Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks

Dale Franks’ QandO posts


Economic Statistics for 19 Jun 14

The general conditions index of the Philadelphia Fed Survey rose 2.4 points to a very strong 17.8.

The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators rose 0.5 percent in May, following April’s 0.3% rise.

Weekly initial jobless claims fell 6,000 to 312,000. The 4-week average fell 3,000 to 311,750. Continuing claims fell 54,000 to a new recovery low of 2.561 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 1.6 points to 37.1 in the latest week, near recovery highs.

The Fed’s balance sheet increased $27.3 billion last week, with total assets of $4.368 trillion. Total reserve bank credit rose by $28.8 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell $-9.3 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 18 Jun 14

The MBA reports that rising mortgage rates sent mortgage applications down -9.2% in the latest week. Purchases fell -5.0%, while re-fis dropped -13.0%.

The nation’s current account deficit the 1st Quarter of 2014 rose to $-111.2 billion from a revised $-87.3 billion in 4Q 2013.

The Federal Open Markets Committee left interest rates unchanged today, with a Fed Funds target rate of 0% – 0.25%.

The FOMC’s June projection for economic growth: 2014: 2.1-2.3%; 2015: 3.0-3.2%; 2016: 2.5-3.0%; longer run: 2.1-2.2%. Again, the prediction is for continuing subpar GDP growth.


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Economic Statistics for 16 Jun 14

The Empire State manufacturing index remained strong for June, rising a slight 0.27 points to a strong 19.28.

The Treasury reports that net foreign demand for long-term US securities fell $-24.2 billion in June.

Industrial production rose 0.6% in May, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories rose 0.5% to 79.1%.

The NAHB housing market index for June rose 4 points to 49, just one point under the break-even reading of 50.


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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 13 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 12 Jun 14

Weekly initial jobless claims rose 4,000 to 317,000. The 4-week average rose 5,000 to 315,250. Continuing claims rose 11,000 to 2.614 million.

Retail sales for May rose 0.3% overall, but were only up 0.1% less autos, and were unchanged from April less autos & gas.

Both export and import prices rose 0.1% in May. On a year over year basis, export prices rose 0.5%, as import prices rose 0.4%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose o.4 points to 35.5 in the latest week.

Business inventories rose a higher than expected 0.6% in April, but a 0.7% sales increase kept the stock-to-sales ratio at 1.29.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $10.0 billion last week, with total assets of $4.341 trillion. Total reserve bank credit rose by $8.8 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose $10.9 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 10-11 Jun 14

The June NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.4 points to 96.6 for the best reading since September 2007.

ICSC-Goldman reports weekly retail sales down -2.8%, but up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. Redbook reports an 3.3% rise in retail sales over last year.

Wholesale inventories rose 1.1% in April, while 1.3% sales increase kept the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 1.18.

May’s US Treasury budget ended in a $-130.0 billion deficit, following April’s $1.03 billion surplus.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 10.3% last week. Purchases rose 9.0% and re-fis rose 11.0%.


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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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