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Economic statistics

Economic Statistics for 9 May 13

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

Chain stores are reporting April sales that are at the high end of guidance, and with stronger year-on-year sales growth rates than in March.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell slightly to -29.5, but remains at the highest level since early 2008.

Wholesale inventories rose 0.4% in March, while a 1.6% plunge in sales drove the stock-to-sales ratio to a recovery high of 1.21.

Jobless claims fell 4,000 to 323,000, and the 4-week average fell 6,250 to 336,750. Continuing claims fell 27,000 to 3.005 million.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 3 May 13

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

The BLS reports that 165,000 net new jobs were created in April. The unemployment rate declined 0.1% to 7.5%. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2%, but the average workweek declined to 34.4 hours. Overall, another lackluster report, but the internals of the Household survey are little better than they have been. 210,000 people entered the labor force, and 293,000 more people were employed than last month. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate remained unchanged at a historically low 63.3%, while the employment-population ratio rose a single tick to 58.6. Even using the historical labor force participation rate, the real rate of unemployment declined slightly to 11.54% in April from 11.65% in March. Overall, a weak report, but with some small signs of improvement from last month.

Factory orders declined by -4.0% in March, showing weakness in all categories. Moreover, February’s orders were revised downwards to 1.9% from 3.0%.

The ISM Non-Mfg Index fell 1.3 points to 53.1 in April.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 2 May 13

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

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index reached a five-year high this week, hitting -28.9.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report shows 38,121 layoffs in April, which is signifigantly less than the previous two months.

Falling imports shrank the US trade deficit to -38.8 billion in March. Imports fell -2.8%, while exports fell -0.9%.

Jobless claims fell 18,000 last week to 324,000. The 4-week average fell 16,000 to 342,250, a recovery low. The 4-week average for continuing claims also fell 18,000 to a new recovery low of 3.056 million.

Nonfarm business productivity rose an annualized 0.7% in the 1st Quarter, while unit labor costs rose 0.5%. Both numbers were worse than expected.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 1 May 13

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

The MBA reports mortgage applications rose 1.8% last week, with purchases down -1.4% but re-fis up 3.0%.

ADP is reporting private payrolls rose by only 119,000 in April, down sharply from March’s 158,000, which seems like bad news for Friday’s Employment Situation.

The PMI Manufacturing Index fell to 52.1 in April on slowing order growth and employment.

The ISM Mfg Index fell to 50.7 in April, largely from a drop in inventories.

Construction spending fell -1.7% in March, with both public and private construction spending in decline. Spending is up 4.8% from last year.

Automakers are reporting sales today, and they look good. Ford reports an 18% increase, while GM and Chrysler report 11%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 30 Apr 13

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

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose 6.2 points to 68.1 in April.

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index fell 3.4 points to 49 in April. A reading below 50 indicates economic contraction, and this is the first negative reading for the Chicago PMI since September 2009.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 1.2% in February, up 9.3% from last year.

The Employment Cost Index rose 0.3% in the 1st Quarter, a gain of 1.8% from 1Q 2012.

ICSC-Goldman reports a weak 0.4% increase in chain-store sales last week, and only a 2.6% increase from last year. Redbook reports a 2.8% increase in chain-store sales from last year.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index rose 5.5 points in April to 93.6, mainly on a jump in American investor confidence.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 29 Apr 13

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

Personal income and spending both rose 0.2% in March. The PCE price index fell by-0.1% at the headline level and was unchanged at the core. On a year-over-year basis, income rose 2.5% while spending rose 3.5%. The PCE price index rose 1.0%, while the core rate rose 1.1%.

The Pending Home Sales Index rose 1.5% in March to 105.7, the highest reading this year.

The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey collapsed from 7.4 in march to -15.6 in April. The production component slipped from 9.9 to -0.5. The series of negative Fed manufacturing reports continues.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 26 Apr 13

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

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose to 76.4 from the mid-month reading of 72.3.

GDP growth in the 1st Quarter was a worse than expected 2.5% annualized. The GDP Price Index rose to an annual 1.2% rate. Essentially, GDP growth is still below trend, which should surprise no one.

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Dale Franks
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