Free Markets, Free People

Economic statistics

Economic Statistics for 21 Nov 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Initial claims for unemployment fell 41,000 last week, to 410,000. The 4-week moving average rose to 396,250. Continuing claims fell 30,000 to 3.337 million. The huge swings of the past couple of weeks are clearly related to Hurricane Sandy, so getting any handle on the fundamentals of the labor market are impossible with the current weekly volatility.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell –2.2% last week, with purchases up 3.0% and refinancings –3.0%. Despite an overall decline in applications, purchase applications are trending up, which is a positive trend for the health of the housing market.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell –0.8 points to –33.9.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell more than 2 points to 82.7.

The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators rose 0.2% in October.

The Markit Economics PMI Manufacturing Index Flash rose more than a point to 52.4 for the mid-month flash. Anything over 50 generally indicates economic growth.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 20 Nov 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a lackluster 1.8% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman reports a weekly sales decline of -0.3%, and a weak 2.5% increase on a year-over-year basis.

Housing starts rose 3.6 percent in October to an annual pace of 894,000. Building permits, an indicator of future construction activity, fell 2.7% to an annual pace of 866,000.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 16 Nov 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Industrial production fell -0.4% in October, while capacity utilization at the nation’s factories fell -0.5% to 77.8%. Manufacturing was hit even harder, with production down -0.9%.

The net inflow of of long-term financial securities into the US fell sharply to $3.3 billion from last month’s $90.3 billion.

E-commerce sales in the 3rd Quarter rose 3.7%. E-commerce’s share of total retail sales rose from 5.1% to 5.2%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 15 Nov 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Initial claims for unemployment rose a massive 78,000 last week, to 439,000. The 4-week moving average rose 11,750 to 383,750. Continuing claims rose 171,000 to 3.334 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index continues to rise, coming in at –33.1 versus –34.4 at last reading.

The consumer price index in October increased 0.1%, while the core rate,excluding food and energy, rose 0.2%. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI rose 2.2%, while the core rate rose 2.0%.

The general business conditions index of the Philadelphia Fed’s Business Outlook Survey for November plunged to –10.7 from 5.7 the prior month. The decline stems mainly from the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

The Empire State manufacturing index in November rose to –5.22 from –6.16, showing little impact from Sandy, unlike the Philly Fed.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 14 Nov 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 12.6% last week, with purchases up 11% and refinancings up 13%. This is a very big swing, but weekly data is prone to this kind of volatility.

Business inventories rose 0.7% in September for the third monthly gain in a row. Thanks to strong September sales, which were up 1.4%, the inventory-to-sales ratio tightened a notch to 1.28.

The producer price index in October posted an unexpected –0.2% decline. The core rate, which excludes both food and energy, also fell –0.2%. On a year-over-year basis, the overall PPI is up 2.3%, and the core rate is up 2.1%.

Retail sales in October fell –3.0%. Ex-autos, sales were unchanged. Ex-Gas and autos, sales were down –3.0%. In general, the core sales components were softer for the month.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 13 Nov 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a 1.6% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman reports a weekly sales increase of 0.7%, and a 1.8% increase on a year-over-year basis.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose to 93.1, a level that is still characterized as "solidly pessimistic" and "recessionary territory."

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 9 Oct 12

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

Wholesale inventories rose sharply, up 1.1% in September, but is offset by a 2.0% rise in sales, leaving a leaner 1.19 stock-to-sales ratio.

Export prices were unchanged in October, and are down –0.5% on a year-over-year basis. Import prices rose 0.5%, but only 0.4% year-over-year.

Consumer sentiment is strengthening, up 2.3 points to another recovery best of 84.9.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 8 Nov 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Late yesterday, the Consumer Credit report showed another steep $11.4 billion increase in consumer credit for September, following August’s very large $18.4 billion increase. One of the main contributors to the increase was student loan debt.

Initial claims for unemployment fell 8,000 last week, to 355,000. The 4-week moving average rose 3,250 to 370,500. Continuing claims fell a sharp 135,000 to 3.127 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.3 points to –34.3, the highest reading since spring.

The U.S. international trade gap in September fell to -$41.5 billion from -$44.2 billion in August. Exports rose 3.1%, and imports rose 1.5%.

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Dale Franks
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