Free Markets, Free People

Economic statistics

Economic Statistics for 19 Mar 13

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

Housing starts rose a bit in February, to a 0.917 million annual rate, while building permits rose sharply to a 0.954 million rate.

In weekly retail sales, ICSC Goldman reports a 1.4% weekly sales increase, and a 2.3% year-on-year increase. Meanwhile, Redbook says sales rose a moderate 2.9% on a year-ago basis.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 15 Mar 13

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

The CPI jumped 0.7% in February, while the core rate, ex-food and -energy, rose 0.2%. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is up 2.0% at both the headline and core rates.

Industrial production rose a sharp 0.7% in February, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories rose 0.5% to 79.6%.

The Consumer Sentiment Index plunged to 71.8 for March from last month’s 77.6.

Foreign investment in US securities slowed to a net $25.7 billion in January, down from $64.2 billion in December.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell 0.8 points to 9.24 in March. Readings above 0 are generally positive.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 14 Mar 13

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

Initial jobless claims fell 10,000 to 332,000. The 4-week average fell 2,750 to 346,750, while continuing claims fell 89,000 3.024 million. The 4-week average and continuing claims are now at a recovery low.

The Producer Price Index rose 0.7% in February, while the core PPI, ex-food and –energy, rose 0.2%. On a year-over-year basis the PPI is up 1.8%, while the core rate is up 1.7%.

The nation’s current account deficit for the fourth quarter was a less-than-expected $110.4 billion.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.8 points to -31.6 in the latest week.

For the March 13 week, the Fed’s assets rose $56.6 billion, with the Fed’s balance sheet now totaling $3.167 trillion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $6.6 billion in the latest week.

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Dale Franks
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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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