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Economic statistics

Economic statistics for 20 Oct 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

Initial jobless claims dropped 6k from last week to 403k, but that was still 3k higher than analysts expected.

The Bloomberg index of consumer comfort fell to -48.4 from last week’s -50.8.

Existing home sales fell -3.0% to a 4.91 million annual rate in September, mainly due to a 3.6% drop in the key single-family component.

The Philadelphia Fed reports that the Mid-Atlantic manufacturing sector is stabilizing and improving as the general business conditions index rose to 8.7 from -9.8.

Most of the leading economic indicators point to sluggish growth ahead, but loose monetary policy boosted the overall index by 0.2%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic statistics for 19 Oct 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

Consumer price inflation remains warm, with the overall CPI up 0.3% for the month, and 3.9% for the year. The core rate—less food and energy, or, stuff you don’t need to buy every day—rose 0.1% for the month and 2% for the year.

Housing starts in September were 658k, up 10.2% on a year-over-year basis. Housing permits, however, fell 5% to 594k, but up 5.7% from last year.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports a short Columbus Day week saw mortgage applications fall -14.9%.

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Dale Franks
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Economic statistics for 14 Oct 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

Retail sales in September were much stronger than expected, rising 1.1%, and 0.6% less autos.

Export prices were up 0.4% last month, while import prices rose by 0.3%. On a year-over-year basis, import prices rose 13.4%, while export prices rose 9.5%.

Despite strong retail sales, consumer sentiment continued to slide last month, with the index dropping to 57.5.

Business inventories rose 0.5% August, in line with sales, while the stock-to-sales ratio remained unchanged at 1.28.

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Dale Franks
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Economic statistics for 13 Oct 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

The US trade balance was little changed from a deficit of -$44.8 billion in July to -$45.6 billion in August.

Initial claims for unemployment dropped 1,000 to 404,000 from last week’s revised 405,000. Last week was originally reported at 401,000. Anything above 400,000 isn’t very good.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index hovered at a historic low of -50.8 last week, as American consumer pessimism increased.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 7 Oct 11

Today is a big day for economic numbers:

The Labor department reports that 103,000 new non-farm payroll jobs were added last month, a slightly higher than expected number, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.1%. The devil is in the details, as always, and the details are not quite as pretty. 322,000 people dropped out of the labor force last month, and the labor force participation rate declined to 64.2%, the third straight monthly decline. On the plus side, the number of people employed continued to increase, rising to 140,502,000, an increase of 3 million employed since January. Also, the broadest measure of labor underutilization, the U-6 unemployment rate, also continued to fall to 15.7%. The picture is decidedly mixed, which is, all things considered, an improvement over the picture a year ago.

Wholesale inventories rose only 0.4% in August, and the stock-to-sales ratio remained unchanged at 1.16.

Consumer credit rose to $12.0 billion outstanding in July, mainly on auto sales. This is an old number, so is mainly of academic interest.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 6 Oct 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

Year-on-year total sales for the chain-store group are looking a little weak at 5%, and many chains are reducing sales and earnings guidance as a result.

Initial unemployment claims were  401,000 for the week, showing little change from the same period last month.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to -50.2 last week, up from -53.0.

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Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 5 Oct 11

Today’s economic statistical releases:

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage applications fell -4.3% for the week, with purchases down -0.8%, and refinance applications falling -5.2%.

The Challenger job cut report indicates there were 115,730 layoffs last month, swollen by 30,000 jobs at Bank of America and a military troop cut of 50,000.

ADP estimates private payrolls rose 91,000 in September. We’ll see how close that estimate is with the release of the Employment Situation on Friday.

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell slightly to 53 from 53.3 last month, however, new and backlog orders both rose, giving some hopes for better reports in the future.

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Dale Franks
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