The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index jumped 1.4 points in December to 93.9.
December retail sales rose 0.2%, with sales less autos up 0.7%, and less autos and gas up 0.6%.
In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a 2.9% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman reports a weekly sales decrease of -0.1%, and a 1.3% increase on a year-over-year basis.
Export prices rose 0.4% in December, while import prices were unchanged. On a year-over-year basis, export prices
Business Inventories rose 0.4% in November. A 0.8% sales increase left the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 1.29.
Wholesale inventories rose by 0.5% in November, while a 1.0% rise in sales lowered the stock to sales ratio to 1.17, the first decline in 3 months.
A disappointing Employment Situation report shows only 74,000 new jobs were created in December. The average workweek declined a tick to 34.4 hours, while average hourly earnings rose 0.1%. The unemployment rate declined to 6.7%, though this was due to a decline in labor force participation. The labor force participation rate, at 62.8, is the lowest since March, 1978. While the civilian non-institutional population rose by 178,000 during the month, the labor force declined by 347,000. The real unemployment rate stands at 11.48%. The following chart of the employment-to-population ratio tells us everything we need to know about the labor market in this "recovery":
The Challenger Job-Cut Report shows layoffs in December hit a recovery low of 30,623.
Gallup’s US Payroll to Population index for December fell to 42.9% from 43.7% in November.
Initial jobless claims fell 15,000 last week, to 330,000. The 4-week moving average fell 9,750 to 349,000. Continuing claims rose 50,000 to 2.865 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.3 points to -28.4.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $4.6 billion last week, with total assets of $4.028 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $1.2 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply fell by $-10.2 billion last week.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 2.6% last week, with purchases down -1.0% and refinancings up 5.0%.
ADP estimates private payroll growth in December will rise to 238,000, well above consensus estimates.
Consumer credit rose a less-than-expected $12.3 billion in November.
Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index rose to -19 in December from -25 in November.
In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a 4.1% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman reports a steep weekly sales drop of -5.4%, and a 1.7% increase on a year-over-year basis.
Exports rose and imports fell, lowering the trade deficit to $-34.3 billion in November.
The Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure for December says that Americans reported spending $96 per day vice $91 in November.
Factory Orders rose 1.8% in November, with ex-transportation orders up 0.6%. Orders for capital goods surged.
The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell -0.9 points to 53 in December.
The Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index fell a point to 19, the first reading below 20 in several months.
Initial jobless claims fell 2,000 to 339,000 last week. The 4-week moving average rose 8,500 to a 357,250. Continuing claims fell 98,000, but the 4 week averages for both weekly and continuing claims are above the month-ago levels, so the trend is negative.
The Markit PMI Manufacturing Index rose 0.3 points to 55.0 in December.
The ISM Manufacturing Index fell -0.3 points in December to a still nicely positive 57.0.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.3 points to -28.7 .
Construction Spending is still going strong, up 1.0% in November, continuing a string of monthly gains.
Motor vehicle sales fell in December to an annualized 15.4 million rate. GM -6.3%, Ford 1.8%, Chrysler 6.0%, Toyota -1.4%.
The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-8.9 billion last week, with total assets of $4.024 trillion. Reserve Bank credit fell $-1.4 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply increased by $23.5 billion last week.
In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a strong 4.5% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman reports a weekly sales increase of 1.0%, and a 3.0% increase on a year-over-year basis.
The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose a solid 1.0% in October, with a year-on-year 13.6% price increase.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index fell from an unsustainably high 63.0 in November to 59.1 in December.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose a strong 6.1 points in December to 78.1.
The State Street Investor Confidence Index rose from a revised 91.2 in November to 95.9 in December.
Agricultural prices fell -2.2% in December, with prices down -9.5% on a year-over-year basis.
The Dallas Fed general business activity index rose from 1.9 to 3.1 in December. The production index, however, fell to 7.1 from 16.9.
The Pending Home Sales Index rose 0.2% to 101.7 in November.
Initial jobless claims fell 42,000 to 338,000. The 4-week average rose 4,500 to 348,000, while continuing claims rose 46,000 to 2.923 million. Holiday volatility is still skewing the claims numbers wildly.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 2 points to -27.4 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $24.5 billion last week, with total assets of $4.033 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $27 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $5 billion in the latest week.