -0.5 points to 37.2 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $5.1 billion last week, with total assets of 4.536 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $14.2 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $42.5 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 29 Oct 14

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -6.6% last week, with purchases down -5.0% and refis down -7.0%.

The FOMC Meeting ended today, with the announcement that interest rates would remain unchanged, with a Fed Funds target rate of 0% to 0.25%. The FOMC characterized the economy as “expanding at a moderate pace”, and the job market as “improving”.


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Economic Statistics for 28 Oct 14

ICSC-Goldman reports weekly retail sales rose 0.3%, and rose 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. Redbook reports retail sales rose 4.4% on a year-ago basis.

September durable goods orders fell for the second straight month, down -1.3% overall, and -0.2% ex-transportation. On a year-over-year basis, orders are up 3.3% and orders excluding transportation are up 7.3%.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index for August fell -0.1%, contracting for the fourth straight month. On a year-over-year basis, the index is up 5.6%.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for October rose to 94.5, the highest since October 2007.

The Richmond Fed manufacturing index rose 6 points to 20 in October.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index came in at 115.1, compared to September’s especially strong reading of 123.9.


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Economic Statistics for 27 Oct 14

The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey slipped -0.3 points in October to a still-strong 10.5, while the production index fell -3.9 points to 13.7.

Market’s PMI Services Flash for October fell -1.2 points to 57.3.

The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index rose 0.3 points to 105.0 in September.


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Economic Statistics for 23 Oct 14

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 1.5 points to 37.7 in the latest week.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 17,000 to 283,000. The 4-week average fell 3,000 to 281,000, a 14-year low. Continuing claims  fell 38,000 to 2.351 million.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose strongly from -0.21 to 0.47 in September.

The FHFA purchase only house price index rose 0.5% in August.

The Markit PMI manufacturing index flash for October fell -1.7 points from the final September reading to 56.2.

The Kansas City Fed manufacturing index fell -2 points to 4 in October.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $7.3 billion last week, with total assets of 4.482 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $15.2 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-39.3 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 22 Oct 14

Consumer prices rose 0.1% in September at both the headline and core rates of the CPI. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is up 1.7%, again at both the core and headline levels.

The MBA reports that, thanks to falling lending rates, mortgage applications rose a sharp 11.6% last week, with purchases down -5.0% but refis up 23.0%.


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The executive end run

Want to know what the Berghdal investigation found?  You’ll have to wait till after the election.  Want to know what your new health insurance rates will be?  You’ll have to wait until after the election.  Why?  Because it appears they both will be unpopular with most of the citizenry.

Interested in what is happening on the immigration front?  You’ll have to wait until after the election … however there does seem to be some prep going on as AP reports:

The Homeland Security Department appears to be preparing for an increase in the number of immigrants living illegally in the country to apply for work permits after President Barack Obama announces his long-promised plans for executive actions on immigration reform later this year.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirmed to The Associated Press that it has published a draft contract proposal to buy the card stock needed to make work permits and Permanent Resident Cards, more commonly known as green cards. The proposal calls for providing material for at least 5 million cards a year, with as many as 9 million “during the initial period … to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.” The contract calls for as many 34 million cards over five years.

USCIS, the Homeland Security agency that oversees immigration benefits, produces about 3 million work permits and Green Cards annually, so the new contract would at least provide the Obama administration with the flexibility to issue far more work permits or green cards even if it chose not to exercise that option.

So they’re either ordering a 10 year supply or something is up.  ABC’s Rick Klein reports:

Republicans can thank the reliable old federal bureaucracy for their latest little gift-wrapped present. The AP reports that the Department of Homeland Security is soliciting millions of new green cards – yes, the physical paperwork needed for legal status – “to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.” That’s right: The federal government is already ordering as many as 34 million new cards over five years to accommodate legal changes that haven’t been announced, much less approved by Congress. If and when this factoid makes its way into a campaign ad or a stump speech, it will be another reminder of the questionable political strategy of the White House deciding to delay immigration action until after the election. You don’t get full credit for not acting if everyone knows you’re about to. And the idea that tax dollars are set to be expended to support a sweeping new policy, before that policy is even announced or enacted? How better to confirm voters’ mistrust in government?

Congress? This president don’t need no stinkin’ Congress.  And certainly not one that is run by Republicans.  Nope … instead that will provide the perfect excuse (despite the obvious premeditation) to blame the GOP and take unilateral action.

And what will Congress do about such an end run?  Well, likely nothing if their history is an indication.

So here we are with a wretched economy, the lowest labor participation rate in decades, stagnant wages and what does it appear our brilliant President is about to do?

That’s why you have to wait till after the election to find out.

~McQ

 

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