Free Markets, Free People

Economic statistics

Economic Statistics for 23 Dec 13

Personal income rose 0.2% in November while personal spending increased 0.5%. The PCE price index was unchanged overall, and up 0.1% at the core. On a year-over-year basis, income rose 2.3% while spending rose 3.5%. The PCE price index rose 0.9% at the headline level, and up 1.1% ex-food and energy.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index was unchanged at 82.5 for November.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose from -0.18 to 0.60 in November.


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Economic Statistics for 19-20 Dec

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index moved into the minus 20s for the first time in 10 weeks, at -29.4.

Initial jobless claims rose 11,000 last week, to 379,000. The 4-week moving average rose 14,750 to 343,500. Continuing claims rose 94,000 to 2.884 million. These are all holiday numbers, though, so the week-to-week number is pretty volatile.

The Philadelphia Fed Survey’s General Business Conditions Index rose 0.5 points to 7.0 in December.

Existing home sales fell a sharp -4.3% in November, to a 4.9 million annual rate.

The Conference Board’s index of leading indicators rose 0.8% in November.

The Commerce Department’s final GDP revision for the 3rd Quarter was revised sharply upwards to a 4.1% annual rate. The GDP Price Index remained unrevised at 2.0%. Much of the revision came from increases in personal consumption expenditures, higher exports, and lower imports.

3rd Quarter corporate profits were revised upwards to $1.869 trillion vice the initial estimate of $1.872 trillion.

The Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations Survey was unchanged at 1.9% in December.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index fell sharply in December to -3 from last month’s 7.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $14.1 billion last week, with total assets of $$4.008 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $53.0 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply increased by $17.5 billion last week.


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Economic Statistics for 18 Dec 13

The Federal Open Markets Committee ended their meeting today. They announced that they would start a modest tapering on Quantitative Easing III in January starting with a $10 billion cut. They left interest rates unchanged, with the Fed Funds rate at a targeted 0% to 0.25%. Their December projections for GDP remain in modest—which is to say, below-trend territory: 2013: 2.2 to 2.3%; 2014: 2.8 to 3.2%; 2015: 3.0 to 3.4%; 2016: 2.5 to 3.2%; longer run: 2.2 to 2.4%.

Housing starts in November jumped 22.7% to a 1.091 million annual rate.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -5.5% last week, with purchases down 6.0% and refinancings down 5.0%.


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Economic Statistics for 17 Dec 13

In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a weak 2.9% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman reports a weekly sales increase of 4.8%, but a weak a 2.0% increase on a year-over-year basis.

Consumer prices were unchanged in November, with a core CPI increase of 0.2%. Annually, the CPI is up 1.2%, and up 1.7% less food and energy.

The Housing Market Index surged 4 points to 58 in December.

The nation’s current account deficit narrowed slightly in the 3rd Quarter, to $-94.8 billion.


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Economic Statistics for 16 Dec 13

The NY Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey rose from -2.21  to 0.98 in December.

The December revision to Q3 productivity shows a 3.0% annualized rate of productivity growth, while unit labor costs fell -1.4%.

The Markit Economics PMI manufacturing index flash for December rose 0.1 points to 54.4.

Foreign net demand for US long-term securities rose $35.4 billion in October.

Industrial production for December rose a sharp 1.1%, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories rose 0.9% to 79.0%.


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Economic Statistics for 13 Dec 13

Initial jobless claims rose 68,000 to 368,000. The 4-week average rose 6,000 to 328,750, while continuing claims rose 40,000 to 2.791 million. It’s the holiday period, though, so a lot of this wild swing probably comes from wonky seasonal adjustments.

Retail sales rose 0.7% in November. Less autos, sales were up 0.4%, and up 0.6% less autos and gas.

Export prices rose 0.1% in November, while import prices fell -0.6%. On a year-over-year basis, export prices are down -1.6% and import prices have fallen -1.5%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to -30.9 in the latest week, having risen 7 points since November.

Business inventories rose 0.7% in October, while a 0.5% increase in B2B sales left the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 1.29.

Information services revenue rose 1.1% in the 3rd quarter, and is up 4.9% on a year-to-year basis.

The Producer Price Index fell -0.1% in November, and rose 0.1% less food and energy. On a year-over-year basis, the PPI is up 0.7%, and up 1.3% less food and energy.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose a sharp $61.3 billion last week, with total assets of $3.994trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $21.1 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $1.7 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 10 Dec 13

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose a point to 92.5 in November.

In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a weak 2.6% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman shows weakness, as it reports a weekly sales drop of -1.6%, and a 1.5% increase on a year-over-year basis.

Wholesale inventories rose a very sharp 1.4% increase in October, but a 1.0% rise in sales kept the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged for a third month at 1.18.


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Economic Statistics for 6 Dec 13

This will be a catch-up entry, as I was unable to do yesterday’s statistics, due to my evening management class.

Only about 10 chain stores still post monthly results any more. Mostly, they report a weak November.

Layoff announcements continue to run at 2-year highs, at 45,314 in November vs 45,730 in October.

Gallup’s US Payroll to Population employment rate was steady at 43.7%.

The first revision of Q3 GDP came it at a 3.6% annualized rate. Sadly, this was almost all due to inventory accumulation. Final sales were actually revised downwards to 1.9%. The GDP price index came in at 2.0%.

Weekly initial jobless claims fell 23,000 to 298,000. The 4-week moving average fell 9,500 to 322,250. Continuing claims fell 21,000 to a recovery low of 2.744 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 2 points to -31.3 this week.

Factory Orders fell -0.9% in October. Ex-transportation orders were unchanged.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $6.8 billion last week, with total assets of $3.933 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $2.2 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply increased by $15.4 billion last week.

The BLS reports that 203,000 net new jobs, while the unemployment rate fell to 7.0%. Average hourly earnings rose 0.2%, while the average workweek rose 0.1 hours to 34.5 hours. The labor force participation rate rose 0.2% to 63%, as an additional 818,000 persons entered the labor force. The number of unemployed fell by –365,000, while the number of persons not in the labor force fell by -268,000. Using the historical average labor force participation rate, the real rate of unemployment is 11.54%.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment index for December rose a sharp 7.4 points to 82.5.

Consumer credit rose a sharp $18.2 billion in October.


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Economic Statistics for 4 Dec 13

Thanks to the government shutdown, there were two new home sales reports issued today, one for September and one for October.  New home sales fell -6.6% in September to a 354,000 annual rate. New home sales rose dramatically in October, up 25.4% to a very solid 444,000 annual rate.

The US trade deficit narrowed by $1.2 billion in October, to $-40.6 billion, mainly on a 1.8% rebound in exports.

The Fed’s Beige Book report on the economy concludes that "the economy continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace from early October through mid-November." So, basically, below-trend economic growth continues.

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell -1.5 points to 53.9 in November.

MBA Mortgage Applications fell -12.8% last week, with purchases down -4.0% and re-fis down -18.0%.

ADP reports that private payroll growth was higher than expected in November, with an estimated 215,000 net new jobs.

Gallup’s Job Creation Index rose 1 point to 20 in November.


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