Free Markets, Free People

Economic statistics

Economic Statistics for 13 Mar 13

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

February retail sales surged a strong 1.1%, with sales ex-autos up 1.0, and sales ex-gas and autos up 0.4%.

Oil prices caused a 1.1% surge in February import prices, while export prices rose 0.8%. On a year-over-year basis, export prices rose 1.5% while import prices fell -0.3%.

Business inventories rose an unexpected 1.0% in January, driving the stock to sales ratio up to 2.9, the highest of the recovery.

The MBA Reports mortgage applications fell -4.7% last week, with purchases down -3.0% and re-fis down -5.0%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 8 Mar 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Nonfarm payrolls surged to 236,000 net new jobs in February, as the unemployment rate fell to 7.7%. The average workweek rose slightly, to 34.5 hours, while average hourly earnings rose 0.2% to $23.82. Still, there are caveats. The civilian labor force continued to decline, as another 130,000 left the labor force, bringing the labor force participation rate down to 63.5, matching the low of August 2012 and the lowest since September, 1981. The U-6 unemployment rate, the Labor Department’s broadest measure of unemployment, fell a tick from 14.4% to 14.3%. Meanwhile, using the average labor force participation rate prior to the recession, real unemployment measures 11.47%, down very slightly from January’s 11.51%. While this month’s surge in employment is welcome, declining labor force participation still points to a lackluster jobs market.

Wholesale inventories rose 1.2% in January, while wholesale sales fell -0.8%, driving the stock-to-sales ratio up to 1.21, the highest reading since October.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 7 Mar 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Initial jobless claims fell 7,000 to 340,000. The 4-week average fell 7,000 to 348,750. Continuing claims fell 37,000 to 3.122 million, a recovery low.

The US trade gap widened to a greater-than-expected $-44.4 billion. Exports fell 1.2%, while imports rose 1.8%.

The final revision for 4th quarter 2012 shows non-farm productivity fell -1.9%, while unit labor costs rose 4.6%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index continues to rise, up 0.4 points to -32.4 in the latest week. The index has gained 5.1 points since January.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report lists 55,356 layoffs in February, up from 40,430 in January. This may be a negative signal for tomorrow’s Employment Situation.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 6 Mar 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

The MBA reports that mortgage applications surged by 14.8%, with both purchases and re-fis up 15.0%.

ADP reports that private payroll jobs increased by 198,000 last month, compared to a revised 215,000 in January.

New Orders for factory goods fell -2.0% in January, but that was sharply skewed by a drop in aircraft orders. Ex-transportation, orders rose 1.3%. Ex aircraft capital goods rose 7.2%.

The Fed’s Beige Book reports "that economic activity generally expanded at a modest to moderate pace since the previous Beige Book." Both the Boston and Chicago districts report slow growth. Price pressures remain moderate, according to the report.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 1 Mar 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Personal income fell a steep -3.6% in January, while personal spending increased 0.2%. The PCE Price Index was unchanged, but was up 0.1% at the core level. On a year-over-year basis, income rose 2.2% while spending rose 3.2%, and PCE price index is up 1.2% overall, and 1.3% at the core level.

The PMI Manufacturing Index fell to 54.3 in February, from 55.8 last month, while the ISM Manufacturing Index rose 1.1 points to 54.2 in February.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose 1.3 points to 77.6 in February.

Construction spending fell -2.1% in January, mainly on a -5.1% decline in private nonresidential outlays and a -4.3% drop in residential renovations.

Automakers are reporting their monthly sales today. GM: 7%. Ford: 9%. Chrysler: 4%. Sales are on track for 15.5 million sales this year.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 28 Feb 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Real 4th quarter GDP was revised upwards to 0.1% annualized today, as the commerce Department’s first revision of the preliminary number.The GDP price index, an inflation measure, was revised to a 0.9% annualized rate.

Initial claims for unemployment fell 22,000 last week, to 344,000. The 4-week moving average fell 6,750 to 355,000, Continuing claims fell a sharp 91,000 to 3.155 million, a recovery low.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.6 points to –32.8.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index fell to –10 from –2 last month as manufacturing activity in the district weakened.

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index rose 1.2 points to a better-than-expected 56.8 in February.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 27 Feb 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Durable goods orders plunged -5.2% in January due to a -19.8% drop in transportation orders. Ex-transportation, orders rose a strong 1.9%.

The Pending Home Sales Index rose 5.4% to 105.9 in January, solidly above expectations.

The MBA reports mortgage applications declined again last week, down -3.8%, with purchase apps falling -5.0% and re-fis down -3.0%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 26 Feb 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

New home sales in January rose 15.6% to an annualized 437,000 in January, though large seasonal factors may exaggerate the winter months. Monthly supply dipped to 4.9 months from 5.6 months in December, as supplies constrain sales.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose a steep 10 points in February, to a better than expected 69.6.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose a strong 0.9% in December, and is up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. Similarly, the FHFA House Price Index rose 0.6% in December, and is up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis.

In weekly retail sales, Redbook is reporting a respectable 2.7% year-over-year sales growth. ICSC-Goldman Store Sales are up only 0/1% from last week, but up 2.9% from last year.

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Dale Franks
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