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Economic statistics

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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Economic Statistics for 31 Jul 12

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

Personal income rose 0.5% in June, but personal spending was unchanged. The PCE price index rose 0.1% for the month, up 1.5% from last year. The Core PCE price index rose 0.2% for the month, and 1.8% over last year.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index improved slightly in July to 94.0, which, at below the 100 level, indicates a demand for safety.

Consumer Confidence for July came in at 65.9 on the index, indicating confidence is still bumping along the bottom.

The Chicago PMI rose 0.8 in July to 53.7, indicating slightly faster growth in the Chicago area than last month. This report is usually seen as an indicator of the national PMI, which will be released tomorrow.

Home prices posted a strong jump in May according to S&P Case-Shiller, which shows a seasonally adjusted 0.9% increase. But, on a year-over-year basis, prices are down -0.7%.

The Employment Cost Index rose a relatively subdued 0.5% in the 2nd Quarter. Year-over-year, the ECI is up a moderate 1.7%.

In weekly retail sales, Redbook shows a very weak 1.1% year-over-year sales increase. ICSC-Goldman Store Sales showed a disappointing -1.7% decline in sales from last week, with a year-over-year sales increase of only 1.8%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 3o Jul 12

 

Today’s only release is the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey for July, whose business activity index plunged to -13.2 from 5.8, while the production index fell to 12.0 from 15.5. This is the lowest business activity index score since September, 2011. The 19-point drop in the business activity index is also the biggest one-month decline since April 2005.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 27 Jul 12

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

The Commerce Department’s initial estimate of 2nd Quarter GDP is that it grew at a disappointing 1.5% annualized rate, down from a revised 2.0% in the 1st Quarter. The GDP Price index, an inflation measure, showed prices increasing at a 1.6% annualized rate. The main cause for the drop in growth was personal consumption expenditures, which fell from 2.4% in the 1st Quarter to 1.5% in the 2nd Quarter. Imports also jumped to 6.0% from 3.1%. On the plus side, as bad as this GDP report is, it was better than expected.

Reuters/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index was 72.3, a 0.3 gain from mid-month and a 0.9 decline from June.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 26 Jul 12

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

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index fell to -38.5 from last week’s -37.9.

The Pending Home Sales Index fell -1.4% in June, to 99.3, as low housing prices keep existing homes off the market, reducing the available inventory.

Initial jobless claims fell sharply, down 35,000 to 353,000. The 4-week average fell 8,750 to 367,250. Continuing claims fell 30,000 to 3.287 million. There is a lot of weekly variation in the numbers, as the auto industry re-tools over the summer, so the 4-week average is the better number to look at right now.

Buoyed mainly by aircraft sales, durable goods orders rose 1.6% in June, up 8.0% from last year. Ex transportation, however, orders fell -1.1%, and were up only 3.0% from last year.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing index slipped 6 points to a reading of 3 in Jul.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 25 Jul 12

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

June’s new home sales annual rate of 350,000 is 20,000 below expectations; however, May was revised upwards 13,000 to 382,000, the highest rate in two years. April was also revised up 15,000 to 358,000.

MBA Purchase Applications rose 0.9%, with purchase applications falling -3.0%, but refinancing applications rising 2.0%. Mortgage rates were unchanged, with conforming mortgages going at 3.74%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 24 Jul 12

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

The Richmond Fed manufacturing index contracted sharply in July to -14 versus -3 last month. New Orders fell to -25.

The FHFA purchase only house price index in May advanced 0.8%, following a 0.8% rise in April. The year-on-year rate is up 3.7%, vice 3.0% percent in April.

The Markit Economics’ PMI Flash for the US slowed to 51.8 in July versus the revised 52.5 in June.

In weekly retail sales, Redbook year-year chain store sales growth came in at a disappointing 1.3% rate, due to unseasonably hot weather. Conversely, ICSC-Goldman says cooler weather produced a 1.0% sales increase for the week, with a year-on-year rate of 3.3%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 19 Jul 12

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

In a week confused by seasonal adjustments, initial unemployment claims rose 34,000 in to 386,000, which is much higher than expected. But the 4-week average is actually lower, down 1,500 to a 375,500. Continuing claims rose 1,000 to 3.314 million. The 4-week average is also up 1,000 to 3.312 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index remained unchanged at -37.5 in the latest week.

Existing home sales fell 5.4% in June to a much weaker than expected 4.37 million annual rate, the lowest of the year. The declines are across the board in both single-family homes and condos, and in all geographical regions.

The Philadelphia Fed Survey rose to -12.9, indicating a slower rate of contraction in the district from last month.

The Conference Board’s index of leading indicators fell 0.3% in June. But the coincident index rose 0.2% in June, indicating current growth in the economy.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 18 Jul 12 (Updated)

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

Housing starts rebounded 6.9% in June, to a 0.760 million annual rate. Housing permits, an indicator of future activity, fell -3.7% to a 0.755 million annual rate.

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association reports mortgage applications rose 16.9% last week, with purchases down -0.1%, and re-finance applications up 22.0%.

Update: The Fed’s Beige Book report on the economy, while still troubling, was a bit more optimistic than expected. Retail sales, housing, loan demand, and inflation were moderately positive. Manufacturing is still weak, however. Overall, though, the report indicates a weakening recovery and sluggish economy. The strength in retail sales also is at odds with the official reporting, which indicates substantially more weakness than the Beige Book reports.

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Dale Franks
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