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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Monday, May 21, 2018

Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) for April 2018

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released its National Activity Index (CFNAI) for April  2018:

Predicted: +0.25
Actual (CFNAI): +0.34

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of growth in national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data:

  • Production and income;
  • Employment, unemployment, and hours;
  • Personal consumption and housing; and
  • Sales, orders, and inventories.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the yellow-highlighted figure is what was reported.

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  • Previous Month (revised): +0.32
  • 3-Month Moving Average (CFNAI-MA3): +0.46
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Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for April 2018
Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for April 2018

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From Today's Report

"...Index points to little change in economic growth in April

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) ticked up to +0.34 in April from +0.32 in March. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from March, and three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in April. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to +0.46 in April from +0.23 in March.

The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, moved up to +0.23 in April from +0.11 in March. Fifty of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in April, while 35 made negative contributions. Thirty-five indicators improved from March to April, while 50 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, eight made negative contributions..."
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Understanding The CFNAI:

A zero value for the monthly index has been associated with the national economy expanding at its historical trend (average) rate of growth; negative values with below-average growth (in standard deviation units); and positive values with above-average growth.

Periods of economic expansion have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above -0.70 and the CFNAI Diffusion Index above -0.35. Conversely, periods of economic contraction have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 below -0.70 and the CFNAI Diffusion Index below -0.35.

An increasing likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +0.70 more than two years into an economic expansion. Similarly, a substantial likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +1.00 more than two years into an economic expansion.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

All 3 Major Stock Market Indexes Declined On The Week

Summary of U.S. Markets for the Week Ending May 18, 2018:

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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed @ 24,715.09:

- lost 116.08 points (-0.467%) on the week.
- lost 1,901.62 points (-7.144%) since the January 26, 2018 record-high close (26,616.71.)

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S and P 500 Index closed @ 2,712.97:

- lost 14.75 points (-0.541%) on the week.
- lost 159.90 points (-5.566%) since the January 26, 2018 record-high close (2,872.87.)

--------------------------- 

NASDAQ Composite Index closed @ 7,354.34:

- lost 48.54 points (-0.656%) on the week.
- lost 233.98 points (-3.083%) since the March 12, 2018 record-high close (7,588.32.)

===================================

- NYMEX Crude Oil for Future Delivery closed @ $71.28 per barrel

- Comex Gold for June delivery closed @ $1,291.30 per ounce

- In New York, the U.S. dollar buys 0.84962 euros

- In New York, the euro buys 1.1770 U.S. dollars

- The United States Prime Rate is 4.75%

- The Target Range for the Fed Funds Rate is 1.50% - 1.75%

- The yield on the 10-Year Treasury Note is currently @ 3.06%


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Standard and Poor's 500 Index Chart Through May 18, 2018
Standard and Poor's 500 Index Chart Through May 18, 2018

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Closing Currency Cross Rates - May 18, 2018
Closing Currency Cross Rates - May 18, 2018

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for May 2018

Earlier today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released its diffuse index of current manufacturing conditions for this month (May 2018):

Predicted: +21.0
Actual: +34.4

The "actual" figure above is an index of current manufacturing conditions within the Federal Reserve's Third District, which includes eastern Pennsylvania, all of Delaware and the southern half of New Jersey. Any figure below zero implies that manufacturing in the region is contracting, while a figure above zero implies expansion.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.
 
======================

Philadelphia Fed: Current and Future General Activities Indexes - May 2018
Philadelphia Fed: Current and Future General Activities Indexes - May 2018

======================


Click here to view the full Philadelphia Fed report.

  • Last month, the actual figure was +23.2.

For a national perspective of manufacturing conditions, check out the Institute of Supply Management's Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI).



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Leading Economic Index for April 2018

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for April 2018 this morning:

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Index for April: 109.4 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.367%

  • March 2018 Reading: 109.0 (+0.368%)

  • February 2018 Reading: 108.6 (+0.742%)

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The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change for the index.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The LEI is a composite of 10 of the nation's economic data releases that's put together by The Conference Board. Statistically, the components listed below have shown a significant increase or decrease before national economic upturns or downturns:

  1. The Standard + Poor's 500 Index

  2. Average weekly claims for unemployment insurance

  3. Building permits for new private housing

  4. The interest rate spread between the yield on the benchmark 10-Year Treasury Note and Federal Funds

  5. ISM® Index of New Orders

  6. Manufacturer's new orders for consumer goods or materials

  7. Manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders

  8. Average weekly manufacturing hours

  9. Average consumer expectations for business conditions

  10. Leading Credit Index™

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Leading Economic Index for April 2018
Leading Economic Index for April 2018

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From Today's Report:

"...'April’s increase and continued uptrend in the U.S. LEI suggest solid growth should continue in the second half of 2018. However, the LEI’s six-month growth rate has recently moderated somewhat, suggesting growth is unlikely to strongly accelerate,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. 'In April, stock prices and housing permits were the only negative contributors, whereas the labor market components, which made negative contributions in March, improved.'..."

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 12, 2018

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on May 12, 2018:

Predicted: 215,000
Actual: 222,000

The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Previous Week (unrevised): 211,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 213,250
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From today's report:

 "...The 4-week moving average was 213,250, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 216,000. This is the lowest level for this average since December 13, 1969 when it was 210,750..."

"...Claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal..."

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization During April 2018

The Industrial Production, Manufacturing and Capacity Utilization numbers for April 2018 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.7%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.5%

The yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in manufacturing, and physical output from mining operations, utility plants and factories for the entire United States.

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 78.3%
Actual: 78.0

The Capacity Utilization Rate represents the use of available resources at mining operations, utility plants and factories for the entire United States last month.

The "predicted" figures are what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From today's report:

"...Industrial production rose 0.7 percent in April for its third consecutive monthly increase. The rates of change for industrial production for previous months were revised downward, on net; for the first quarter, output is now reported to have advanced 2.3 percent at an annual rate. After being unchanged in March, manufacturing output rose 0.5 percent in April. The indexes for mining and utilities moved up 1.1 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. At 107.3 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in April was 3.5 percent higher than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector climbed 0.4 percentage point in April to 78.0 percent, a rate that is 1.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average..."


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Housing Starts During April 2018

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released its Housing Starts report for April 2018:

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,324,000
Actual: 1,287,000

Change From Previous Month: -3.7%
Change From One Year Previous: +10.5%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,350,000
Actual: 1,352,000

Change From Previous Month: -1.8%
Change From One Year Previous: +7.7%

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Housing Starts: The top, yellow-highlighted figure is a measure of initial construction of single and multi-family residential units in the United States for the indicated month.  Seasonally adjusted annual rate.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

If you're wondering about the demand for new homes in the United States, or about the American residential construction industry in general, then you should pay attention to the monthly Housing Starts report. This report also offers insight into specific types of consumer spending: when housing starts are up, demand for the stuff that a consumer would purchase for a new home (large appliances, consumer electronics, furniture, etc.) tends to also rise --  and vice versa.


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Housing Starts - April 2018
Housing Starts - April 2018

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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 11, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 11, 2018 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -1,400,000 Barrels

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -88,400,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 432,400,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).


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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for April 2018

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for April 2018:

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.3%

The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change in total sales receipts for retailers that sell durable and non-durable goods, and retailers that provide food and beverage services.

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-- Previous Month (revised): +0.8%

-- Estimated Retail Sales During April 2018: $497,600,000,000

-- Change from 12 Months Previous: +4.7%

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The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Import and Export Price Indexes for April 2018

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for April 2018:

Import Prices
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.3%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +3.3%

===============

Export Prices
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.6%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +3.8%

===============
 
The above percentages, highlighted in yellow, represent the month-to-month change in prices for:

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the United States.
  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the USA and sold in other countries.

Together, these indexes offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.



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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April 2018

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April 2018:

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Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.2%

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.5%)

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Below is the CPI when food and energy are removed, also known as core CPI:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.1%)

=========================================

The above, yellow-highlighted figures represent the seasonally adjusted, month-to-month change in prices for a specific group of goods and services that consumers buy, and is, therefore, a very important part of the overall inflation picture for the country.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

General categories that constitute the CPI are:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Food and Beverages
  • Recreation
  • Miscellaneous Goods and Services (grooming expenses, etc.)


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 5, 2018

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on May 5, 2018:

Predicted: 220,000
Actual: 211,000

The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Previous Week (unrevised): 211,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 216,000
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From today's report:

 "...This is the lowest level for this average since December 20, 1969 when it was 214,500..."

"...Claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal..."

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Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 4, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 4, 2018 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -2,200,000 Barrels

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -88,800,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 433,800,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).


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Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for April 2018

The Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for April 2018 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.1%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.6%

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Below is the PPI-FD when food and energy are removed:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.3%

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The above, yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in prices received by domestic producers of goods and services, for goods, services and construction in the United States, for final demand.

Final Demand = personal consumption (consumers), exports, government purchases and capital investment.

The PPI-FD is released by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.




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    Tuesday, May 08, 2018

    Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for March 2018

    The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for March 2018 was released by the Labor Department this morning:

    ============

    Job Openings

    Predicted: 6,100,000
    Actual:    6,550,000 (All-Time Record High*)

    • Previous Month (revised): 6,078,000

    • One Year Previous: 5,607,000

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    Hires: 5,425,000

    Total Separations: 5,291,000

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    The above, yellow-highlighted percentage represents the estimated number of job openings in the United States during the indicated month. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

    Here's how the Labor Department defines Total Separations:

    "Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations is referred to as turnover. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm."

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    NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for April 2018

    The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index (SBOI) for April 2018:

    =========

    Predicted: 104.9
    Actual: 104.8

    • Change from Previous Month: +0.0955% (+0.1 point)
    • Change from 12 Months Previous: +0.287% (+0.3 point)

    =========

    The previous month's SBOI reading was 104.7.

    =========

    NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - April 2018
    NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - April 2018

    =========


    Small Business Outlook - April 2018
    Small Business Outlook - April 2018

    =========

    From today's report:


    "...The Small Business Optimism Index sustained record-high levels increasing to 104.8 in April, driven by reports of improved profits, the highest in the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey’s 45-year history. Additionally, the number of small businesses reporting poor sales fell to a near record low. April is the 17th consecutive month of historically high readings, according to the survey that was released today.

    'Never in the history of this survey have we seen profit trends so high', said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. 'The optimism small businesses owners have about the economy is turning into new job creation, increased wages and benefits, and investment.'

    The frequency of positive profit trends went up three points in April due to gains in operating productivity and stronger sales as well as the newly implemented tax law.

    Reports of capital outlays rose three points this month to 61 percent, indicating that small businesses are confident and strong enough to make investments. Of those businesses making expenditures, 43 percent are spending on new equipment (up four points), while 27 percent are acquiring vehicles (up three points).

    In addition, more small businesses are planning capital outlays in the next few months, increasing three points to 29 percent. As the difficulty of finding qualified workers continues to be a major obstacle for small businesses, with 22 percent citing it as their single most important business problem (up one point), more of this planned spending is expected to go toward training and labor-saving technology.

    'There is no question that small business is booming,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'Consumer spending, the new tax law, and lower regulatory barriers are all supporting the surge in optimism across all small business industry sectors.'

    Small businesses are also confident in future sales growth, with a net 21 percent of owners expecting higher sales volumes (up one point). These numbers are particularly high in the construction and manufacturing industries.

    As reported in Thursday’s NFIB jobs report, the share of small business owners who are hiring or trying to hire rose four points to 57 percent, and new job creation remains at historically strong levels, with a net 16 percent of owners planning to create new jobs. Significantly more new businesses are opening than closing, providing a major boost to new employment.

    Worker compensation remains at the highest level since 2000, with net 33 percent reporting increasing compensation. The average family saw wages and salaries grow last year. Gains are likely to increase for many families this year due to tax cuts..."

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    • Small business survey questions can be found at the end of today's report.
    • The baseline "100" score is associated with 1986 survey data.
    =========


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    Friday, May 04, 2018

    Employment Situation Report for April 2018

    The Employment Situation Report for April 2018 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

    Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +191,000
    Actual: +164,000


    U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
    Actual: 3.9%
    Previous Month: 4.1%
    12 Months Previous: 4.4%

    U-6 Unemployment Rate*
    Actual: 7.8%
    Previous Month: 8.0%
    12 Months Previous: 8.6%

    Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +0.2%
    Actual: +0.1493% (+$0.04)

    Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
    Predicted: +2.7%
    Actual: +2.5602% (+$0.67)

    Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
    Actual: +2.8581% (+$25.73)

    Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.8%
    Previous Month: 62.9%
    12 Months Previous: 62.9%

    Average Workweek
    Predicted: 34.5 hours
    Actual: 34.5 hours

    Economist, academics, central bankers and investors pay very close attention to the monthly Employment Situation report as it offers penetrating insight as to the current and near-future state of the overall U.S. economy. If a) Americans are earning more money and b) the economy is creating new jobs, this typically translates to more money being pumped into the economy (and vice versa.)

    The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

    From today's report:

    "...In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $26.84 [+0.1493%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 67 cents, or  [2.5602%]. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $22.51 [+0.2226%] in April.

    The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised down from +326,000 to +324,000, and the change for March was revised up from +103,000 to +135,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 30,000 more than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.)
    After revisions, job gains have averaged 208,000 over the last 3 months..." [Establishment Survey Data]
    ======

     * =  The U-6 Unemployment Rate is defined as:

    "Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force."


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    Thursday, May 03, 2018

    Productivity and Labor Costs Report for Q1 2018 (Preliminary)

    The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this morning released its quarterly report on Productivity and Unit Labor Costs for the first quarter of 2018 (preliminary):

    Nonfarm Productivity
    Predicted: +0.9%
    Actual: +0.7%

    =============

    Unit Labor Costs
    Predicted: +3.0%
    Actual: +2.7%

    =============

    The yellow-highlighted figures represent the quarter-to-quarter change in non-farm productivity and unit labor costs for the United States.


    For non-farm productivity, a positive number represents an improvement in the efficiency of producing domestic goods and services in the U.S., and therefore can signify a favorable inflationary outlook, and vice versa.

    The Unit Labor Costs report measures the costs related to producing each unit of output. A positive number can be a harbinger of rising inflation, and vice versa.

    The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.




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    Wednesday, May 02, 2018

    Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 27, 2018

    The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 27, 2018 was released this morning:

    -- Change from Last Week: +6,200,000 Barrels

    -- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -91,800,000 Barrels

    -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 436,000,000 Barrels

    Diminishing crude oil inventories often translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

    The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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    Tuesday, May 01, 2018

    Construction Spending During March 2018

    Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the Commerce Department -- released its Construction Spending report for March 2018:

    Predicted: +0.5%
    Actual: -1.7%

    The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change in new public and private construction activity for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.


    • Estimated construction spending during March: $1,284,700,000.

    • February 2018 (revised): $1,306,400,000.
       
    • Change from 12 months previous: +3.6%.

    ================

    Construction Spending During March 2018
    Construction Spending During March 2018

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