The Fed’s Beige Book today continued to characterize US economic growth as “modest” or “moderate”, i.e. below-trend.
The Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations report projects year-ahead inflation of 1.9%.
Industrial production rose 0.7% in March, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories rose 0.4% to 79.2%.
Housing starts rose a less-than-expected 2.8% to a 0.946 million annual rate.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 4.3% last week. Purchases rose 1.0% and re-fis rose 7.0%.
ICSC-Goldman reports weekly retail sales fell -0.3%, and were up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. Redbook reports a 2.6xx% increase in retail sales over last year.
The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in March, both at the headline and core level. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is up 1.5% at the headline level, and 1.6% at the core.
The Housing Market Index came in unchanged at 47 for April.
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell from 5.61 in March to 1.29 in April, while the new orders index is actually negative, at -2.77.
Foreigners became big buyers of long-term US securities in February, as net foreign demand came in at $85.7 billion.
Retailers who reported chain store sales today saw generally respectable increases in year-on-year sales rates.
Initial jobless claims fell an astounding 26,000 last week, to 300,000, probably due to Easter’s statistical weirdness. The 4-week moving average fell 4,750 to 316,250. Continuing claims fell 62,000 to 2.824 million.
Export prices rose 0.8% in March, while import prices rose 0.6%. On a year-over year basis, export prices rose 0.2% and import prices fell -0.6%.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.9 points to -31.9.
The US Treasury’s deficit for March was a much lower-than-expected $-36.9 billion.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $7.7 billion last week, with total assets of $4.244 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $6.9 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply fell by $-37.0 billion last week.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -1.6% last week. Purchases were up 3.0$% but re-fis fell 5.0%.
Wholesale inventories rose 0.5% in march, while a 0.7% rise in wholesale sales kept the stock-to-sales ratio at a chubby 1.19.
Yes, it has been a boring week for economic data.
In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a 2.9% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman reports a weekly sales increase of 1.5%, and a 1.5% increase on a year-over-year basis.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.0 point to 93.4 in March.
Challenger reports that layoff announcements in March were 34,399, down from 41,835 in February.
The Gallup US Payroll to Population rate fell -0.4 points to 42.7 in March.
The US trade deficit rose to $42.3 billion in February from $39.3 billion in January.
Weekly initial jobless claims rose 16,000 to 326,000. The 4-week average rose 1,750 to 319,500. Continuing claims rose 22,000 to 2.836 million.
The PMI Services Index rose 2 points to 55.3 in March.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 1.5 points to -30.0 in the latest week.
The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rose 1.5 points to 53.1 in March.
The JP Morgan Global Composite PMI rose 0.5 points to 53.5 in March.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $9.5 billion last week, with total assets of $4.236 trillion. Total reserve bank credit rose by $4.7 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply grew $20 billion in the latest week.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -1.2% last week. Purchases were up 1.0%, but re-fis fell -3.0%.
The ADP national employment report estimates that 191,000 new private payroll jobs were created in March.
The Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index rose 2 points in March to 23.
February factory orders rose a better-than-expected 1.6% helped by a 13.4% increase in aircraft orders and a 3.0% rise in autos.
Domestic vehicle sales rose 6.9% in March to a 16.4 million annual rate, rebounding from the weather-impacted sales of the past two months.
ICSC-Goldman reports weekly retail sales rose 3.6%, but were only up 0.6% on a year-over-year basis. Redbook reports an increase of 2.3% in retail sales over last year.
Markit’s manufacturing PMI final for March is 55.5, down from February’s 57.1.
The ISM manufacturing index rose 0.5 points in March to 53.7.
Construction spending in February rose 0.1%, which is a 8.7% increase over the previous year.
J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI fell nearly a full point to 52.4 in March.
Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index averaged -17 in March, essentially the same as the -16 of the past two months.