Free Markets, Free People

Economic statistics

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Economic Statistics for 23 Apr 15

Coming after yesterday’s strong existing home sales, new home sales for March were very disappointing, falling sharply by -11.4% to a 481,000 annual rate.

The Markit PMI manufacturing index flash for April fell -1.1 points to 54.2.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.2 points to 45.4 in the latest week.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 1,000 to 295,000. The 4-week average rose 1,750 to 284,500. Continuing claims rose 50,000 to 2.325 million.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $4.3 billion last week, with total assets of $4.490 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-1.4 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-40.6 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 22 Apr 15

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 2.3% last week, with purchases up 5.0% and refis up 1.0%.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index rose 0.7% in February, and is up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis.

Existing home sales surged 6.1% in March to a 5.190 million annual rate. On a year-over-year basis, sales are up 10.4%.


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Economic Statistics for 17 Apr 15

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% both overall, and less food and energy, in March. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is unchanged at the headline level, and up 1.8% at the core.

The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose 2.9 points to 95.9 in April.

The Conference Board’s index of leading indicators rose only 0.2% in March following a downwardly revised gain of only 0.1% in February.


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Economic Statistics for 16 Apr 15

Housing starts in March rose a disappointing 2.0%, following February’s -15.3 decline. Starts came in at an annualized 0.926 million. Housing permits, an indicator of future activity, were also disappointing, falling -5.7% to a 1.039 million annual rate. On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down -2.5% while permits were up 2.9%.

The Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey rose 2.5 points in April to 7.5.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.3 points to 46.6 in the latest week.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 12,000 to 294,000. The 4-week average rose 250 to 282,750. Continuing claims fell 40,000 to a new 15-year low of 2.268 million.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $1.9 billion last week, with total assets of $4.485 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $4.4 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose a sharp $78.9 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 15 Apr 15

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -2.3% last week, with purchases down 3.0% and refis down -2.0%.

The Empire State manufacturing index fell into negative territory at -1.19 in April, compared to 6.90 in March.

The Fed reports that industrial production fell -0.6% in March, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories fell -0.5% to 78.4%.

The Atlanta Fed’s Business Inflation Expectations survey held steady, in April, with businesses’ year-long inflation expectations at 1.7%.

The NAHB housing market index rose 3 points in April to 56.

The Fed’s Beige Book reported that economic activity in five Districts is expanding “moderately”, and is overall “modestly” positive but still sluggish.

Net foreign demand for long-term US securities rose $9.8 billion in February. Japan, for the first time since 2008, replaced China as the largest holder of US Securities.


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Economic Statistics for 14 Apr 15

The Treasury Department reports that government’s budget deficit came in at $-52.9 billion in March, compared to $-36.9 billion in March, 2014. Six months into fiscal 2015, the government’s deficit is 6.3% over March 2014 at $-439.5 billion.

Producer Prices for Final Demand rose 0.2% overall in March. On a year-over-year basis, prices have fallen -0.8%. PPI-FD less food & energy was also up 0.2%, and is up 0.9% on a year-ago basis. Other components:

  • PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services – M/M change: 0.2%
  • PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services – Y/Y change: 0.8%
  • PPI-FD Goods – M/M change: 0.3%
  • PPI-FD Goods – Y/Y change: -4.3%
  • PPI-FD Services – M/M change: 0.1%
  • PPI-FD Services – Y/Y change: 0.9%

Retail sales in March rose a healthy 0.9% after dropping -0.5% in February. 

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose only 1.1% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 3.4%, as an early Easter shifted dales to March.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell a sharp -2.8 points to 95.2 in March.

Business inventories rose 0.3% in February. Sales kept track with inventories, leaving the stock-to-sales ratio at a fat 1.36, the highest ratio since July, 2009.


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Economic Statistics for 9 Apr 15

Chain stores are reporting generally good sales for March today, as an early Easter pulled sales from April.

Wholesale inventories rose 0.3% in February, while a -0.2% drop in sales left the stock-to-sales ratio at a boated 1.29.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 14,000 to 281,000. The 4-week average fell 3,000 to 282,250. Continuing claims fell 23,000 to 2.304 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 1.7 points to 47.9 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $1.6 billion last week, with total assets of $4.483 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $0.7 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $10.5 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 8 Apr 15

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose o.4% last week. Purchases rose 7.0%, but re-fis fell -3.0%.

The minutes of the Fed’s last FOMC meeting shows some concern about when–and how–to raise rates and unwind Quantitative Easing. The minutes show that making monetary policy changes very gradually is going to be the policy. Policy changes may begin as early as the summer, though this, of course, will be data-driven.


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