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Economic statistics

Economic Statistics for 17 Sep 12

Today’s only economic release is the Empire State manufacturing index, which fell sharply to -10.41 vice -5.85 in August. New orders plunged to -14.03 down 12 points since June. Unfilled orders have been falling for months now, and stand at -14.89. On the other hand, the 6-month expectation for new orders is up to 17.02, well into positive territory. Whether those expectations will be met remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the district’s manufacturing sector continues to bump along the bottom.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 14 Sep 12

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

The Consumer Price Index rose sharply, up 0.6% for the month, though the year-over-year inflation rate is 1.7%. The core CPI, ex-food and –energy, rose just 0.1% last month, and 1.7% on a year-over-year basis.

Business inventories rose 0.8% in July, while sales rose 0.9%, trimming the stock-to-sales ratio down to 1.28.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose a sharp 4.9 points to 79.2.

The Fed reports that industrial production declined by -1.2% last month, erasing the previous two month’s production increases. Capacity utilization at the nation’s factories fell -1.0% to 78.2% from 79.2 percent.

Retail sales jumped 0.9% in August, and sales less cars were up 0.8%. But, sales less gas and cars only rose 0.1% showing underlying weakness in the headline number. On a year-over-year basis, sales were up 4.7%. When taking prices into effect, sales were soft for the month.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 13 Sep 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Initial jobless claims rose 15,000 in the latest week to 382,000. The 4-week moving average rose to 375,000. But, continuing claims are down 49,000 to 3.282 million. Much of this week’s rise is blamed on Tropical Storm Isaac, which led to increased claims.

The producer price index rose a sizable 1.7% in August—mainly on sharp increases in food and energy prices—after a 0.3% rise in July. Ex-food and energy prices, the core PPI rose 0.2%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose sharply on improved personal finances, up 4.3 points to -42.2. Despite the sharp improvement, the CCI is still at a deeply depressed level, of course.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 12 Sep 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

The MBA reports a big 11.1% surge in mortgage applications for last week, with purchases up 8.0% and re-fis up 12.0%.

Export prices rose 0.9% in August, while import prices rose by 0.7%. On a year-over-year basis, export prices fell -0.9%, while import prices fell -2.2%.

Wholesale inventories continue to rise relative to sales, up 0.7% in July, while the stock to sales ratio rose to 1.21, the third straight increase and the highest of the recovery.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 11 Sep 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today (or in the case of Consumer Credit, late yesterday):

Total US credit outstanding fell $3.3 billion in July. Revolving credit fell $4.8 billion, the second drop in a row.

The U.S. international trade gap in July grew slightly, as the trade deficit increased to $42 billion from $41.9 billion in June. Exports declined -1.0%, following a 1.2% rise in June. Imports shrank -0.8% after a -1.5% decrease in June.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.7 points in August to 92.9 in improved sales expectations and in employment plans.

In retail sales, Redbook reported a 2.7% year-on-year sales increase, the best since early June. ICSC-Goldman Store Sales is also showing strength, as sales rose 1.0% for the week, and 3.4% year-over-year.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 7 Sep 12

The only economic release today is the monthly Employment Situation. In August, 96,000 net new jobs were created, with the unemployment rate falling to 8.1%. Analysts had predicted a steady 8.3% unemployment rate with 125,000 new jobs created. Instead, job creation remains anemic, though the exit of 368,000 workers from the labor force lowered the unemployment rate, which makes the lower unemployment rate bad news. The labor force participation rate declined -0.2% to 63.5%, while the employment-population rate fell -0.1% to 58.3%, near the low since the recession, and, before that, 1983. 119,000 fewer workers identified themselves as employed last month, with the total falling to 142,101,000.

Average weekly hours were unchanged at 33.7. Average hourly earnings declined by one penny to $19.75. 

If the labor force participation rate were at the historical average of 66.2%, the real rate of unemployment would be 11.37%, up from 11.16% last month and 11.04% in June.

There’s just nothing positive in this report.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 6 Sep 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Initial jobless claims fell sharply last week, down 12,000 to 365,000. The 4-week average rose to 371,250, however. Continuing claims fell 6000to 3.322 million.

ADP private payroll employment rose well above expectations to 201,000 in August, following a revised 173,000 total for July. This bodes well for tomorrow’s Employment Situation report.

The composite index from the ISM non-manufacturing survey for August rose 1.1 points to 53.7.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell rose slightly to -46.5.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report shows a total of 32,239 layoffs for August, the second lowest of the recovery.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 5 Sep 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Nonfarm business productivity for the second quarter was revised upwards to 2.2%. Unit labor costs were revised downwards to a 1.5% increase. These revisions are in line with the earlier revisions to 2nd Quarter GDP.

The MBA reports mortgage applications fell by -2.5% last week, with purchases down -0.8%, and re-finance apps falling by -3.0%.

In weekly retail sales Redbook reports a strong 2.5% year-over-year sales increase, the strongest since June. ICSC-Goldman Store Sales fell -0.4% in the latest week, but is still up 3.7% year-on-year, the strongest increase of the summer.

 

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 4 Sep 12 (Updated)

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

The final manufacturing PMI from Markit Economics is 51.5, almost unchanged from July’s 51.4.

The ISM manufacturing index remains at contractionary levels, falling 0.2 points to 49.6. New orders are contracting for the third straight month, and are at the worst level since April, 2009, at 47.1. The lack of new orders means the production index fell a very steep 4.1 points 47.1, the first reading under 50 since May 2009. There’s really nothing positive in this report.

Construction spending fell unexpectedly in July, falling -0.9% from June. On a year-over-year basis, spending rose 9.3%.

Motor vehicles sales will be reported throughout the day today. The consensus estimate is for 11.1-11.4 million units sold domestically, with 14.0-14.7 units sold worldwide.

UPDATE: The auto industry posted the best August sales in 5 years, with domestic vehicle sales at an annual 11.6 million annual rate, and total vehicle sales at 14.5 million. Sales were up over 20% from a year ago.Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, showed a sales increase of 46%, and Honda’s sales rose 59.5% as the company’s recover from the earthquake and tsunami last year. All three domestic auto makers posted greater sales gains than analysts had expected.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 31 Aug 12

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

The Chicago PMI fell slightly to 53, but this is eclipsed by the new orders index jumping 2 points to 54.8.

The consumer sentiment index rose 0.7 to end at 74.3 this month, but the future expectations index is declining as gas prices rise.

Factory orders snapped back from June’s decline with a 2.8% increase for July. The big jump is led mainly by a 4.8% increase in durable goods from transportation orders for airplanes and autos. Ex-transportation, durables orders were up 0.7%. Capital goods orders show a big dip when aircraft orders are excluded. Despite the aircraft orders skewing the numbers, however, the overall report points to modest economic growth.

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Dale Franks
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