Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks

Dale Franks’ QandO posts


Economic Statistics for 11 Mar 13

Wholesale inventories rose 0.6% in January, while sales plunged -1.9%. That drove the sector’s stock-to-sales ratio up to a hefty 1.20.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 3 points to 91.4 in February.

In weekly retail sales, ICSC Goldman reports a 1.3% weekly sales increase, and a 2.1% year-on-year increase. Meanwhile, Redbook says sales rose a weak 2.5% on a year-ago basis.


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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 09 Mar 14

This week, Bruce and Dale talk about the Ukraine, IRS, and the collapse of Western Civilization.

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 7 Mar 14

The Labor Department reports that 175,000 net new jobs were created in February. The unemployment rate rose a tick to 6.7%. Average hourly earnings rose 0.4%, while the average work week fell from 34.4 to 34.2 hours. The labor force participation rate held steady at 63.0%.  The real unemployment rate, using the historical average rate of labor force participation, rose slightly, from 11.14% to 11.19%.

The nation’s trade deficit was $-39.1 billion in January.

January consumer credit rose by $13.7 billion, though this hides a decline of $0.2 billion in revolving credit.


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Economic Statistics for 6 Mar 14

Those chain stores that still report monthly sales generally reported improved year-on-year sales results in February.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report fell to 41,835 layoffs in February from 45,107 in January and 55,356 a year ago.

Gallup’s U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate was 43.1% in February up from 42.0% in January.

Initial jobless claims fell 26,000 to 323,000. The 4-week average fell 1,750 to 336,500, while continuing claims fell 8,000 to 2.907 million.

Productivity in the 4th quarter of 2013 rose a revised1.8%, more than half a percent below expectations.Unit labor costs fell an annualized -0.1%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.1 points to -28.5 in the latest week, a seven-month high.

Factory orders declined by -0.7% in February, following a January drop that was revised downwards to -2.0%.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $11.8 billion last week, with total assets of $4.172 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $6.2 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-8.1 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 5 Mar 14

The Fed’s Beige Book says that unseasonably cold weather reduced economic activity in two districts, but the rest showed modest to moderate improvement.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose wildly, up 9.4% last week, with purchases up 9.0% and re-fis up 10.0%.

ADP employment report estimates that private payrolls will rise by 139,000 in February.

Gallup’s U.S. Job Creation Index rose to 21 in February from 19 the previous month.

Markit’s services PMI slowed from 56.7 in January to 53.3 in February.

ISM non-manufacturing data moved lower to 51.6 in February from 54 in January.


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Economic Statistics for 3 Mar 14

US auto sales remained relatively flat for the 3rd straight month, at a 15.3 million annual rate.

Gallup’s self-reported Consumer Spending measure rose to $87 per day in February, vice $78 in January.

Personal income rose 0.3% in February, while spending rose 0.4%. The PCE Price index rose 0.3% overall, but only 0.1% at the core level. On a year-over-year basis, income rose4.1%, while spending rose 3.5%. The PCE Price index rose 1.2% overall, and 1.1% at the core level.

Markit’s PMI Manufacturing Index for February rose to 57.1  from January’s 53.7.

The ISM manufacturing index for February rose to 53.2  from January’s 51.3.

The J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI was 53.3 for March, up from 53.0 in February.

Construction spending rose 0.1% in January. On a year-ago basis, spending is up 9.3%.


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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 02 Mar 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.

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 28 Feb 14

Real GDP growth for the 4th quarter of 2013 was revised down sharply to an annualized 2.4% from the initial estimate of 3.2%. That means that GDP growth was, in fact, as sub-par as it seemed. The GDP Price index was revised upwards to 1.6%.

The Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index rose 3.2 points to 59.8 in February.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose 0.4 points to 81.6 in February.

The Pending Home Sales Index rose 0.1% to 95.0 in January, the first increase since last May.


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