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Economic statistics

Economic Statistics for 16 Apr 13

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

The Fed reports that industrial production rose 0.4% in March, while capacity utilization at the nation’s factories rose slightly to 78.5%.

Housing starts were unexpectedly strong in March, up 7.0% to a 1.036million annual rate, however, all the strength was in multi-family units. Building permits fell -3.9% to a 0.902 million annual rate, well below expectations.

The Consumer Price index fell -0.2%, while the core rate, ex-food and -energy, rose 0.1%. On a year-over-year basis the CPI is up 1.5% and the core CPI is up 1.9%.

In weekly retail sales, Redbook’s year-on-year sales growth rate fell to 2.0%, while ICSC-Goldman sales fell -1.1% this week, and are up only 2.0% year-on-year.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 15 Apr 13

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

The Housing Market Index fell 2 points in April to a worse-than-expected 42, the lowest since October.

The Empire State Mfg Survey shows an abruptly slowing rate of monthly growth in the district, falling over 6 points to 3.05.

Net foreign demand for long-term U.S. securities fell into negative territory, with a net outflow of -17.8 billion.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 12 Apr 13

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

Falling gas prices sent Producer Prices down by -0.6% in March, the though the core PPI rate rose 0.2%. On a year over year basis, the PPI is up 1.1%, and the core PPI is up 1.7%.

Retail sales fell a disappointing -0.4% in March. Sales were also down -0.4% ex-autos, and down -0.1% ex-autos and gas.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell 6.7 points in the first April reading to 72.3.

Business inventories were steady in February, rising only 0.1%. A 1.2% increase in sales drove down the stock-to-sales ratio to a lean 1.28.

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Dale Franks
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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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