Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks


Observations: The QandO Podcast for 06 Jun 14

This week, Michael, and Dale talk about Bowe Bergdahl and the economy.

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 5 Jun 14

Chain stores reported slower year-on-year sales growth in May, but this year’s Easter shift made April look better, complicating the comparison.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report for May jumped to 52,961 reported layoffs, the highest since February, 2013.

Gallup’s Payroll to Population employment rate rose 1.1% to 44.5% in May.

Weekly initial jobless claims rose 8,000 to 312,000. The 4-week average fell 2,250 to 310,250. Continuing claims fell 20,000 to 2.603 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose for the first time in five weeks, up 1.8 points to 35.1 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $8.3 billion last week, with total assets of $4.331 trillion. Total reserve bank credit rose by $0.3 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose $36.1 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 4 Jun 14

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -3.1% last week. Purchases fell -4.0% and re-fis fell -3.0%.

ADP’s estimate for private payroll growth for May is  a weak 179,000.

In contrast to ADP’s weak jobs estimate, Gallup’s Job Creation Index for May was 27, a 6-year high.

The U.S. international trade deficit rose to a much higher than expected $-47.2 billion in April.

The Commerce department revised 1Q 2014 productivity down sharply, to a -3.2% annualized decline. Unit labor costs, meanwhile, rose a sharp 5.7%.

The US Services Purchasing Managers’ Index rose 3.1 points to 58.1 in May.

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rose 1.1 points to 56.3 in May.

JP Morgan Global Composite PMI rose 1.5 points to 54.3 in May, while the Global Services PMI rose 1.9 points to 54.6.

The Fed’s Beige Book characterized current economic activity as modest to moderate, but noted ongoing labor market improvement.


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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 01 Jun 14

This week, Bruce, Michael, and Dale talk about Ukraine, the Bundy case in Nevada, and the increasing arbitrariness of the Federal government.

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 29 May 14

The Commerce Department’s first revision of 1st Quarter GDP was revised down to a -1.0% annualized decline. The GDP price index was unchanged at a 1.3% annualized increase.

The pending home sales index rose 0.4% to 97.8 in April.

Weekly initial jobless claims fell 27,000 to 300,000. The 4-week average fell 11,250 to 311,500. Continuing claims fell 17,000 to 2.631 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -0.8 points to 33.3 in the latest week, the lowest level since November 2013.

The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-4.9 billion last week, with total assets of $4.322 trillion. Total reserve bank credit rose by $7.7 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose $5.0 billion in the latest week.


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