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.
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.
Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index was unchanged at -16 for February.
In weekly retail sales, ICSC Goldman reports a 0.3% weekly sales increase, and a 1.5% year-on-year increase. Meanwhile, Redbook says sales rose a weak 2.9% on a year-ago basis.
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%.
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.
We’ve been told over the last few years that our economy is in a slump but not to worry. It’s temporary. The administration is on it. It’s going to be fixed.
What, we’ve had 5 recovery summers and are heading into our 6th?
Well, the CBO, that office the administration loves to cite when it suits them, has decided that this economy, the Obama economy, isn’t an outlier and we should get used to it:
The part of the past that you deem most relevant can be critical in determining your outlook for the future. And nowhere is that clearer than in the changing economic forecasts that come out of the Congressional Budget Office.
This year’s short-term and long-term economic forecasts are substantially worse than last year’s, even though the economy performed better than expected in 2013. What changed was that the C.B.O. economists essentially decided that they would no longer treat the recent years of poor economic performance as a sort of outlier. They have seen enough of a slow economy to begin to think that we should get used to sluggishness.
They think that Americans will earn less than they previously expected, that fewer of them will want jobs and that fewer will get them. They think companies will invest less and earn less. The economy, as measured by growth in real gross domestic product, will settle into a prolonged period in which it grows at an average rate of just 2.1 percent. From 2019 through 2024, job growth will average less than 70,000 a month.
So, how does it feel? You’ve lived through the “Golden age” and are now relegated to … this. Slow to non-existent job growth. Regulation out the wazoo. Rising health care costs. Taxes eating into earnings and no end in sight.
This is the economy this administration has helped fashion with an insensitivity to the economy and a policy cluelessness that is second to none. The fact that they’re still pushing a raise in the minimum wage in the face of half a million job losses (conservative estimate) says it all.
You reap what you sow, or don’t sow, in this case. What they didn’t sow was economic policies that would get the economy moving, create jobs and keep us in that Golden age. Instead we got ideology first, regardless of the economic consequences.
And this is the result.
As CBO says, get used to it.
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.
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.
The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey’s business activity index fell 3 points to 0.3 in February. Conversely, the production index rose 3 points to 10.8.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) US Services Flash fell nearly 4 points to 52.7 in February.
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell from 0.16 to -0.39 in January.