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Economy

Economic Indicators (USA)

Friday, September 30, 2016

PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for August 2016

Earlier today, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for August 2016:

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: 0.0%
Previous Month, revised: +0.4%

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Personal Income
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%
Previous Month, unrevised: +0.4%

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

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Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.0%
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.7%
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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.

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

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).

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Consumer Sentiment: Final Result for September 2016

The Consumer Sentiment (Final Result) reading for September 2016 was released today:

Predicted: 90.1
Actual: 91.2

  • Change from Last Month: +1.559%
  • Change from 12 Months Ago: +4.587%

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The Consumer Sentiment Index is compiled on a monthly basis by the University of Michigan; 500 U.S. households are queried about their own financial circumstances and about the economy in general. 200 questions are asked, e.g. "Do you think that right now is a good time to purchase a major household item, like a new microwave oven, TV set, or a new sofa?"

The Consumer Sentiment Index uses a 1966 baseline, i.e. for 1966, the Consumer Sentiment Index = 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 the sample that was polled back in 1966.

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

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

Last month's Consumer Sentiment reading was 89.8.

Click here to view the full University of Michigan report.

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Final Estimate Released Today for Q2, 2016

The final estimate for second quarter, 2016 U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was released this morning by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA):

Predicted: +1.3%
Actual: +1.4%

The above percentages represent the quarter-to-quarter change in the Gross Domestic Product for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.


GDP, Final Estimate, Q2 2016
GDP, Final Estimate, Q2 2016

Today's final GDP estimate contains the most authoritative data for Q2, 2016.

GDP is a very broad measure of economic activity for the entire United States, covering all sectors of the economy. The Commerce Department defines real GDP as, "the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States."

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report.

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of September 24, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on September 24, 2016:

Predicted: 260,000
Actual: 254,000

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.

  • Last Week (revised): 251,000

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 256,000

From today's report:

"...There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 82 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1973..."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of September 23, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on September 23, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -1,900,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +44,800,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 502,700,000 Barrels

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

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

Click here for the full Week in Petroleum report.

Click here for weekly crude oil prices.




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Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q3:2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released its latest GDPNow forecast for the growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2016.

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Latest Forecast for Q3, 2016: +2.8%

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Previous Reading (September 15, 2016): +2.9%

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GDPNow: September 28, 2016
GDPNow: September 28, 2016
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From Today's Report:

"...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2016 is 2.8% on September 28, down from 2.9% on September 20. The forecast of third-quarter real equipment investment growth fell from 1.5% to 0.8% after this morning's advance durable manufacturing report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The forecast of third-quarter real investment residential growth, which now stands at –8.9%, declined by 1.3 percentage points on both September 22 and September 26 following the release of housing data on those dates..."

About The GDPNow Forecast Model:

"...The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) measured by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a key metric of the pace of economic activity. It is one of the four variables included in the economic projections of Federal Reserve Board members and Bank presidents for every other Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. As with many economic statistics, GDP estimates are released with a lag whose timing can be important for policymakers. For example, of the four scheduled 2014 release dates of an 'advance' (or first) estimate of GDP growth, two are on the second day of a scheduled FOMC meeting with the other two on the day after the meeting. In preparation for FOMC meetings, policymaker have the Fed Board staff projection of this 'advance' estimate at their disposal...

...The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model also mimics the methods used by the BEA to estimate real GDP growth. The GDPNow forecast is constructed by aggregating statistical model forecasts of 13 subcomponents that comprise GDP. Other private forecasters use similar approaches to 'nowcast' GDP growth. However, these forecasts are not updated more than once a month or quarter, are not publicly available, or do not have forecasts of the subcomponents of GDP that add 'color' to the top-line number. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model fills these three voids..."

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Durable Goods Orders Report for August 2016

The Durable Goods Orders report for August 2016 was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: -1.9%
Actual: 0.0%

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  • Previous month, revised: +3.6%

  • Change from 12 months ago: -1.3%
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The  highlighted figure represents the month-to-month change in orders for durable or hard goods for immediate or future delivery from U.S. manufacturers. Examples of durable goods: cars, airplanes, computers, furniture -- items that are built to last at least three years.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure. The Durable Goods Orders report is produced by the Commerce Department.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for September 2016

The Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (September 2016) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

Predicted: 98.8
Actual: 104.1

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

From Today's Report:

"...'Consumer confidence increased in September for a second consecutive month and is now at its highest level since the recession,' said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions improved, primarily the result of a more positive view of the labor market. Looking ahead, consumers are more upbeat about the short-term employment outlook, but somewhat neutral about business conditions and income prospects. Overall, consumers continue to rate current conditions favorably and foresee moderate economic expansion 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.

Last month, the CCI was 101.8 (revised.)

Click here to view the full Conference Board report.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

New Home Sales for August 2016

The August 2016 New Home Sales report was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: 598,000
Actual New Home Sales: 609,000

Change from One Month Previous:  -7.6%
Change from One Year Previous: +20.6%

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Median Price for a New Home during August: $284,000

Average Price for a New Home during August: $353,600

Click here for historical prices and a chart.

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New Home Sales for August 2016
New Home Sales for August 2016

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Compiled jointly by the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the monthly New Home Sales report measures the number of newly-built homes with committed buyers during 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.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Leading Economic Index for August 2016

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® for August 2016 this morning:

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Index for May: 124.1 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2010 data.)

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.2%

  • Previous Month: +0.5

  • 2 Months Previous: +0.2
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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 Leading Economic Indicators Index 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™

Click here to view the full Conference Board report. 

Click here to view the full Conference Board report with Technical Notes.

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Existing Home Sales for August 2016

The Existing Home Sales report for August 2016 was released by The National Association of Realtors® this morning:

Predicted: 5,440,000
Actual: 5,330,000

Change from Previous Month: -0.9%
Change from One Year Previous: +0.8%

Inventory: 2,040,000 (4.6 months supply)

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The "actual" figure above represents the preliminary, seasonally adjusted annualized sales count of existing homes, co-ops and condominiums for last month. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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Median Price for A Used Home During August 2016: $240,200
Change from One Year Previous: +5.1%

Average Price for A Used Home During August 2016: $282,100
Change from One Year Previous: +4.0%

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Click here for historical prices and a chart.


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Existing Home Sales - August 2016
Existing Home Sales - August 2016
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  • The monthly Existing Home Sales report is released on or around the 25TH day of each month.





Click here to view the full NAR report.

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of September 17, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on September 17, 2016:

Predicted: 261,000
Actual: 252,000

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.

  • Last Week (unrevised): 260,000

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 258,500

From today's report:

"...There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 81 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1973..."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report


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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of September 16, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on September 16, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -6,200,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +50,600,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 504,600,000 Barrels

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

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

Click here for the full Week in Petroleum report.

Click here for weekly crude oil prices.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q3:2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released its latest GDPNow forecast for the growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2016.

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Latest Forecast for Q3, 2016: +2.9%

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Previous Reading (September 15, 2016): +3.0%

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GDPNow: September 20, 2016
GDPNow: September 20, 2016

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From Today's Report:

"...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2016 is +2.9% on September 20, down from +3.0% on September 15. The forecast of third-quarter real consumer spending growth ticked down from 3.1 percent to 3.0 percent after last Friday's Consumer Price Index release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The forecast of third-quarter real residential investment growth remained at -6.3 percent after this morning’s housing starts release from the U.S. Census Bureau..."

About The GDPNow Forecast Model:

"...The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) measured by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a key metric of the pace of economic activity. It is one of the four variables included in the economic projections of Federal Reserve Board members and Bank presidents for every other Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. As with many economic statistics, GDP estimates are released with a lag whose timing can be important for policymakers. For example, of the four scheduled 2014 release dates of an 'advance' (or first) estimate of GDP growth, two are on the second day of a scheduled FOMC meeting with the other two on the day after the meeting. In preparation for FOMC meetings, policymaker have the Fed Board staff projection of this 'advance' estimate at their disposal...

...The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model also mimics the methods used by the BEA to estimate real GDP growth. The GDPNow forecast is constructed by aggregating statistical model forecasts of 13 subcomponents that comprise GDP. Other private forecasters use similar approaches to 'nowcast' GDP growth. However, these forecasts are not updated more than once a month or quarter, are not publicly available, or do not have forecasts of the subcomponents of GDP that add 'color' to the top-line number. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model fills these three voids..."

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Housing Starts During August 2016

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released the Housing Starts report for August 2016:

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,190,000
Actual: 1,142,000

Change From Previous Month: -5.8%
Change From One Year Previous: +0.9%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,167,000
Actual: 1,139,000

Change From Previous Month: -0.4%
Change From One Year Previous: -2.3%

----------------------------------------------------


The above is a measure of initial construction of single and multi-family residential units in the United States for the indicated month. 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 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.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


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Friday, September 16, 2016

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for August 2016

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for August 2016:

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Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.2%

(Change from 12 months previous: +1.1%)

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.3%)

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

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.)
Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for August 2016

The Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for August 2016 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: 0.0%

Change from 12 months previous: 0.0%

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%

Change from 12 months previous: +1.0%

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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.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.


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Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q3:2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released its latest GDPNow forecast for the growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2016.

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Latest Forecast for Q3, 2016: +3.0%

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Previous Reading (September 2, 2016): +3.3%

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Latest GDPNow Forecast - Q3 2016 - September 15, 2016
Latest GDPNow Forecast - Q3 2016 - September 15, 2016

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From Today's Report:

"...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2016 is 3.0% on September 15, down from 3.3% on September 9. The forecast of third-quarter real consumer spending growth declined from 3.4 percent to 3.1 percent after this morning's retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The forecast of third-quarter real government spending growth declined from 1.3 percent to 0.8 percent after Tuesday's Monthly Treasury Statement from the U.S. Bureau of the Fiscal Service..."

About The GDPNow Forecast Model:

"...The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) measured by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a key metric of the pace of economic activity. It is one of the four variables included in the economic projections of Federal Reserve Board members and Bank presidents for every other Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. As with many economic statistics, GDP estimates are released with a lag whose timing can be important for policymakers. For example, of the four scheduled 2014 release dates of an 'advance' (or first) estimate of GDP growth, two are on the second day of a scheduled FOMC meeting with the other two on the day after the meeting. In preparation for FOMC meetings, policymaker have the Fed Board staff projection of this 'advance' estimate at their disposal...

...The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model also mimics the methods used by the BEA to estimate real GDP growth. The GDPNow forecast is constructed by aggregating statistical model forecasts of 13 subcomponents that comprise GDP. Other private forecasters use similar approaches to 'nowcast' GDP growth. However, these forecasts are not updated more than once a month or quarter, are not publicly available, or do not have forecasts of the subcomponents of GDP that add 'color' to the top-line number. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model fills these three voids..."

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Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization for August 2016

The Industrial Production, Manufacturing and Capacity Utilization numbers for August 2016 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

Industrial Production:
Predicted: -0.2%
Actual: -0.4%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: -0.3%
Actual: -0.4%

The above numbers (highlighted) 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: 75.7%
Actual: 75.5

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.

Click here to view the full Federal Reserve report

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of September 10, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on September 10, 2016:

Predicted: 265,000
Actual: 260,000

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.

  • Last Week (unrevised): 259,000

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 260,750

From today's report:

"...There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 80 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1973..."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report

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