Free Markets, Free People

Economic statistics

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Economic Statistics for 19 May 16

The Philadelphia Fed survey went into slightly more negative territory in May, down -0.2 to -1.8.

Conversely, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index turned positive, rising 0.55 points to 0.10 for May.

The Conference Board’s  index of leading economic indicators shot up 0.6% in April. 

Initial weekly jobless claims fell 16,000 to 278,000. The 4-week average rose 7,500 to 275,750. Continuing claims fell 13,000 to 2.152 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.9 points to 42.6 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-4.7 billion last week, with total assets of $4.474 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $8.9 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-9.7 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 17 May 16

A jump in gas prices sent the Consumer Price Index up 0.4% in April, but up only 0.2% less food and energy prices. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is up 1.1% overall, and up 2.1% less food and energy.

Housing starts rose 6.6% in April, to a moderate 1.172 million annual rate, but the year-over-year rate dipped negative, to -1.7%. Building permits, an indicator of future housing activity, rose 3.6% in April to a 1.116 million rate, but the year-on-year rate is even more negative, at -7.2%.

Industrial production rose 0.7% in April, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories rose 0.6% to 75.4%.

E-Commerce retail sales for the 1st Quarter of 2016 came in with an unexpectedly strong 3.7% increase, and a 15.2% year-on-year increase.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales growth slowed into the doldrums again, up 0.5% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.1%.


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Economic Statistics for 13 May 16

Retail sales snapped back in April, with an increase of 1.3%. Sales less autos rose 0.8% and sales less auto and gas rose 0.6%.

Producer prices for final demand rose 0.2% in April. Prices less food and energy rose 0.1%, and prices less food, energy, and trade services, rose 0.3%. On a year-over-year basis:
PPI-FD: 0.0%
Less food & energy: 0.9%
Less food, energy, and trade services: 0.9%

Business inventories rose 0.4% in March, but a 0.3% rise in sales kept the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 1.41.

May consumer sentiment is soaring, up 6.8 points to 95.8 for the mid-month flash reading.


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Economic Statistics for 12 May 16

April import prices rose 0.3%, and export prices rose 0.5%. On a year-over-year basis prices are down -5.7% for imports and -5.0% for exports.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 20,000 to 294,000. The 4-week average rose 10,250 to 268,250. Continuing claims rose 31,000 to 2.161 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -0.3 points to 41.7 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $1.1 billion last week, with total assets of $4.478 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $1.1 billion. The Fed’s balance sheet has been stable for months, but I continue to monitor it for signs that the Fed is unwinding the $4 trillion in debt it has absorbed since 2008.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $28.5 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 10 May 16

The Fed’s Labor Market Conditions index rose 1.2 points, but remained negative at -0.9 in April.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.0 points to 93.6 in April.

The Labor Department’s JOLTS report showed a jump to 5.575 million job openings in March, versus 5.445 million in February.

Wholesale inventories rose 0.1% in March, but a 0.7% sales increase kept the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 1.36.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales growth rose to a still-weak 1.1% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 0.6%.


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Economic Statistics for 6 May 16

Only 160,000 net new jobs were created in April, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 5.0%.  The departure of 362,000 people from the labor force drove the labor force participation rate down -0.2% to 82.8%. Average weekly hours rose 0.1 hours to 34.5 hours, and average hourly wearing rose $0.08 to $25.53.

Consumer credit rose a sharp $29.7 billion in March, including a very strong $11.1 billion increase in revolving credit.


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Economic Statistics for 5 May 16

Chain stores today reported that year-on-year sales rates were weaker than March, which was an already weak month.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report shows that April layoff announcements swelled to 65,141 from 48,207 in March.

Gallup’s Good Jobs Rate rose 0.5% to 44.9% in April.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 17,000 to 274,000. The 4-week average rose 2,000 to 258,000. Continuing claims fell 8,000 to 2.121 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.4 points to 42.0 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $2.6 billion last week, with total assets of $4.477 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-7.7 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $62.8 billion in the latest week.


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