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Economic statistics

Economic Statistics for 30 Aug 13

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose 2.1 points to 82.1 in August.

July personal income and spending both rose 0.1%.  Similarly, the PCE Price index rose 0.1% at the headline and core levels. On a year-over-year basis, the PCE price index is up 1.4% while the core is up 1.2%.

The Chicago PMI for August rose 0.7 points to 53, hopefully a harbinger for the national report due Monday.


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Economic Statistics for 29 Aug 13

Real GDP growth for 2Q 2013 was revised to an annualized 2.5% from the initial estimate of 1.7%. The GDP Price Index was revised to 0.8%.

Initial claims for unemployment last week fell 6,000 to 331,000. The 4-week moving average rose 2,500 to 330,500. Continuing claims fell 14,000 to 2.989 million.

Corporate profits in 2Q 2013 were $1.830 trillion, up from $1.785 trillion in 1Q.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index continued to fall sharply, down almost -3 points to -31.7, a 4-month low.

The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-1.2 billion last week, with total assets of $3.644 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $12.0 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply fell by $-18.3 billion last week.


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Economic Statistics for 27 Aug 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

ICSC-Goldman Store Sales still look weak, with a 0.2% increase for the week, and 1.9% annual increase.  Redbook, on the hand, reports a stronger 3.8% year-on-year same-store sales increase.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose 0.9% in June, a 12.1% increase from last year.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose 1.2 points to 81.5 in August.

The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index rose sharply from -11 to 14 in August as business activity picked up in the mid-Atlantic district.

Confidence among institutional investors remains high, though it declined a bit from 107.6 to 105.1 in August.

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Economic Statistics for 26 Aug 13

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

Durable goods orders fell -7.3% in July, with ex-transportation orders down -0.6%. On a year-over-year basis, orders are down -0.3%, but ex-transportation orders are up 5.9%.

The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey shows overall business activity in Texas rose 0.6 points to 5.0, but the production index fell 4.1 points to 7.3.

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Economic Statistics for 22 Aug 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Weekly jobless claims edged higher by 13,000 to 336,000. The 4-week average fell 2,250 to 330,500. Continuing claims rose 29,000 to 2.999 million.

The PMI Manufacturing Index Flash rose 0.4 points to 53.9 for August.

The FHFA House Price Index rose 0.7% in June, following May’s 0.8% rise. Year-over-year, the index is up 7.7%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -2.2 points to -28.8 this week, the lowest level in two months.

The Conference Board’s index of leading indicators jumped 0.6% in July, hinting at accelerating growth in the next 6 months.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index rose 2 points to 8 in August.

The Fed’s Balance Sheet declined by $-0.7 billion last week, with total assets of $3.646 trillion. Reserve Bank credit grew $24.1 billion

The Fed reports that the M2 Money supply fell by $-23.5 billion in the latest week.

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Economic Statistics for 21 Aug 13…and Commentary

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

 

The MBA reports that Mortgage applications fell -4.6% last week, as re-fis fell -8.0%. Purchases rose 1.0%, though. Rising interest rates are what is killing the re-fi market.

Speaking of rising rates, the NAR says panic over them drove existing home sales up 6.5% to a 5.390 million annual rate in July. House prices are steady, but rising rates are forcing buyers to purchase before the interest payments get too high.

One might, if one was inclined, parenthetically remark that rising mortgage rates may signal the inevitability of rising interest rates for Treasury bonds. Or, perhaps, vice versa. Whatever.

Either way, you should keep in mind that a rise of 1% in Treasury yields works out to an additional $160 billion or so in debt service payments per year. Right now we’re paying about $350 billion a year on debt service, with a low net interest rate a bit above 2%.

If the net interest rate goes back to the historical rate of 6%, we’re looking at interest payments of $950 billion or so per year. Keep in mind that the Federal government already isn’t taking in enough revenue to cover payments for Social Security, Medicare, and Debt Service. That means that we’re borrowing money to cover part of our debt service, and everything else the federal government does. There’s no way we can afford to pay $950 billion a year in interest payments.

And we certainly can’t borrow an additional $600 billion per year to pay for the additional interest payments. That would quickly result in a debt death spiral. But we could eliminate every single executive department–including Defense– and we’d still have a $1 trillion deficit.

You should be happy the economy is moribund, because that’s keeping interest rates low, and low interest rates are preventing the aforementioned fiscal death spiral right now.

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Economic Statistics for 15 Aug 13

The following US economic statistics were announced in today’s heavy round of releases:

The CPI rose 0.2% in July, at both the headline and core levels. On a year over year basis, consumer prices are up 2.0% overall and 1.7% at the core.

Initial jobless claims fell 15,000 to a recovery low 320,000 last week. The 4-week average fell 4,000 to 332,000. Continuing claims fell 38,000 to 2.987 million. All signs are pointing to a good employment picture for August.

The Empire State manufacturing index in August fell nearly a point to 8.24.

Net purchases of long-term US securities in August were $-66.9 billion vice a revised $-27.0 billion in July, as foreign investors sold &77.8 billion in US securities.

The Fed reports that Industrial Production was unchanged in July, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories fell 0.2% to 77.6%. Manufacturing fell -0.1%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell 3 points to -26.6 in the latest week.

The NAHB Housing Market Index continues to rise, up another 2 points to 59 for August, a seven-year high.

The Philadelphia Fed’s Business Outlook fell 10 points to 9.3 in August.

E-Commerce sales rose 4.9% in the 2nd Quarter of 2013. Year-over-year sales are up a very strong 18.4%.

The fed reports that M2 money supply grew by $21.9 billion last week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose by $61.0 billion last week, bringing total Fed assets to $3.646 trillion.

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