Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks


Observations: The QandO Podcast for 11 Jul 14

This week, Michael, and Dale talk about arresting Lois lerner and suing the president.

The podcast can be found on Stitcher here. Please remember the feed may take a couple of hours to update after this is first posted.

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Stitcher. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here.


Economic Statistics for 10 Jul 14

Chain stores reporting June sales today note generally modest rates of sales growth, with no changes to earnings guidance.

Initial jobless claims fell 11,000 last week to 304,000. The 4-week moving average fell 3,500 to 311,500. Continuing claims rose 10,000 to 2.584 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 1.2 points to 37.6.

Wholesale inventories rose 0.5% in May, against a 0.7% sales increase, leaving the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at a lean 1.18.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $6.4 billion last week, with total assets of $4.383 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $6.0 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply fell by $-3.9 billion last week.


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Economic Statistics for 9 Jul 14

Gallup’s self-reported Consumer Spending measure for June fell $-7 to $91.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell -2.0 points to 95.0 in June.

In weekly retail sales, ICSC-Goldman reports a 1.7% increase from last week, but down 1.3% to a year-on-year rate of 3.3%. Redbook, however, reports a big 6.0% year-over-year sales increase.

Consumer credit rose $19.6 billion in May, with revolving credit up $1.8 billion. Strong credit card use is a big plus for retailers.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 1.9% last week, with purchases up 4.0% and refinancings up 0.4%.


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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 06 Jul 14

This week, Michael, and Dale talk about the week’s events.

The podcast can be found on Stitcher here. Please remember the feed may take a couple of hours to update after this is first posted.

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Stitcher. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here.


Economic Statistics for 3 Jul 14

A net 288,000 new jobs were created in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.1%. Average weekly earnings rose 0.2%, but weekly hours were unchanged at 34.5 hours. Underlying fundamentals aren’t great, however. In June, 2013, 89.7 million people were out of the labor force. In June, 2014, it was 92.1 million.  In the same time period, the civilian non-institutional population rose from 245.6 million to 247.8 million, or 2.2 million. So, 2.2 million were added to the working age population, while 2.4 million fewer were in the labor force. In other words, Job growth is still less than population growth, hence the 62.8% labor forces participation rate Since October, 2013, labor force participation has hovered at levels not seen since 1978, as the unemployment rate has “declined”. 

The trade deficit in May shrank to a better-than-expected $-44.4 billion, down from $-47.0 billion in April.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -0.7 points to 36.4 in the latest week.

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell -0.3 points to 56.0.

The US Services Purchasing Managers’ Index rose 1.9 points to 61.0 in June.

JP Morgan reports the global Composite PMI rose 1.1 points to 55.4, while the Services PMI rose 1.2 points to 55.8.

Weekly initial jobless claims rose 3,000 to 315,000. The 4-week average rose 750 to 315,000. Continuing claims rose 10,000 to 2.579 million.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $8.7 billion last week, with total assets of $4.377 trillion. Total reserve bank credit fell by $-1.6 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose $43.5 billion in the latest week.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report estimates there were 31,434 layoffs in June, down from 52,961 in May.


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Economic Statistics for 1-2 Jul 14

Motor vehicle sales rose 1.2% in June to a 17.0 million annual rate. That’s the strongest rate since July 2006.

ICSC-Goldman reports retail sales rose 1.0%, while the rear-over-year rate rose to 4.6% in the latest week. Conversely, Redbook says year-over-year retail sales growth fell to 3.1% in the latest week.

The Markit PMI manufacturing index rose 0.3 points to 57.3 in June.

The ISM Manufacturing index fell 0.1 point to 55.3 in June.

Construction Spending rose a less-than-expected 0.1% in May. Spending rose 6.6% on a year-ago basis.

The J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI rose 0.5 points to 52.7 in June.

The Gallup Economic Confidence Index fell -1 point to -15 in June.

The MBA reports that mortgage application fell 0.2% in the latest week, with purchases down -1.0%, but re-fis up 0.1%.

The ADP national employment report estimates that a strong increase of 281,000 private payroll jobs were created in June.

Gallup’s Job Creation Index is unchanged at 27 in June.

Gallup’s Payroll to Population employment rate rose 0.5% to 45.0% in June.

Factory orders fell 0.5% in May, but nondefense orders rose 0.2%. A 0.7% rise in nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft is a positive.


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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 27 Jun 14

This week, Michael, and Dale talk about the week’s events.

The podcast can be found on Stitcher here. Please remember the feed may take a couple of hours to update after this is first posted.

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Stitcher. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here.


Economic Statistics for 26 May 14

Personal income rose 0.4% in May, while personal spending rose 0.2%. The May PCE Price index rose 0.2% at both the headline and core level. On a year-over-year basis, the PCE Price index is up and up 1.5% less food and energy.

The Kansas City Fed manufacturing index fell from 10 in May to 6 in June.

Weekly initial jobless claims fell 2,000 to 312,000. The 4-week average rose 3,000 to 314,250. Continuing claims rose 12,000 to 2.571 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index is unchanged at 37.1 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $0.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.368 trillion. Total reserve bank credit rose by $9.7 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose $4.3 billion in the latest week.


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