Free Markets, Free People

Economic statistics


Economic Statistics for 29 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index jumped sharply upwards, from 39.8 to 56, mainly on employment optimism.

Distress sales and foreclosures seem to be pushing the housing sector deeper into contraction. The S&P Case-Shiller home price index fell again, -0.6% for the month, and -3.6% for the year. On the other hand, the FHFA  reports housing prices rose 0.9% last month, though they’re still down -2.2% on a year over year basis. But, the FHFA only reports on conventional loans or those bundled by government agencies—which often has price caps. Case-Schiller is far more broad, and the FHFA picture is probably missing a lot of trouble in the housing sector.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index rose 2 points to 97.2 from a revised 95.2 last month, as institutional investors became a bit more jaunty.

Finally in retail sales, Redbook reports a year-over-year jump of 5.4% in sales last week. ICSC-Goldman is also strong, with sales up 1.7% for the week, and up 4% over last year.

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed


Economic Statistics for 28 Nov 11

It’s a heavy week for economic statistics, culminating in the Employment Situation on Friday, but we start the week off light:

New home sales rose 1.3% in October. That’s a solid gain, but the total of 307,000 was a bit below expectations.

The Dallas Fed general business activity index rose to 2.3 from -14.4., its first positive reading in six months.

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed


Economic Statistics for 23 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association reports that mortgage applications fell -1.2% in the Nov 18 week, with purchase apps up 8.2%, but re-finance apps down -4%.

Weakness in the transportation sector led durable goods orders down -0.7% last month, but up 7.5% from last year. Ex-transportation, orders were up 0.7% for the month, and 11.7% for the year.

Personal spending and income both rose last month, with spending up 0.1% and income up 0.4%. On a year-over-year basis, income has risen 3.9$, but spending rose faster, at 4.7%. The Price Index rose by 0.1% for the month, and 1.7% year-over-year.

Initial unemployment claims rose to 393,000 from last week’s revised 391,000. The 4-week average fell from 396,750 to 394,250.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index was -50.1 last week, from -50 a week earlier. The index has hovered at -50 for 9 weeks.

The Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index fell slightly, to 64.1 from 64.2 last period.

Manufacturing growth in the Kansas City Fed’s district eased slightly, with the KC Fed Index falling from 8 to 4. Future expectations remained solid, though.

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed


Economic Statistics for 22 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

3rd Quarter GDP took a downward bump on the Commerce Department’s first revision from 2.5% to 2%. Analysts had expected a revision to 2.4%, so today’s revision was well below that.

The Richmond Fed Index ended 4 months of contraction, coming in at 0, indicating no growth or contraction.

Corporate after-tax profits in the 3rd quarter rose 6.5%.

In weekly retail sales, ICSC-Goldman Store Sales were down -0.9% for the week, and only up 2.8% year-over year. Meanwhile, Redbook reports strong 3.7% sales growth over last year.

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed


Economic Statistics for 18 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases, or rather release, since there’s only one, the Index of leading indicators.  Which actually looks pretty good this month, up 0.9%. There’s only one negative element for the month: vendor deliveries are showing slightly fewer delays, which pretty minor. The report indicates that the risk of a downturn or recession is receding. That’s good news.

Or, would be, if Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal weren’t ready to go belly up in default, destroy the Euro, trash global banking, and plunge the world into a Second Great Depression.

But, you take the good with the bad, right?

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed


Economic Statistics for 17 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

Initial jobless claims continue to improve slowly, dropping 2,000 this week to 388,000.

Housing starts stayed fairly steady, though off a bit at a 628,000 annual rate. Housing starts, however, jumped to 653,000, a positive sign for future construction.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index for the week improved to -50 from the last week’s -51.6.

The Philadelphia Fed Survey shows growth slowed in the Atlantic region, falling from 8.7 to 3.6.

E-Commerce sales rose 1.9%, following the 2nd quarter’s increase of 2.6%.

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed


Economic Statistics for 16 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

Like the PPI yesterday, the CPI softened last month, down -0.1%, and up 3.6% year over year. The core rate rose 0.1% last month and 2.1% last year.

The Mortgage Banker’s Association reports that mortgage application dropped sharply in the latest week, down -12.2%.

Industrial production was up sharply, rising 0.7% last month, while capacity utilization rate rose to 77.8% in the nation’s factories.

The Housing Market Index rose to 20, the 3rd consecutive 3-point jump, and the highest reading in 18 months.

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed


Economic Statistics for 15 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

A decline in energy prices resulted in a -0.3% drop in producer prices, with the core rate, which excludes food and energy, remaining unchanged last month. On a year-over-year basis, producer prices have risen 6.1%, with the core rate rising 2.8%.

Retail sales activity continued to increase in October, rising 0.5% overall, and 0.3% excluding auto sales.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey edged back into positive territory for the first time since May, rising from -8.48 to 0.61. The six-month outlook is strengthening, with predictions of growth in new orders, which should, if it materializes, result in increased hiring as well.

Finally, in the two weekly retail sales reports, Redbook reports pre-Thanksgiving promotions helped boost store sales by 3.3%. ICSC-Goldman says sales rose 0.3% last week, up 3.21% from the year before.

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed


Economic Statistics for 10 Nov 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

The trade deficit improved last month, falling to -$43.1 billion. Sadly, the improvement comes largely from gold purchases, which isn’t a sign of confidence or hope. It’s a sign of a panicked flight to safety, based on a growing financial terror about the Euro Zone. Yesterday, Barclay’s came out and said (PDF) what everyone has been fearing: Italy is going to default on its debt, and no amount of economic reform will stop it.  Bye-bye, Euro.  Also yesterday, as I predicted, the French and Germans are now discussing  a "core" Euro zone, which would consist of…France and Germany. If Italy goes down, there’s simply no way to wall off the resulting bank failures, credit tightening, and economic contraction that will result from the evaporation of those assets. Presumably, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland will auger in shortly after Italy does, as their debt becomes impossible to service in the resulting Italian contraction. Yet, somehow, the failures of this model of political-economic policy seem lost on American policymakers.

Initial jobless claims continue to edge down, coming in at 390,000 this week. Last week’s claims were revised upwards by 3,000 to 400,000.

Export prices fell -2.1% last month, while import prices dropped -0.6%. On a year-over-year basis, export prices are up 6.3%, and import prices are up 11%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index edged up slightly last week, though it remains near historic lows at 51.6.

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed