The Fed’s Beige Book reports today that US economic growth remains modest to moderate, though the labor market continues to grow.
March retail sales fell a disappointing -0.3%, though sales less autos rose 0.2% and sales less autos and gas rose 0.1%.
Producer Prices for Final Demand fell -0.1% in March. Prices less food and energy fell -0.1%, and prices less food, energy, and trade services were unchanged. On a year-over-year basis, PPI-FD is down -0.1%, Prices less food and energy are up 1.0%, and prices less food, energy, and trade services are up 0.9%.
Business inventories fell -0.1% in February, but a -0.4% drop in sales kept the stock-to-sales ratio at a high 1.41.
The Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations outlook for the next 12 months dipped -0.1% to 1.7% in April.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications, driven by interest rate drops, rose 10.0% last week, with purchases up 8.0% and refis up 11.0%.
Increased costs for Medicare and especially net interest payments drove the Treasury’s budget deficit in March to $-108.0 billion. The deficit-to-date is 4.9% higher than April 2015.
Import prices rose 0.2% in March, while export prices were unchanged. On a year-over-year basis, import prices are down -6.2% and export prices were down -6.1%.
The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index fell -0.3 points to 92.6 in March.
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%.
Chain stores that reported sales today are reporting weaker sales for March than February.
Initial weekly jobless claims fell 9,000 to 267,000. The 4-week average rose 3,500 to 266,750. Continuing claims rose 19,000 to 2.191 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -0.2 points to 42.6 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $1.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.484 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-1.0 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $69.3 billion in the latest week.
Imports rose 1.3%, while exports rose only 1.0% in February, widening the International Trade gap to $-47.1 billion for the month.
The Gallup Economic Confidence Index rose to -10 from -13 in March.
Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales increase fell to 0.6% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.5%.
The PMI Services Index rose 1.6 points to 51.3 in March.
The ISM non-manufacturing index rose a sharp 1.1 points in March to a 54.5.
The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey fell to 5.445 million in February, from January’s 5.541 million.
Factory orders plunged -1.7% in February, with core capital goods dropping -2.5%, indicating trouble for business investment.
The Fed’s Labor Market Conditions Index rose slightly, but remained in negative territory for March at -2.1.
Gallup’s US Consumer Spending Measure reports that American’s self-reported daily spending rose from $84 to $89 in March.
Dale finally gets a car…which breaks down the same day. Meanwhile, Michael’s law school adopts a new name that results in the school’s acronym being ASSOL.
This week’s podcast is up on the Podcast page.
The Gallup Good Jobs (GGJ) rate was 44.4 percent in March.
Challenger reports that the number of layoff announcements fell to 48,207 in March.
The Chicago PMI rose from 47.6 to 53.6 in March.
Initial weekly jobless claims rose 11,000 to 276,000. The 4-week average rose 3,500 to 263,250. Continuing claims fell -7,000 to 2.173 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -0.8 points to 42.8 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-10.0 billion last week, with total assets of $4.483 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-6.2 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $37.5 billion in the latest week.
Motor vehicle sales slowed sharply in March, down -5.1% to a 16.6M annual rate.
215,000 net new jobs were created in March, as the unemployment rate rose to 5.0%. The labor force participation rate rose to 63.0%. Average hourly earnings rose 0.3%, while the average workweek remained unchanged at 34.4 hours.
The PMI Manufacturing Index was only slightly changed, up 0.2 points to 51.5.
The ISM Manufacturing Index rose from 49.5 to 51.8 in March.
The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose 1.0 point to 91.0 in March.
Construction spending fell -0.5% in February, but the year-on-year rate of spending was up 10.3%.
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose 4 points in March to 96.2.
State Street’s Investor Confidence Index rose 8.1 points in March to 114.6.
The Case-Schiller Home Price Index rose 0.8% in January. On a year-over-year basis, the index is up 5.7%.
Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose to a lackluster 1.5% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 0.8%.