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Economic statistics

Economic Statistics for 16 Aug 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

The general business conditions index of the Philadelphia Fed’s Business Outlook Survey improved to-7.1 from July’s -12.9. In other words, the rate of contraction isn’t as bad as it was less month.

Housing starts in July fell -1.1% after rising 6.9% in June. The July pace of 0.746 million units was up 21.5% on a year-ago basis.

Initial jobless claims rose 2,000 last week to 366,000, but the 4-week average, at 363,750, was down 5,500 from the prior week.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to -44.4, which is its lowest reading since January 29.

E-commerce sales rose 3.3% in the second quarter, with year-on-year growth at 15.3%. E-commerce sales were 5.1% of total retail sales.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 15 Aug 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

The consumer price index was unchanged in July, after being unchanged in June and falling -0.3% in May. Excluding food and energy, the core CPI rose 0.1%, following 0.2% in the last two months. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is up 1.7%, with the core CPI rising 2.2%

Industrial production rose 0.6% in July following a 0.4% increase in June. Overall capacity utilization improved to 79.4% from 78.9% in June.

The Empire State manufacturing index for August fell sharply to -5.85 from July’s 7.39, indicating weakness in the manufacturing sector.

The net capital inflow of long-term securities rose only $9.3 billion in June, the the weakest since October, 2011.

The NAHB housing market index rose 2 points this month to 37, nearly the highest since early 2007.

The MBA reports mortgage applications declined last week, falling a sharp -4.5%. Purchase apps fell -2.0%, while re-fi apps fell -5.0%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 14 Aug 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

In weekly retail sales, Redbook year-year chain store sales growth came in at a 1.8% rate, the 4th time in five weeks it’s been below 2%. ICSC-Goldman showed a -0.3% sales decrease for the week, but an improved year-on-year rate of 3.6%.

Business inventories in June rose 0.1%, outpacing sales which fell 1.1%. The mismatch for June raised the stock-to-sales ratio to 1.29, the highest in 2 1/2 years. This inventory accumulation will hold down GDP, and slow sales will hold down business confidence.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell -0.2 points in July to 91.2, after two months of improvement.

The Producer Price Index in July jumped 0.3% percent, following a 0.1% increase in June. The core PPI rose 0.4%, following June’s 0.2% gain. On a year-over-year basis, the PPI is up 0.5%, but the core PPI is up 2.5%.

Retail sales in July jumped 0.8 %, following a weak -0.2% drop in May and a weaker -0.5% decrease in June. Retail sales ex-autos also rose 0.8%, while ex-auto and ex-gas sales rose 0.9%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 9 Aug 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

The U.S. international trade gap in June narrowed to $42.9 billion from $48.7 billion, mainly from lower fuel prices and imports.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to -41.9 in the latest period, the lowest reading in two months.

Wholesale sales fell -1.4% in June, while inventories declined only -0.2%, a mismatch that increases the inventory-to-sales ratio to 1.20.

Initial jobless claims fell 6,000 to 361,000 last week. The 4-week average rose 2,250 to 367,000. Continuing claims rose 53,000 to 3.32M.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 8 Aug 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

2nd Quarter nonfarm productivity rose an annualized 1.6%, primarily on a slowing in hours worked. Unit labor costs rose an annualized 1.6% on slower compensation growth.

The MBA reports mortgage applications fell by -1.8%. Purchase apps fell -1.0%, while re-financing apps fell -2.0%.

Total consumer credit outstanding rose $6.5 billion in June, driven by students who are aggressively—and probably unwisely—taking out loans.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 7 Aug 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

Redbook reports year-on-year same store sales growth at 2.0%, but the 4-week average, at 1.5% is at a recovery low. ICSC-Goldman Store Sales are unchanged from last week, and up only 1.4% from last year, also a recovery low.

The report on Consumer credit is due out this afternoon.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 3 Aug 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rose 0.5 to 52.6. New orders rose 1 point to 54.3, while business activity, jumped 5.5 points to 57.2.

A net 163,000 new jobs were added to the economy in July, while the unemployment rate rose to 8.3%. This marks the 41st consecutive month that unemployment has remained above 8%. The broadest measure of unemployment measured by the BLS, the U-6 unemployment rate, rose to 15.2%. The average workweek remained unchanged at 34.5 hours, while hourly earnings increased by only 0.1%, rising 2 cents to $23.52. The civilian non-institutional adult population rose by 199,000 persons in July, while 195,000 fewer people were listed as being employed. As a result, the employment-population ratio fell back to its historical low of 58.4%, and the labor force participation rate fell to 63.7%, also a historical low. Prior to the current recession, the last time those ratios were this low was in 1983. If the labor force participation rate were at the historical average of 66.2%, the current rate of unemployment would be 11.72%. Overall, the report was merely "fairly bad", rather than "completely disastrous", like the last two months have been.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 2 Aug 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

Factory orders dropped a disappointing -0.5% in June, with non-durable goods down -2.0%. Durable goods rose 1.3%, but only because of aircraft orders, with other durable components mainly negative.

Initial jobless claims rose 8,000 in the July 28 week to 365,000. The 4-week moving average dropped 1,750 to 365,500. Continuing claims fell 19,000 to 3.272 million. The 4-week average dropped 11,000 to 3.299 million, the lowest in six weeks.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to -39.7, the lowest reading in five months.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report counts 36,855 layoffs for June, which is the lowest since April, 2011.

June chain-store sales reports are very positive so far today. A number of retail chains are raising guidance in reaction. Today’s results are the first increase since March for the ex-auto, ex-gas retail sector.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 1 Aug 12 (Updated)

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

US motor vehicle sales: Chrysler reports a 12% sales increase, with 126,089 vehicles sold. GM sales were down -6% at 201,237, while Ford dropped -4% to 173,966. Volkswagen sales for June rose 27.3% to 37,014. Toyota sales rose 26% to 164,898. Nissan was up 16.2% to 53,744. Overall, auto sales so far this year remain on track for 14.4 million units sold, which would be more than a 12% increase over 2011.

The Federal Open Markets Committee meeting has announced that monetary policy will remain unchanged for now. Their assessment of the economy is that growth has slowed since the last meeting.

The ISM Manufacturing Index remains little changed this month, at a slightly contractionary 49.8. New orders are also weak, at 48.0.

Construction spending rose 0.4% in June, and was up 7.0% over June 2011, another indication of a modest uptrend in construction and housing.

The ADP Employment Report predicts that non-farm payrolls will rise 163,000 in July, indicating continued weakness can be expected in Friday’s Employment Situation report.

Markit Economics’ final PMI Manufacturing Index for July dropped to 51.4 from the preliminary estimate of 52.5.

An interesting bit in today’s Treasury Refunding announcement is that the Treasury is studying the possibility of negative rates at bond auctions. This would allow you to pay the Treasury for the privilege of lending it money.

For the third straight week, MBA Purchase Applications declined, falling -2.0%. The overall index rose 0.2%, though, as re-fi apps rose 0.8%. The drop in purchase apps raises questions about how solid the recent moderate rise in the housing sector really is.

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Dale Franks
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