Free Markets, Free People

Economic statistics

Economic Statistics for 10 Apr 12

A compressed week of economics data begins with today’s retail sales numbers, as Redbook reports a 4.1% year-on-year sales increase, while ICSC-Goldman reports a 0.5% increase for the week, and 4.5% for the year.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index unexpectedly dropped almost two points to 92.5 last week. Analysts had expected an increase.

Wholesale inventories increased by 0.9% in February, but a 1.2% increase in sales left the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 1.17.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 6 Apr 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

The Monster Employment Index, a measure of online job recruitment activity, was unchanged for the month at 143.

The BLS reports that non-farm payrolls increased by a disappointing 120,000 jobs. The unemployment rate magically dipped to 8.2%, however. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2%, while the average workweek remained un changed at 34.5 hours. Those are the headline results. Nor to delve a little deeper. The labor force participation rate remained steady at 63.4%, but the employment-population ratio fell one tick to 58.5%, as 164,000 people left the labor force, which is the main reason for the downtick in the unemployment rate as well.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 5 Apr 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

Initial jobless claims were 357,000 last week, down 6,000 from a revised 363,000 in the prior week.

Challenger’s job cut report shows a layoff count of 37,880 in March vs. 51,728 in February and 41,528 in March, 2011.

Chain stores are reporting retail sales numbers today. In general, sales are looking a little stronger than expectations.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to -31.4 in the April 1 week, up from from -34.7 the prior week. That’s a pretty negative number, but it’s still the highest in four years, which tells you more about how bad the last four years have been, rather than how good it is now.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 4 Apr 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

Mortgage applications rose 4.8$ last week, with purchases up 7.2% and refis up 4%, as buyers purchased ahead of a scheduled FHA mortgage insurance premium increase.

The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index continues to rise, increasing by 0.3% to 94.14 in March.

Non-manufacturing growth slowed slightly last month, with the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index falling to 56 from 57.3 last month.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 3 Apr 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

Factory orders bounced back from a -1.1% decline in January with a 1.3% increase in February.

ICSC-Goldman Store Sales did well last week, with a 3.8% rise for the week, which is a 4.2% from last year. Redbook also reports a strong 4.6% year-on-year same-store sales increase.

Auto sales are due out, with the figures released throughout the day.

UPDATE: The Big 3 have reported Auto sales so far today. Overall Sales for GM were up 14.2% in march from the same period in 2011. Chrysler reports a 34% increase from last year, for its best monthly sales in 4 years. Ford’s sales gain was a much more modest 5%, but was still the best monthly sales rate since 2007, and suffers from the comparison to Mar, 2011, when Ford led all US auto sales for the first time in 13 years.

Also reporting in are Nissan, reporting their best sales ever, and Toyota, reporting the best sales since March 2008.

Dodge also announced that the reborn Dart will be hitting sales floors this June. I suspect the new Dart, which will take up a spot in the small-car lineup, will be somewhat less performance-based than the 318ci V-8 powered ’71 Dart I had as a High School Senior.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 30 Mar 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

Personal income rose 0.2% last month, while personal spending rose 0.8%. On a year-over-year basis, income rose 3.2% while spending rose 4.1%.The PCE Price Index, an inflation indicator, rose 0.3% for the month, and 2.3% for the year. The core PCE rose 0.1% for the month, and 1.9% for the year. Analysts had expected significantly higher consumer spending increases.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index continues to improve, rising to 76.2 in the latest 2-week period.

The Chicago PMI indicates business activity remains strong, though growth has slowed a bit, to 62.2 from last month’s 64. Any reading above 50 generally indicates economic expansion. This report is often seen as a precursor to the national PMI, due out Monday.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 29 Mar 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

The Commerce Department’s final estimate for 4Q GDP was 3% annualized, matching analysts’ expectations.

Initial jobless claims in the March 24 week fell 5,000 to 359,000 from a revised 364,000 in the prior week.

Corporate profits in the fourth quarter shrank to $1.494 trillion annualized, compared to $1.502 trillion in the third quarter.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to -34.7, simultaneously a recessionary reading, yet the 2nd highest in four years.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 28 Mar 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

The MBA reports Purchase Applications rose 3.3% last week.  Sadly, re-fis dropped -4.6%, so overall mortgage applications fell -2.7%

Durable goods orders rose 2.2% in February, which is up 12.2% from February, 2011. Ex-transportation, orders rose 1.6% for the month, 8.5% from last year.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 27 Mar 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

Retail sales look lackluster according to ICSC-Goldman, whose year-on-year same-store sales increase is only 2.7% for the week. Redbook is more positive, though, with a same-store sales increase of 3.8%.

The S&P Case-Shiller Home price index was unchanged for the month on a seasonally adjusted basis. Unadjusted, however, the index is down -0.8% for the month, and -3.8% from last year.

Consumer Confidence dipped slightly in March, to 70.2 from 70.8 last month.

The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index fell to 7 in March from 20 last month.

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Dale Franks
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