Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks


Economic Statistics for 27 Feb 14

Durable goods orders fell -1.0% in January on weak transportation orders. Ex-transportation orders rose 1.1%. On a year-over-year basis, orders are up 4.6%, with ex-transportation orders up 1.2%.

Initial jobless claims rose 14,000 to 328,000. The 4-week average fell 250 to 338,250, while continuing claims rose 8,000 to 2.964 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 2.0 points to -28.6 in the latest week.

The Kansas City Fed manufacturing index fell 1 point to 4 in February.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $10.7 billion last week, with total assets of $4.160 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $8.4 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $35.9 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 25 Feb 14

Despite the recent downbeat economic news, the State Street Investor Confidence Index rose 8.6 points to 123.0 in February.

In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a 2.9% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman reports a weekly sales drop of -0.6%, and a weak 1.4% increase on a year-over-year basis.

The FHFA House Price Index rose 0.8% in December, a 7.7% increase from the previous year.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 0.8% in December, which was 13.4 higher than the previous year.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for February fell from 80.7 to 78.1.

The Richmond Fed manufacturing index for February plunged from 12 to -6, the first negative reading since July.


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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 23 Feb 14

This week, Michael, and Dale talk about the Ukraine, Free Speech, and guns.

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.

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Economic Statistics for 20 Feb 14

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% in January. The "core" CPI, which excludes food and energy, also rose 0.1%. On a year-over-year basis, both the headline and core CPI rose 1.6%.

Initial jobless claims fell 3,000 to 336,000. The 4-week average rose 1,750 to 338,500, while continuing claims rose 37,000 to 2.981 million.

Markit Economics’ PMI Manufacturing Index Flash for February rose 3 points to 56.7.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.1 points to -30.6 in the latest week.

The Philadelphia Fed Survey’s general conditions index was very negative, dropping to -6.3 in February from January’s 9.4.

The Conference Board’s index of leading indicators rose 0.3% in January.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $29.8 billion last week, with total assets of $4.149 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $35.5 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $41.3 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 19 Feb 14

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -4.1% last week, with purchases down -6.0% and re-fis -3.0%.

In weekly retail sales, ICSC Goldman reports a 2.5% weekly sales increase, and a 2.1% year-on-year increase. Meanwhile, Redbook says sales rose 3.2% on a year-ago basis.

Thanks to the extreme cold, housing starts plunged -16% in January to a 0.88 million annual rate.

A completely revised method of reporting Producer prices was released today. The overall PPI for January rose 0.2%, which was 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. The core PPI, less food, energy & trade services, rose 0.1% for the month. There is no annual comparison for the latter method of calculating the core PPI rate. The PPI for goods rose 0.4% for the month, and 0.9% for the year. The PPI for trade services rose 0.1% for the month, and 1.3% for the year.


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