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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, September 16, 2021

U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for August 2021

The Commerce Department this morning released advance estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for August 2021:

Predicted: Unchanged
Actual: +0.7102% (+$4,363,000,000)

The yellow-highlighted percentage above 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.

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

  • Estimated Retail Sales During August 2021: $618,676,000,000
  • Change From 12 Months Previous: +15.055% (+$80,956,000,000)

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CHART: Retail Sales - August 2021 Update

CHART: Retail Sales - August 2021 Update
 
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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for August 2021

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for August 2021:

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CPI During August 2021: 273.567

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


Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.207% (+0.564 point)

  • Change From 12 Months Previous: +5.251% (+13.649 points)

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

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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CHART: Consumer Price Index (CPI) - 12 Month Percentage Change - August 2021 Update

CHART: Consumer Price Index (CPI)
12 Month Percentage Change
August 2021 Update
  =========================================

CPI During July 2021: 273.003

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Friday, September 10, 2021

Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for August 2021

The Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for August 2021 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.8%
Actual: +0.7%

Change from 12 months previous:  +8.3%

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

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

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.3%

Change from 12 months previous:  +6.3%

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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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CHART: Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) 12 Month Percent Changes August 2021 Update

CHART: Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD)
12 Month Percent Changes
August 2021 Update

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From Today's Report:

 "...On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 8.3 percent for the 12 months ended in August, the largest advance since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010... "

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Thursday, September 09, 2021

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of September 4, 2021

Jobless Claims
Jobless Claims

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on September 4, 2021:

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Predicted: 350,000

  • Actual: 310,000
====================

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 (revised): 345,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 339,500

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Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for July 2021

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS*) for July 2021 was released by the Labor Department this morning:

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Job Openings

Predicted: 10,300,000
Actual:    10,934,000 (New Record High)

  • Previous Month (revised): 10,185,000

  • One Year Previous: 6,717,000

  • Change from one year previous: +62.781% (+4,217,000)

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Hires: 6,667,000 

Total Separations §: 5,786,000 

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From Today's Release:

"...Job Openings: On the last business day of July, the number and rate of job openings increased to series highs of 10.9 million (+749,000) and 6.9 percent, respectively. Job openings increased in several industries, with the largest increases in health care and social assistance (+294,000); finance and insurance (+116,000); and accommodation and food services (+115,000). The number of job openings increased in the Northeast, South, and West regions..."

"...Collection Mode: Data collection for JOLTS was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, JOLTS collected 42 percent of data by phone at the JOLTS data collection center on average. Most phone respondents were asked to report electronically. However, data collection was adversely affected by the inability to reach some respondents that normally respond by phone..."


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CHART: Hires and Total Separations Rates - July 2021 Update

CHART: Hires and Total Separations Rates
July 2021 Update
  
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§ = 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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Friday, September 03, 2021

Employment Situation Report for August 2021

The Employment Situation Report for August 2021 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +800,000
Actual: +235,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 5.2%
Previous Month: 5.4%
12 Months Previous: 8.4%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 8.8%
Previous Month: 9.2%
12 Months Previous: 14.2%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.542% (+$0.14)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +3.5%
Actual: +4.756% (+$1.18)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: +0.542% (+$4.79)


Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +5.373% (+$45.32)

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 61.7%
Previous Month: 61.7%
12 Months Previous: 61.7%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.7 hours
Actual: 34.7 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 August, 13.4 percent of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, little changed from the prior month. These data refer to employed persons who teleworked or worked at home for pay at some point in the last 4 weeks specifically because of the pandemic.
 
In August, 5.6 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic -- that is, they did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the last 4 weeks due to the pandemic. This measure is up from 5.2 million in July. Among those who reported in August that they were unable to work because of pandemic-related closures or lost business, 13.9 percent received at least some pay from their employer for the hours not worked, up from 9.1 percent in the prior month. Among those not in the labor force in August, 1.5 million persons were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic, little changed from July. (To be counted as unemployed, by definition, individuals must be either actively looking for work or on temporary layoff.)   These supplemental data come from questions added to the household survey beginning in May 2020 to help gauge the effects of the pandemic on the labor market. The data are not seasonally adjusted. Tables with estimates from the supplemental questions for all months are available online at www.bls.gov/cps/effects-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic.htm.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 17 cents to $30.73 in August, following increases in the prior 4 months. In August, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 14 cents to $25.99. The data for recent months suggest that the rising demand for labor associated with the recovery from the pandemic may have put upward pressure on wages. However, because average hourly earnings vary widely across industries, the large employment fluctuations since February 2020 complicate the analysis of recent trends in average hourly earnings. In August, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.7 hours for the third consecutive month. In manufacturing, the average workweek fell by 0.2 hour over the month to 40.3 hours, and overtime remained at 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.2 hours. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised up by 24,000, from +938,000 to +962,000, and the change for July was revised up by 110,000, from +943,000 to +1,053,000. With these revisions, employment in June and July combined is 134,000 higher 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.)..."

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CHART: Nonfarm Payroll Employment August 2021 Update

CHART: Nonfarm Payroll Employment
August 2021 Update

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CHART: U-3 (Headline) Unemployment Rate August 2021 Update

CHART: U-3 (Headline) Unemployment Rate
August 2021 Update

 ===================

 * =  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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U.S. Factory Orders During July 2021

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders -- also known as Factory Orders -- for July 2021:

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Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.382% (+$1,934,000,000)

  • July 2021 New Orders: $508,062,000,000.

  • June 2021 New Orders: $506,128,000,000.

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The yellow-highlighted percentage is the month-to-month change in orders for both durable and nondurable goods made by U.S. manufacturers. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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CHART: U.S. Factory Orders - July 2021 Update

CHART: U.S. Factory Orders - July 2021 Update

 

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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for August 2021

The Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (August 2021) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

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Predicted: 125.0
  • Actual: 113.8

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

Previous Month (revised): 125.1

  • Change from Previous Month: -9.033% (-11.3 point)
================

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

From Today's Report:

"...'Consumer confidence retreated in August to its lowest level since February 2021 (95.2),' said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'Concerns about the Delta variant -- and, to a lesser degree, rising gas and food prices -- resulted in a less favorable view of current economic conditions and short-term growth prospects. Spending intentions for homes, autos, and major appliances all cooled somewhat; however, the percentage of consumers intending to take a vacation in the next six months continued to climb. While the resurgence of COVID-19 and inflation concerns have dampened confidence, it is too soon to conclude this decline will result in consumers significantly curtailing their spending in the months ahead..."

Every month, The Conference Board sends a questionnaire to 5,000 U.S. households. Survey participants are polled about their feelings regarding the U.S. economy, current and future, and about their own fiscal circumstances. On average, 3,500 participants complete and return the 5-question survey.

  • The baseline "100" score for the CCI is associated with 1985 survey data.

When consumers feel good about the economy, they tend to do more spending, and vice versa.

Based in New York City, The Conference Board is a private, not-for-profit organization with a mission to, "create and disseminate knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society."

The CCI is usually released on the last Tuesday of the month.

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Monday, August 30, 2021

Pending Home Sales Index for July 2021

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) report for July 2021 was released by The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) this morning:


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Predicted: Unchanged.

  • Actual: 110.7

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-- Previous Month (revised): 112.7

-- 12 Months Previous: 121.0

  •  Change from Previous Month: -1.775% (-2.0 points)

  •  Change from One Year Previous: -8.512% (-10.3 points)
==========


========
 
From the NAR website:

  • An index above 100 coincides with a historically high level of home sales activity.

  • An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, the first year to be analyzed. Coincidentally, 2001 was the first of four consecutive record years for existing-home sales. 2001 sales are fairly close to the higher level of home sales expected in the coming decade relative to the norms experienced in the mid-1990s. As such, an index of 100 coincides with a historically high level of home sales activity.
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From Today's Report:

"...Pending home sales dipped modestly in July, noting two consecutive months of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors®.  Only the West region registered a month-over-month gain in contract activity, while the other three major U.S. regions reported drops. All four regions saw transactions decrease year-over-year.

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), www.nar.realtor/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, declined 1.8% to 110.7 in July. Year-over-year, signings fell 8.5%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.

'The market may be starting to cool slightly, but at the moment there is not enough supply to match the demand from would-be buyers,' said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. 'That said, inventory is slowly increasing and home shoppers should begin to see more options in the coming months.

'Homes listed for sale are still garnering great interest, but the multiple, frenzied offers -- sometimes double-digit bids on one property -- have dissipated in most regions,' Yun said. 'Even in a somewhat calmer market, a number of potential buyers are still choosing to waive appraisals and inspections.'

As of July, 27% of buyers bypassed appraisal and inspection contingencies. By refraining from these evaluations, in most cases, buyers are looking to accelerate the homebuying process, according to Yun.
July Pending Home Sales Regional Breakdown

Month-over-month, the Northeast PHSI fell 6.6% to 92.0 in July, a 16.9% decrease from a year ago. In the Midwest, the index dropped 3.3% to 104.6 last month, down 8.5% from July 2020.

Pending home sales transactions in the South declined 0.9% to an index of 130.9 in July, down 6.7% from July 2020. The index in the West rose 1.9% in July to 99.8, but still down 5.7% from a year prior.

The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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

*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

Pending contracts are good early indicators of upcoming sales closings. However, the amount of time between pending contracts and completed sales are not identical for all home sales. Variations in the length of the process from pending contract to closed sale can be caused by issues such as buyer difficulties with obtaining mortgage financing, home inspection problems, or appraisal issues.

The index is based on a sample that covers about 40% of multiple listing service data each month. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population..."
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Housing Snapshot - Pending Home Sales - July 2021

Housing Snapshot
Pending Home Sales
July 2021

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Saturday, August 28, 2021

Consumer Sentiment: Final Results for August 2021

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) - Final Results for August 2021 was released today:

Predicted: 70.0
  • Actual: 70.3
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  • Change from Previous Month: -13.424% (-10.9 points)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -5.128% (-3.8 points)

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  • Final ICS Reading for July 2021: 81.2

  • Final ICS Reading for August 2020: 74.1

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From today's report:

"...There was no lessening in late August in the extent of the collapse in consumer sentiment recorded in the first half of the month. The Consumer Sentiment Index fell by 13.4% from July, recording the least favorable economic prospects in more than a decade. The Sentiment Index has only recorded larger losses in six other monthly surveys since 1978. The losses were especially large in the Expectations Index, and widespread across all demographic groups, regions, and the outlook for the economy. Personal financial prospects continued to worsen due to smaller income gains amid higher inflationary trends. Consumers' extreme reactions were due to the surging Delta variant, higher inflation, slower wage growth, and smaller declines in unemployment. The extraordinary falloff in sentiment also reflects an emotional response, from dashed hopes that the pandemic would soon end and lives could return to normal.

The August collapse of confidence does not imply an imminent downturn in the economy. There was a similar episode which occurred in September 2005, with comparable declines in the Sentiment Index (13.7% in 2005 vs. 13.4% in 2021). The cause of the steep falloff in 2005 was the devastation from hurricane Katrina and rising energy prices. The impact of 9/11 was another non-economic event that had an immediate impact on consumers' expectations and emotions. Although economic expectations began to improve by year-end, the emotional impact on spending patterns lasted for a much longer time. That same type of persistent impact on spending patterns is now likely to reoccur..."


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CHART: Personal Financial Prospects for The Year Ahead

CHART: Personal Financial Prospects
for The Year Ahead

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The ICS is derived from the following five survey questions:


  1. "We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?"


  2. "Now looking ahead, do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now?"


  3. "Now turning to business conditions in the country as a whole, do you think that during the next twelve months we'll have good times financially, or bad times, or what?"


  4. "Looking ahead, which would you say is more likely: that in the country as a whole we'll have continuous good times during the next five years or so, or that we will have periods of widespread unemployment or depression, or what?"


  5. "About the big things people buy for their homes, such as furniture, a refrigerator, stove, television, and things like that. Generally speaking, do you think now is a good or bad time for people to buy major household items?"

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The ICS uses a 1966 baseline, i.e. for 1966, the ICS = 100. So any number that is below the 1966 baseline of 100 means that the folks who were polled recently aren't as optimistic about the U.S. economy as those polled back in 1966.

The ICS is similar to the Consumer Confidence Index in that they both measure consumer attitudes and offer valuable insight into consumer spending.

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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, August 27, 2021

PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for July 2021

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for July 2021:

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Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)

Predicted: +0.25%

  • Actual: +0.3%
  • Actual (2012 Chained* Dollars): -0.1%
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Personal Income

Predicted: +0.8%
  • Actual: +1.1%
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  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars: +1.1%
  • Disposable Personal Income (2012 Chained* Dollars): +0.7%

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The above highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending (aka Personal Consumption Expenditures), Personal Income and Disposable Personal Income for the entire United States.

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CHART: Month-on-Month Change in Personal Income July 2021 Update

CHART: Month-on-Month Change in Personal Income
July 2021 Update

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Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: 0.4% 

  • Change from 12 months previous: +4.2%
=====================

Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: 0.3%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +3.6%
=====================

The yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in the prices associated with domestic personal consumption.  The PCE Price Index is different from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in that it is a very broad measure of the prices associated with domestic products and services, while the CPI measures a more limited fixed basket of goods and services.

The broad nature of the PCE Price Index is key to why it is the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation.  The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) pays very close attention to it.

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

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


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*Chained dollars is a method of adjusting real dollar amounts for inflation over time, so as to allow comparison of figures from different years. The Commerce Department introduced the chained-dollar measure in 1996. Chained dollars generally reflect dollar figures computed with 2012 as the base year.


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Thursday, August 26, 2021

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of August 21, 2021

Jobless Claims
Jobless Claims

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on August 21, 2021:

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

Predicted: 350,000

  • Actual: 353,000
====================

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 (revised): 349,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 366,500

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of August 20, 2021

Crude Oil Inventories
Crude Oil Inventories

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on August 20, 2021 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -3,000,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): -75,200,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 432,600,000 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, August 24, 2021

New Home Sales During July 2021

The  July 2021 New Home Sales report was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

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Predicted: 700,000
  • Actual New Home Sales: 708,000

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  • Change from One Month Previous: +7,000 units (+0.999%)

  • Change from One Year Previous: -264,000 units (-27.16%)


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Median Price for a New Home
during July 2021: $390,500

***************************

Average Price for a New Home
during July 2021: $446,000

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Inventory: 367,000 (6.2 months supply at current sales rate; seasonally‐adjusted estimate.)

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CHART: New Home Sales - July 2021 Update

CHART: New Home Sales
July 2021 Update
 

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


Compiled jointly by the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the yellow-highlighted figure above is the seasonally adjusted and annualized number of newly-built homes with committed buyers for the indicated month.

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

The New Home Sales report is watched by economists and investors because it offers insight into the state of the U.S. housing market, and also provides data that can be used to predict sales of large household furniture and appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc.


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Monday, August 23, 2021

Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) for July 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released its National Activity Index (CFNAI) for July 2021:

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Predicted: +0.25
  • Actual (CFNAI): +0.53

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  • Previous Month (revised): -0.01
  • 3-Month Moving Average (CFNAI-MA3): +0.23
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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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CHART: Chicago Fed National Activity Monthly Index July 2021 Update

CHART: Chicago Fed National Activity Monthly Index
July 2021 Update


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

CHART: CFNAI-MA3 with Business Cycles July 2021 Update

CHART: CFNAI-MA3 with Business Cycles
July 2021 Update

 ====================


From Today's Report

"...Index Points To A Pickup In Economic Growth In July

Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) increased to +0.53 in July from –0.01 in June. Three of the four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made positive contributions in July, and three categories improved from June. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, moved up to +0.23 in July from +0.01 in June..
."

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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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Thursday, August 19, 2021

Leading Economic Index for July 2021

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for July 2021 this morning:

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Index for July 2021: 116.0 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

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

Predicted: +1.1%
  • Actual: +0.87% (+1.0 point)

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

  • LEI for June 2021: 115.0

  • LEI for May 2021: 114.4

  • LEI for April 2021: 113.0

  • LEI for March 2021: 111.5

  • LEI for February 2021: 110.1
     
  • LEI for January 2021: 110.1

  • LEI for December 2020: 109.6

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

The yellow-highlighted percentage is 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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Chart: Leading Economic Index - July 2021 Update

Chart: Leading Economic Index
July 2021 Update

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Chart: Leading Economic Index - Six-Month Growth - July 2021 Update


Chart: Leading Economic Index - Six-Month Growth
July 2021 Update
 
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From Today's Report:

"...'The U.S. LEI registered another large gain in July, with all components contributing positively,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. 'The Leading Index’s overall upward trend, which started with the end of the pandemic-induced recession in April 2020, is consistent with strong economic growth in the second half of the year. While the Delta variant and/or rising inflation fears could create headwinds for the US economy in the near term, we expect real GDP growth for 2021 to reach 6.0 percent year-over-year, before easing to a still robust 4.0 percent growth rate for 2022.'..."

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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of August 13, 2021

Crude Oil Inventories
Crude Oil Inventories

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on August 13, 2021 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -3,200,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): -76,900,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 435,500,000 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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Housing Starts During July 2021

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released its Housing Starts report for July 2021:

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,600,000
Actual: 1,534,000

Change From Previous Month: -7.03% (-116,000 units)
Change From One Year Previous: +2.472% (+37,000 units)

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,600,000
Actual: 1,635,000

Change From Previous Month: +2.572% (+41,000 permits)
Change From One Year Previous: +6.031% (+93,000 permits)

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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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CHART: Housing Starts - July 2021 Update
CHART: Housing Starts - July 2021 Update

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for July 2021

The Commerce Department this morning released advance estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for July 2021:

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: -1.122% (-$7,012,000,000)

The yellow-highlighted percentage above 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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  • Estimated Retail Sales During July 2021: $617,719,000,000
  • Change From 12 Months Previous: +15.781% (+$84,197,000,000)

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CHART: Retail Sales - July 2021 Update
CHART: Retail Sales - July 2021 Update

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Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization During July 2021

The Industrial Production, Manufacturing and Capacity Utilization numbers for July 2021 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.9%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.9%
Actual: +1.4%

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: 75.0%
Actual: 76.1

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 increased 0.9 percent in July after moving up 0.2 percent in June. In July, manufacturing output rose 1.4 percent. About half of the gain in factory output is attributable to a jump of 11.2 percent for motor vehicles and parts, as a number of vehicle manufacturers trimmed or canceled their typical July shutdowns. Despite the large increase last month, vehicle assemblies continued to be constrained by a persistent shortage of semiconductors; the production of motor vehicles and parts in July was about 3-1/2 percent below its recent peak in January 2021. The output of utilities decreased 2.1 percent in July, while the index for mining rose 1.2 percent.

At 101.1 percent of its 2017 average, total industrial production in July was 6.6 percent above its year-earlier level but 0.2 percent below its pre-pandemic (February 2020) level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector rose 0.7 percentage point in July to 76.1 percent, a rate that is 3.5 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2020) average
..."


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CHART: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Rate
CHART: Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Rate

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