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Economic statistics

Economic Statistics for 11 Apr 13

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

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index stayed steady at –34.0 this week.

March chain-store sales were mixed with 9 retail chains reporting higher year-on-year sales rates, 7 reporting lower rates, and 1 unchanged.

Initial jobless claims fell 42,000 last week to 346,000. The 4-week average rose 3,750 to 358,000. Continuing claims fell by 12,000.

Import prices fell 0.5% in March, with the year-on-year rate at -2.7%. Export prices fell -0.4% with the year-on-year rate up 0.3%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 09 Apr 13

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

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index dropped 1.3 points in march to 89.5, 1.2 points below the recovery average.

February wholesale inventories fell -0.3%, while sales rose 1.7%, pulling the stock-to-sales ratio down to 1.19.

In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a 2.5% year-on-year sales increase, as sales slowed following the Easter week. ICSC-Goldman store sales rose 0.7% in the week, with sales up a soft 2.1% year-over-year.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 5 Apr 13

The BLS reports non-farm payroll jobs increased by only 88,000 in March, while the unemployment level fell 0.1% to 7.6%. Private payrolls increased only 95,000. Average hourly earnings were unchanged, while the average workweek increased a single tick to 34.6 hours. The internals of the report are uniformly bad. The labor force participation rate fell to 63.3%, the lowest since May, 1979. 496,000 people left the labor force since last month, as it fell from 155,524,000 to 155,028,000. The number of persons who declared themselves employed in the household survey fell from 143,492,000 to 143,286,000, a decline of 206,000. The number of persons not in the labor force rose 663,000 to 89,967,000. The employment to population ratio is back down to 58.5, matching the lows of the 2009-2010 recession, and the historic lows of the 1978-1982 period. While it will probably be reported as a "bright spot" in an otherwise dreary employment report, even the drop in the official unemployment rate is bad, in that it is merely a reflection of the fact the people are leaving the labor force faster than new jobs can be created. So many people have left the labor force that the official unemployment rates are essentially useless. This month’s huge drop in the size of the labor force caused the U-6 unemployment rate, the broadest official measure of unemployment, to fall sharply from 14.3% last month to 13.8%. In actuality, using the historical average labor force participation rate, the real rate of unemployment jumped from 11.47% to 11.65%, the highest since Jan, 2012. There is simply nothing good in this report.

The US trade balanced narrowed slightly in February to $-43.0 billion from $-44.4 billion the previous month.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 4 Apr 13

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

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index was essentially unchanged in the latest week, at -34.1.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report reports that there were 49,255 announced layoff in March, substantially higher than the year-ago total of 37,880.

Initial jobless claims rose a sharp 28,000 to 385,000. The 4-week average rose 11,250 to 354,250. Continuing claims fell 8,000 to 3.067 million.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 3 Apr 13

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

The MBA reports mortgage applications fell -4.0% last week. While purchases were up 1.0%, re-fis fell -6.0%.

ADP’s Employment Report for March shows a weak 158,000 new private payroll jobs, pointing to weakness in Friday’s Employment Situation.

The ISM Non-Mfg Index fell 1.6 points to 54.4 in March. The employment component fell a sharp 3.9 points.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 2 Apr 13

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

Automakers are reporting the strongest monthly sales in 6 years for March. Ford, GM: 6%, Chrysler: 5%, Toyota,Nissan 1%.

In weekly retail sales, ICSC-Goldman Store Sales rose 4.7% for the week, but are up only 1.9% from last year. Redbook reports a strong year-on-year sales increase of 3.5%.

Factory orders rose 3.0% in February, and January’s number was revised upwards by a full 1% to -1.0%. Ex-Transportation, orders rose only 0.3%, however.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 29 Mar 13

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

Personal income rose 1.1% in February, while personal spending rose 0.7%. The PCE Price Index, an inflation measure, rose 0.4% at the headline level, and 0.1% at the core. On a year-over-year basis, personal income is up 2.6%, while spending is up 3.3%. The PCE Price Index is up 1.3%.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index erased last month’s decline, rising to a strong 78.6 in March.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 28 Mar 13

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

The final GDP estimate for 4th Quarter of 2012 came in at 0.4% annualized. The GDP price index, an inflation measure, rose 1.0%.

Initial jobless claims rose 16,000 to 357,000 last week. The 4-week average rose 3,250 to 343,000. Continuing claims fell 27,000 to 3.050 million, a recovery low.

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index unexpectedly fell to 52.4 in March from 56.8.

Corporate profits in the 4th Quarter of 2012 rose 7.5% to $1.774 trillion annualized, up from $1.742 trillion in the third quarter.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.5 points to -34.4 in the latest week.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index rose 5 points to -5 in March.

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Dale Franks
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