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Economic statistics

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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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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