Housing starts for August fell a disappointing 14.4% to an annualized 0.956 million units, but this comes off a very strong July reading.
Initial weekly jobless claims fell 36,000 to 280,000. The 4-week average fell 4,750 to 299,500. Continuing claims fell 63,000 to 2.429 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.7 points to 37.2 in the latest week.
The general business conditions index of the Philadelphia Fed’s Business Outlook Survey fell -5.5 points to 22.5 in September.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $28.2 billion last week, with total assets of 4.408 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $29.9 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $25.1 billion in the latest week.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 7.9% last week, with purchases up 5.0% and refis up 10.0%.
Consumer prices fell -0.2% at the overall rate in August, while the core CPI, which excludes food and energy, was unchanged. On a year-over-year basis, both the headline and core CPI are up 1.7%.
The nation’s current account deficit narrowed to $-98.5 billion in the 2nd Quarter, down from the 1st Quarter’s revised $-102.1 billion.
The NAHB housing market index for August rose 4 points to 59 in September.
The Fed’s newest forecast for GDP growth:2014: 2.0 to 2.2 %; 2015: 2.6 to 3.0 %; 2016: 2.6 to 2.9 %; 2017: 2.3 to 2.5 %; longer run: 2.0 to 2.2 %. In other words, sub-par economic growth for as long as they can foresee. As a reminder, the trend rate of growth for mature economies should be in the 3.0-3.5% range.
The Federal Open Markets Committee announced that interest rates will remain unchanged, with a Fed Funds Rate target of 0-0.5%.
ICSC-Goldman reports weekly retail sales fell -2.6%, and rose 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. Redbook reports retail sales rose 3.6% on a year-ago basis.
Producer Prices for Final Demand were unchanged in August, and were up 0.1% less food and energy. On a year-over-year basis the PPI-FD is up 1.8% overall, and up 1.6% less food and energy. Other relevant numbers from this release:
PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services – M/M change: 0.2%
PPI-FD Goods – M/M change: -0.3%
PPI-FD Goods – Y/Y change: 1.7%
PPI-FD Services – M/M change: 0.3%
PPI-FD Services – Y/Y change: 1.9%
Foreign demand for long-term US securities fell $-18.6 billion in July.
Business inventories rose 0.4% in July, while a 0.8% rise in business sales that Kept the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 1.29.
August retail sales rose 0.6%, while sales less autos rose 0.3% and sales less autos and gas rose 0.5%
August export prices fell -0.5%, while import prices fell -0.9%. On a year-over year bases, export prices rose 0.4% while import prices fell -0.4%.
The Reuters/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose 2.1 points to 84.6 in August.
Sorry about missing the econ stats yesterday. I’ll make it up today. What happened yesterday was that one of my laptops went TU, so I had to go to the store and replace it. In doing so, I switched from Win8 to a new Macbook Air 11”. So, for the first time in 15 years, I’m doing stuff on a Mac. Including this, my very first blog post from a Mac, ever. I’m also planning on getting an iPhone 6 and a jaunty beret.
Ha! Just kidding. I already have a couple of berets. Anyway, Economic statistics:
Weekly jobless claims rose 11,000 to 315,000. The 4-week average rose 1,250 to 304,000. Continuing claims rose 9,000 to 2.487 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.2 points to 36.5, a five-week low.
Information technology revenue rose 0.8% in the 2nd Quarter of 2014, and is up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -7.2% last week, with purchases down 3.0% and refis down -11.0%.
Wholesale inventories rose 0.1% in July, but a 0.7% increase in sales dropped the stock-to-sales ratio to 1.16.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $5.8 billion, with total assets of 4.421 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $4.2 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $10.3 billion in the latest week.
Today’s only economic release is a big one, and it’s disappointing.
The Employment Situation report shows only 142,000 net new jobs were created in July, well below expectations. The Unemployment rate fell -0.1% to 6.1%, though sadly, this is mainly because the civilian labor force fell by 64,000 this month, while the number of persons not in the labor force rose by 268,000. This brought the labor force participation rate down to 62.8%, matching the lowest participation rate since 1978. Essentially, the number of people leaving the labor force was twice the number of new jobs created. In addition, the Household Survey indicates an additional 80,000 workers became unemployed in the last month. Average hourly earnings rose 0.2%, while average weekly hours were unchanged at 34.5 hours.
The US trade deficit in July shrank $0.3 billion to $-40.5 billion. Exports rose 0.9%, while imports rose 0.7%.
Nonfarm productivity growth for the 2nd Quarter of 2014 rose at a 2.3% annualized rate, as unit labor costs fell -0.1%.
The ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Index rose 0.9 points in August, to 59.6.
The JP Morgan Global Composite PMI fell -0.4 points to 55.1 in August, while the Global Services PMI fell -0.5 points to 55.5.
Chain stores are reporting mostly rising rates of year-on-year sales growth in August compared to July, due to solid back-to-school sales.
Challenger’s Job Cut Report layoff count for August totals 40,010, vice 46,887 in July and 50,462 a year ago.
ADP estimates that private payroll growth in August was 204,000 jobs.
Gallup’s U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate fell -0.2% to 44.9%.
Weekly initial jobless claims rose 4,000 to 302,000. The 4-week average rose 3,000 to 302,750. Continuing claims fell 64,000 to a new recovery low of 2.464 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.4 points to 37.7 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $1.9 billion last week, with total assets of $4.416 trillion. Total reserve bank credit fell by $-2.5 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose $14.5 billion in the latest week.
August motor vehicle sales rose a solid 6.4% to a 17.5 million annual rate.
Factory orders jumped 10.5% in July—all on aircraft sales. Ex-transportation orders actually fell -0.8%.
The Fed’s newest Beige Book, released today, still rates US economic growth as modest to moderate.
ICSC-Goldman says weekly retail sales were unchanged in the latest week, but up 4.8% over last year. Redbook’s retail sales reading shows 4.9% year-over-year sales growth.
The MBA reports mortgage applications rose 0.2% last week, with purchases down -2.0% but refis up 1.0%.
Gallup’s U.S. Job Creation Index was unchanged in August at 28, holding at a 6-year high.