ICSC-Goldman reports weekly retail sales were weak, falling -0.3%, and rising only 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. Redbook, conversely, reports retail sales rose 4.1% on a year-ago basis.
Existing home sales rose a solid 2.4% in September, hitting an annualized 5.17 million rate, which was better than expected.
Housing starts for September rebounded 6.3% after August’s 12.8% drop. The pace was at 1.017 million units, topping expectations.
The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose 1.8 points to 86.4 in the October preliminary reading.
The Fed’s Beige Book report indicates economic growth—again—is modest to moderate. Slowing inflation and weak growth overseas is spurring concern about slower economic growth. There is even talk, based on this report, of another new round of Quantitative Easing.
Reinforcing the Fed’s concerns, Producer Prices for Final Demand fell -0.1% in September, while prices less food and gas—the so-called “core rate”—were unchanged. The PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services also fell 0.1%. Goods prices fell -0.2% and services prices fell -0.1%. On a year-over-year basis, the PPI-FD is up 1.6% at the headline level and 1.8% at the core.
The Treasury reports that a revenue surplus of $105.8 billion in September pushed the FY2014 deficit down to $483.4 billion from $680.2 billion in FY2013.
The October Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations survey shows that businesses expect 1.9% inflation over the next year. This is down from 2.1% in the previous month.
The Empire State manufacturing index for October fell sharply to 6.17 from September’s 5-year high of 27.54.
September retail sales fell a worse-than-expected -0.3% in September. Sales less autos fell -0.2% and sales less autos and gas fell -0.1%. Analysts expected an overall increase of 0.3%.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 5.6% last week, with purchases down -1.0% but refis up 11.0%.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for September fell -0.8 points to 95.3 on falling job openings and capital spending.
ICSC-Goldman reports weekly retail sales fell -0.7%, but rose 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. Redbook reports retail sales rose 3.8% on a year-ago basis.
Chain stores today are reporting moderate increases in rates of year-on-year sales growth in September.
A drop in wholesale sales of -0.7% swelled inventories by 0.7%, leading to a hefty stock-to-sales ratio of 1.19.
Initial weekly jobless claims fell 1,000 to 287,000. The 4-week average fell 7,000 to 287,750. Continuing claims fell 21,000 to 2.381 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 2 points to 36.8 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $5.1 billion last week, with total assets of $4.455 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $3.9 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-7.3 billion in the latest week.
ICSC-Goldman reports weekly retail sales rose 0.1%, and rose 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. Redbook reports retail sales rose 5.4% on a year-ago basis.
Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index rose 1 point in September to -15.
Consumer credit rose a lower-than-expected $13.5 billion in August, as revolving credit slipped to $0.2 billion.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 248,000 net new jobs were created in September, with the unemployment rate falling to 5.9%. Average weekly hours rose to 34.6 hours from 34.5 hours, while average hourly income was unchanged at $20.67. All good so far. However, 97,000 people left the labor force last month, sending the labor force participation rate down -0.1% to 62.7%, the lowest since February of 1978. That means that 8,609,000 people who would have jobs with a historical participation rate average of 66.2%, do not now have jobs. In real terms, the unemployment rate is actually 10.87%, based on the historical labor force participation rate.
The US trade deficit fell by $400,000 to $-40.1 billion in August.
The Markit PMI services index for September fell -0.6 points to 58.9.
The ISM non-manufacturing index fell -1 point to 58.6 in September.
The JP Morgan Global Composite PMI fell -0.2 points to 54.9, while the Services PMI fell -0.2 points to 55.3 in September.