Free Markets, Free People

Economic statistics

Economic Statistics for 30 Oct 13

The MBA reports that a dip in rates caused mortgage applications to rise 6.4% last week, with purchases up 2.0% and re-fis 9.0%.

ADP reports a smaller-than-expected rise in private payroll growth, at 130,000 in October, a disappointing number.

The Treasury reported a big $75.1 billion surplus in the month of September. This points to a substantially lower 2013 deficit.

The CPI rose 0.2% in September, with the core rate up 0.1%. On a year-over-year basis, consumer prices are up 1.2% overall, and up 1.7% ex-food and -energy.


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Economic Statistics for 29 Oct 13

In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a 3.6% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman reports a weekly sales drop of -0.4%, and a 2.2% increase on a year-over-year basis.

Producer prices fell -0.1% in September, but were up 0.1% at the core level. On a year-over-year basis, the PPI rose 0.3% overall, but up 1.2% at the core.

September retail sales fell -0.1% overall. Sales ex-autos were up 0.4%, and ex-auto and -gas sales were up 0.4% as well.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose 0.9% in August, the first monthly increase since April.

Business inventories rose 0.3% in August, while a 0.4% rise in sales kept the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 2.90 for the third consecutive month.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index slumped to 71.2 in October from last month’s 79.9.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index fell to 95.7 in October from 101.4 in September.


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Economic Statistics for 25 Oct 13

Durable goods order rose 3.7% in September—all of it on aircraft orders. Ex-transportation orders fell -0.1%.  On a year-over-year basis, orders are up 7.4% overall, and up 5.6% ex-transportation.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index slipped -2 points in the final October reading to 73.2.

Wholesale inventories rose 0.5% in August, while sales rose 0.6%. The wholesale stock-to-sales ratio was unchanged at 1.17.


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Economic Statistics for 24 Oct 13

The US trade deficit widened a bit from an unexpectedly low July deficit to $-38.8 billion in August.

The PMI Manufacturing Index Flash fell -1.7 points to 51.1 in October.

Initial jobless claims fell 8,000 last week, to 350,000. The 4-week moving average rose 11,750 to 348,250, Continuing claims rose 35,000 to 2.847 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -2 points to -36.1 last week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $25.4 billion last week, with total assets of $3.839 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $20.4 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply increased by $28.8 billion last week.


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Economic Statistics for 23 Oct 13

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -0.6% last week, with purchases up 1.0% and refinancings down -1.0%.

Import and export prices both rose in September, by 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively. Both were down on a year-over year basis, with import prices down -1.0% and export prices down -1.6%.

The FHFA House Price Index rose 0.3% in August, putting it up 8.5% year-over-year.


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Economic Statistics for 22 Oct 13

The shutdown-delayed Employment Situation for September was another bad one. The notional unemployment rate fell a notional -0.1% to a notional 7.2%.  That’s all faeries and unicorns. In actuality, only 148,000 net new jobs were created. Average Earnings rose 0.1%, and the average workweek was unchanged at 34.5 hours. An additional 136,000 people left the labor force during the month, helping the labor force participation rate to stay unchanged at a historical low of 63.2%. One slightly more positive note is that the civilian labor force grew by 73,000 persons, while 133,000 more persons were reported as employed in September as compared to August.  When the numbers all shake out, nothing much has changed, as my estimate of the real rate of unemployment is 11.45% in September, compared to 11.46% in August.

ICSC-Goldman is reporting some retail sales improvement, with weekly sales growth at 1.4%, and year-over-year growth of 3.2%. Redbook, conversely, is reporting a weaker 2.9% year-over-year growth rate.

Foreign demand for US securities is again showing softness, with the 6th net outflow in 7 months of $-8.9 billion for August. Who is it that finances our deficits by buying US securities again? Oh, right. Foreigners.

Construction spending rose 0.6% in August, with a year-on-year increase of 7.1%. Gains were led by residential outlays, with both multi- and single-family sectors showing strength.

The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index rose from 0 to 1 in October, as district activity remained flat.


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Economic Statistics for 17 Oct 13

The Housing Starts and Industrial Production reports were delayed due to the government shutdown.

Initial jobless claims fell 16,000 to 358,000. The 4-week average 11,500 to 336,500. Continuing claims fell 43,000  to 2.859 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to a nearly seven-month low of -34.1 last week.

The general business conditions index of the Philadelphia Fed’s Business Outlook Survey fell 2.5 points to 19.8 in October.

The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply increased by $25.7billion last week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $54.9 billion last week, with total assets of $3.814 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $51.1 billion.


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Economic Statistics for 16 Oct 13

The Consumer Price Index and Treasury International Capital reports were delayed by the government shutdown.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 0.3% last week, with purchases down -5.0% and refinancings up 3.0%.

The Housing Market Index fell 3 points to 55 in October.

The Fed’s Beige Book is still pointing at a slow recovery with economic growth continuing at a "modest to moderate" pace.


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