Free Markets, Free People

Economy

Economic Statistics for 17 Dec 15

The Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey fell back into negative territory again, facing 6 points to -5.9 in December.

The US current account deficit grew sharply in the 3rd quarter, to $-124.1 billion from a revised $-111.1 billion in the 2nd quarter.

The Conference Board’s Index of leading Indicators rose by 0.4% in November.

Initial weekly jobless claims fell 11,000 to 271,000. The 4-week average fell 250 to 270,500. Continuing claims fell 7,000 to 2.238 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.8 points to 40.9 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $9.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.490 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $12.9 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $15.4 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 16 Dec 15

The Federal Open Markets Committee raised the Fed Funds rate target to 0.25%-0.5%, and the Discount Rate to 1.0%. This is the first interest rate increase in over eight years.

The Fed’s forecast for inflation and economic growth was released today. Subpar growth remains for as far as can be foreseen.

Rates

November housing starts rose 10.5% to a 1.173 million annual rate, while building permits rose 11.0% to a 1.289 million annual rate.

Industrial production fell -0.6% in November, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories fell -0.5% to 77.0%.

The PMI Manufacturing Index Flash fell -0.9 points to 51.3 in November.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -1.1% last week, with purchases down -3.0% and refis up 1.0%.


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Economic Statistics for 15 Dec 15

Consumer prices were unchanged overall in November, and rose 0.2% ex-food and -energy. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is up 0.5%, and up 2.0% ex-food and -energy.

The Empire State Manufacturing Index rose more than 5 points, but remained negative at -4.59% for December.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales fell to 1.5% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.9%.

The Housing Market Index fell -1 point in December, to 61.

Foreign demand for U.S. long-term securities fell by $-16.6 billion, primarily from the net $-50.2 billion sold by foreign investors.


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Economic Statistics for 10 Dec 15

November import prices fell -0.4%, and export prices fell -0.6%. On a year-over-year basis, prices are down -9.4% for imports and -6.3% for exports.

The Census Bureau quarterly services survey shows information revenue rose 0.7% in the 3rd Quarter, and is up 3.7%, year-over-year.

Rising Medicare expenses helped sent the government’s budget to a $-64.6 billion deficit in November. The fiscal year deficit to date is now up 12.6% over the same period last year.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 13,000 to 282,000. The 4-week average rose 1,500 to 270,750. Continuing claims rose 82,000 to 2.243 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.5 points to 40.1 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $2.4 billion last week, with total assets of $4.480 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $1.5 billion. Clearly, the Fed has stopped the Quantitative easing, and its balance sheet has topped off. We continue to monitor this report for indications of monetary tightening through selling the Fed’s current top-heavy portfolio of securities.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-38.8 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 8-9 Dec 15

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.3 points in November to 94.8.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales fell back to a weak 1.9% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s Black Friday-induced 3.9%.

The Labor Dept’s JOLTS report fell substantially, as job openings fell from 5.562 million in September to 5.383 million in October.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 1.2% last week, with purchases up only 0.04% but refis up 4.0%.

Wholesale inventories fell 0.1% in October, while no change for sales kept the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 1.31. 


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Economic Statistics for 7 Dec 15

Gallup’s US Consumer Spending Measure reports that Americans’ daily, self-reported spending was unchanged at $92 in November.

The Fed’s Labor Market Conditions Index fell from 1.6 to 0.5 in November.

Consumer credit rose $16.0 billion in October, but revolving credit rose only at a barely-positive $0.2 billion. Non-revolving credit gains were mainly in auto and school loans.


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Economic Statistics for 4 Dec 15

211,000 net new jobs were created in November, as the unemployment rate held steady at 5.0%. The bar force participation rate increased by 0.1% to 62.5%. Average hourly earnings increased by 0.2%, while the average workweek remained unchanged at 34.5 hours.

The nation’s trade deficit increased from $-40.8 billion in September to $-43.9 billion in October.


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Economic Statistics for 3 Dec 15

Chain stores are posting slightly better year-on-year sales rates in November, hinting at better news in the government’s official report.

Challenger’s count of layoff announcements fell nearly -20,000 in November to 30,953 for the lowest reading since September, 2014.

The Gallup Good Jobs Rate for November fell -0.4% to 44.9%.

Factory orders bounced back from September’s -1.0% drop, coming in with an increase of 1.5% in October.

The PMI Services Index rose 1.3 points to 56.1 in November. Conversely, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell -3.2 points to 55.9.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 9,000 to 269,000. The 4-week average fell 750 to 269,250. Continuing claims rose 6,000 to 2.161 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.3 points to 39.6 in the latest week, the fifth drop in six weeks.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $1.0 billion last week, with total assets of $4.478 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-11.4 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $19.8 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 1 Dec 15

Automobiles fairly flew off the dealers’ lots in November, as auto sales rose to a 18.2 million annual pace, a 12-year high.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose to 3.9% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s weak 1.5%. Thanks, Black Friday!

Markit’s PMI Manufacturing Index slowed from 54.1 to 52.8 in November.

The ISM Manufacturing Index slowed from a barely positive 50.1 to a contractionary 48.6 in November.

Construction pending rose a solid 1.0% in October, and is up 13.0% on a year-over-year basis.

The Gallup Economic Confidence Index remained unchanged at 013 in November.


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