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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, November 08, 2018

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of November 3, 2018

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on November 3, 2018:

Predicted: 213,000
Actual: 214,000

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): 215,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 213,750
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Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 2, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 2, 2018 was released this morning: 

-- Change from Last Week: +5,800,000 Barrels

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -25,400,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 431,800,000 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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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

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

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

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

Job Openings

Predicted: 7,110,000
Actual:    7,009,000

  • Previous Month (revised): 7,293,000 (all-time record high*)

  • One Year Previous: 6,229,000

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Hires: 5,744,000

Total Separations: 5,667,000

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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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Monday, November 05, 2018

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for October 2018

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM®) released their Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for October 2018:

Predicted: 59.1%
Actual: 60.3% (-1.3 points | -2.11% Month-on-Month Change)

==========

Previous month: 61.6%

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The NMI is a reliable barometer of the U.S. services sector; above 50% implies expansion, while a reading below 50% implies that the services sector contracted.

Service Categories Include: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing + Hunting; Mining; Utilities; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Transportation + Warehousing; Information; Finance + Insurance; Real Estate, Rental + Leasing; Professional, Scientific + Technical Services; Management of Companies + Support Services; Educational Services; Health Care + Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment + Recreation; Accommodation + Food Services; Public Administration; and Other Services (services such as Equipment + Machinery Repairing; Promoting or Administering Religious Activities; Grantmaking; Advocacy; and Providing Dry-Cleaning + Laundry Services, Personal Care Services, Death Care Services, Pet Care Services, Photofinishing Services, Temporary Parking Services, and Dating Services).

==========

From today' report:

"...Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in June for the 105TH consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®..."

==========

Here's a sampling of comments made by survey participants:

  •    “Tariffs are beginning to impact business. We ask our suppliers to hold pricing for six months, but we are experiencing difficulties.”
     (Construction)

  •     “Wrapping up fiscal year budgets [and] seeing modest increases in volume and spend. Some price increases due to tariffs on computers/peripherals.”
     (Finance + Insurance)

  •     “Stable at the moment. Still continuing to look at opportunities to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.”
     (Health Care + Social Assistance)

  •     “The promotional-products trade continues to stay strong going into the end of the year. This reflects the overall macroeconomics of how the economy is doing thus far. We have not yet begun to see the impacts on prices due to the additional tariffs against China. We anticipate that price increases may start to work into the supply chain early in the first quarter.”
     (Management of Companies + Support Services)

  •     “It has been very difficult to make decisions due to instability brought by the latest trading dispute. In this environment, clients tend to postpone capital-expenditure decisions.”
     (Mining)

  •     “Increasing oil prices should provide an uptick in customer orders for our services in the fourth quarter. Conversely, it will likely lead to higher prices for consumables, specifically bulk chemicals and plastics. Also, hiring is becoming an issue, as finding suitable workers is more difficult as time passes.”
     (Professional, Scientific + Technical Services)

  •     “September 30 was the last day of the fiscal year. To close out the year and transition to the new year, activity levels will be different from the usual. Economic growth continues to be high, especially related to construction projects. As such, construction contractors, sub-contractors and labor remain in short supply.”
     (Public Administration)

  •     “Business has been strong. Continuing momentum seen in past month. Anticipating continued strong sales through remainder of the year.”
     (Retail Trade)

  •     “Transportation capacity shortages remain our largest challenge.”
     (Wholesale Trade)

  •     “There was a slight seasonal drop in activity as the school year commenced [because] most orders we placed and received were in the quarter preceding the school year.”
     (Educational Services)

 ==========

    ==========

    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) 12 Month History
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) 12 Month History

    ==========



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    Friday, November 02, 2018

    Employment Situation Report for October 2018

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

    Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +190,000
    Actual: +250,000


    U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
    Actual: 3.7%
    Previous Month: 3.7%
    12 Months Previous: 4.1%

    U-6 Unemployment Rate*
    Actual: 7.4%
    Previous Month: 7.5%
    12 Months Previous: 8.0%

    Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +0.2%
    Actual: +0.1835% (+$0.05)

    Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
    Predicted: +3.0%
    Actual: +3.136% (+$0.83)

    Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
    Actual: +0.475% (+$4.45)


    Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
    Actual: +3.435% (+$31.28)

    Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.9%
    Previous Month: 62.7%
    12 Months Previous: 62.7%

    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 October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents to $27.30 [+0.1835%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 83 cents, or [+3.136%]. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.89 [+0.3067%] in October.

    The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised down from +134,000 to +118,000, and the change for August was revised up from +270,000 to +286,000. The downward revision in September offset the upward revision in August. (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
    218,000 over the past 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, November 01, 2018

    ISM Manufacturing Index for October 2018

    Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) released their Manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI®) for October 2018:

    Predicted: 59.1%
    Actual: 57.7% (-2.1 points | -3.512% M/M change)

    =========

    Previous month: 59.8%

    =========

    Every month, the ISM surveys purchasing and supply executives at hundreds of companies across the country who are involved in manufacturing in some form. The resulting index is watched closely by academics, economists and investors because manufacturing accounts for about 12% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    The PMI is a reliable barometer of U.S. manufacturing: A PMI above 50% implies that U.S. manufacturing expanded during the month specified, while a reading below 50% implies that the made-in-the-USA sector contracted.

    =========

    From Today's Report:

    "...Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in June, and the overall economy grew for the 114th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®..."
    =========

    The following is a sampling of quotes from a diverse pool of U.S. manufacturers:



    •     “All electronic components are having shortages and much longer lead times that impact our production.”
       (Computer + Electronic Products)

    •     “Tariffs are causing inflation: increased costs of imports, increased cost of freight and increased domestic costs from suppliers who import.”
       (Chemical Products)

    •     “Protein prices continue under pressure from heavy U.S. supplies and export concerns related to trade tariffs. Higher costs related to trade tariffs are starting to be passed on to the cost of goods sold.”
       (Food, Beverage + Tobacco Products)

    •     “While order intake remains steady, the pace has slowed since the first half the year. Instead of growing, the backlog is declining. We were processing orders at a high level; now they are at the point of status quo from late 2017. We are not concerned yet, but there is certainly trepidation about the future.”
       (Machinery)

    •     “NAFTA 2.0/USMCA does nothing to help our company, as it does not address Section 232 tariffs.”
       (Plastics + Rubber Products)

    •     “We continue to run at full capacity. I continue to see pricing pressures and longer lead times in most commodities.”
       (Primary Metals)

    •     “Mounting pressure due to pending tariffs. Bracing for delays in material from China — a rush of orders trying to race tariff implementation is flooding shipping and customs.”
       (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

    •     “Demand is high, and the supply chains are stressed.”
       (Transportation Equipment)

    •     “Orders and shipments are strong right now. Backlog for Q4 and next year are way down. Savvy customers are asking us to hold pricing on blanket orders, but material suppliers will only hold prices for a few days, which puts us in a bad spot. We'll be spending as much as possible on capital improvements before the end of the year.”
       (Fabricated Metal Products)

    •     “Steel tariffs continue to negatively affect our cost, even though we utilize U.S. sources for steel. Oil prices put meaningful upward pressure on cost. Continued tightness with truck drivers is expected.”
       (Petroleum + Coal Products)

     =========

    ISM Manufacturing Index History - October 2018 Update
    ISM Manufacturing Index History - October 2018 Update

    =========


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    New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of October 27, 2018

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on October 27, 2018:

    Predicted: 212,000
    Actual: 214,000

    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): 216,000
    • 4-Week Moving Average: 213,750
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    Productivity and Labor Costs Report for Q3 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 third quarter of 2018 (preliminary):

    Nonfarm Productivity
    Predicted: +2.3%
    Actual: +2.2%

    Change from A Year Ago: +1.3%

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

    Unit Labor Costs
    Predicted: +1.1%
    Actual: +1.2%

    Change from A Year Ago: +1.5%

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

    The yellow-highlighted percentages 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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    • The revised Q3 2018 productivity report is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, December 5, 2018.
     
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    Wednesday, October 31, 2018

    Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of October 26, 2018

    The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on October 26, 2018 was released this morning: 

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

    -- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -28,900,000 Barrels

    -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 426,000,000 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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    Employment Cost Index for Q3, 2018

    The Employment Cost Index (ECI) for the third quarter of 2018 was released by The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

    Predicted: +0.7%
    Actual: +0.8%


    • Reading from previous quarter: +0.6%
       
    • Change from 12 months previous (Y/Y): +2.8%


    The yellow-highlighter figure represents the seasonally adjusted, quarter-to-quarter change for the ECI, which is the Labor Department's broadest measure of employee-compensation costs, and includes wages, salaries and benefits.

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

    • Wages and Salaries: +0.9%

    • Change from 12 months previous (Y/Y): +2.9% 

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

    • Benefits: +0.4%

    • Change from 12 months previous (Y/Y): +2.6% 

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


    From the Labor Department website:


    "...The Employment Cost Index (ECI) measures the change in the cost of labor, free from the influence of employment shifts among occupations and industries..."

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

    Employment Cost Index - Q3, 2018 Update
    Employment Cost Index - Q3, 2018 Update

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

    • The ECI report for the fourth quarter of 2018 is scheduled for release on January 31, 2019.


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      Tuesday, October 30, 2018

      Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for October 2018

      The Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (October 2018) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

      Predicted: 136.3
      Actual: 137.9

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

      Previous Month (revised): 135.3.
       
      •  Change from Previous Month: +1.922% (+2.6 points)
      ==========

      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 October, following a modest gain in September, and remains at levels last seen in the fall of 2000 (September 2000, 142.5),' said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions remains quite positive, primarily due to strong employment growth. The Expectations Index posted another gain in October, suggesting that consumers do not foresee the economy losing steam anytime soon. Rather, they expect the strong pace of growth to carry over into early 2019.'

      Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved in October. The percentage of consumers saying business conditions are 'good' increased from 39.9 percent to 40.5 percent, while those claiming business conditions are 'bad' decreased from 9.6 percent to 9.2 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more favorable. Those claiming jobs are 'plentiful' increased from 44.1 percent to 45.9 percent, while those claiming jobs are 'hard to get' decreased from 14.1 percent to 13.2 percent.

      Consumers’ optimism about the short-term future increased further in October. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 25.8 percent to 26.3 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen declined, from 8.3 percent to 7.4 percent.

      Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was somewhat mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 22.1 percent to 21.9 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs also decreased, from 11.4 percent to 10.5 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement rose from 22.5 percent to 24.7 percent, but the proportion expecting a decrease increased from 7.6 percent to 8.5 percent..
      ."

      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, October 29, 2018

        PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for September 2018

        The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for September 2018:

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

        Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)
        Predicted: +0.4%
        Actual: +0.4%

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

        Personal Income
        Predicted: +0.4%
        Actual: +0.2%

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

        • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars:  +0.2%
        • Disposable Personal Income, 2012 Chained* Dollars +0.1% 

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

        The 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.


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

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

        • Change from 12 months previous: +2.0%
        =====================

        Core PCE Price Index
        ( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
        Predicted: +0.1%
        Actual: +0.2%

        • Change from 12 months previous: +2.0%
        =====================

        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.


         =====================

         =====================

        *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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        Friday, October 26, 2018

        Gross Domestic Product (GDP): First Estimate for Q3, 2018

        The U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Advance" (first estimate) report for the third quarter of 2018 was released this morning by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA):

        Predicted: +3.3%
        Actual: +3.5%

        The yellow-highlighted figure represents the quarter-to-quarter change in real gross domestic product for the entire United States.

        The GDP is the broadest measure of economic activity in the entire United States, covering all sectors of the economy.

        The "advance" estimate is based on data that are subject to future revision.

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        Wednesday, October 24, 2018

        New Home Sales During September 2018

        The September 2018 New Home Sales report was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

        Predicted: 625,000
        Actual New Home Sales: 553,000

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

        Change from One Month Previous: -5.5%

        Change from One Year Previous: -13.2%

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

        Median Price for a New Home during September 2018: $320,000

        ========

        Average Price for a New Home during September 2018: $377,200


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

        Inventory: 7.1 months (not seasonally adjusted.)

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


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


        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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        Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of October 19, 2018

        The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on October 19, 2018 was released this morning: 

        -- Change from Last Week: +6,300,000 Barrels

        -- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -34,600,000 Barrels

        -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 422,800,000 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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        Friday, October 19, 2018

        Existing Home Sales During September 2018

        The Existing Home Sales report for September 2018 was released by The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) this morning:

        Predicted: 5,300,000
        Actual: 5,150,000

        •  Change from Previous Month: -3.4%

        •  Change from One Year Previous: -4.1%
        ==========

        Inventory: 1,880,000 (4.4 months supply)

        ==========

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

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

        Median Price for A Used Home During September: $258,100

        Change from One Year Previous: +4.2%

        ---------

        Average Price for A Used Home During September: $296,800

        Change from One Year Previous: +2.5%

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



        ==========

        From Today's Report:


        "...Existing-home sales declined in September after a month of stagnation in August, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All four major regions saw no gain in sales activity last month.

        Total existing-home sales, https://www.nar.realtor/existing-home-sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.4% from August to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.15 million in September. Sales are now down 4.1% from a year ago (5.37 million in September 2017).

        Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says rising interest rates have led to a decline in sales across all regions of the country. 'This is the lowest existing home sales level since November 2015,' he said. 'A decade’s high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country.'

        The median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $258,100, up 4.2% from September 2017 ($247,600). September’s price increase marks the 79th straight month of year-over-year gains.

        Total housing inventory at the end of September decreased from 1.91 million in August to 1.88 million existing homes available for sale, and is up from 1.86 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.3 last month and 4.2 months a year ago.

        Properties typically stayed on the market for 32 days in September, up from 29 days in August but down from 34 days a year ago. Forty-seven percent of homes sold in September were on the market for less than a month.

        'There is a clear shift in the market with another month of rising inventory on a year over year basis, though seasonal factors are leading to a third straight month of declining inventory,' said Yun. 'Homes will take a bit longer to sell compared to the super-heated fast pace seen earlier this year.'

        Realtor.com®’s Market Hotness Index, measuring time-on-the-market data and listings views per property, revealed that the hottest metro areas in September were Midland, Texas; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Odessa, Texas; Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.; and Columbus, Ohio.

        According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 4.63% in September from 4.55% in August. The average commitment rate for all of 2017 was 3.99%.

        'Rising interests rates coupled with increasing home prices are keeping first-time buyers out of the market, but consistent job gains could allow more Americans to enter the market with a steady and measurable rise in inventory,' says Yun.

        First-time buyers were responsible for 32% of sales in September, up from last month (31%) and a year ago (29%). NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 2017 – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 34%.

        'Despite small month over month increases, the share of first-time buyers in the market continues to underwhelm because there are simply not enough listings in their price range,' said NAR President
        Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. 'Entry-level homes remain highly sought after, as prospective buyers are advised to contact a Realtor® as early in the buying process as possible in order to ensure buyers can act fast on listings that catch their eye.'

        All-cash sales accounted for 21% of transactions in September, up from August and a year ago (both 20%). Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 13% of homes in September, unchanged from August and down from 15% a year ago.

        Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – were 3% of sales in September (the lowest since NAR began tracking in October 2008), unchanged from last month and down from 4% a year ago. Two percent of September sales were foreclosures and 1% were short sales..."



        ==========



        ==========

        • The monthly Existing Home Sales report is released on or around the 25TH day of each month.
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        Wednesday, October 17, 2018

        Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of October 12, 2018

        The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on October 12, 2018 was released this morning: 

        -- Change from Last Week: +6,500,000 Barrels

        -- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -40,000,000 Barrels

        -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 416,400,000 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, October 16, 2018

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

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

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

        Job Openings

        Predicted: 6,905,000
        Actual:    7,136,000 (All-Time Record High*)

        • Previous Month (revised): 7,077,000

        • One Year Previous: 6,044,000

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

        Hires: 5,784,000

        Total Separations: 5,706,000

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

        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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        Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization During September 2018

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

        Industrial Production:
        Predicted: +0.2%
        Actual: +0.3%

        Manufacturing:
        Predicted: +0.2%
        Actual: +0.2%

        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: 78.2%
        Actual: 78.1

        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 0.3 percent in September, about the same rate of change as in the previous two months. Output growth in September was held down slightly by Hurricane Florence, with an estimated effect of less than 0.1 percentage point. For the third quarter as a whole, total industrial production advanced at an annual rate of 3.3 percent. In September, manufacturing output moved up 0.2 percent for its fourth consecutive monthly increase, while the output of utilities was unchanged. The index for mining increased 0.5 percent and has moved up in each of the past eight months. At 108.5 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 5.1 percent higher in September than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was unchanged at 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average..."


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        Monday, October 15, 2018

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

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

        Predicted: +0.6%
        Actual: +0.104% (+$527,000,000)

        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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        -- Estimated Retail Sales During September 2018: $509,041,000,000

        -- Change from 12 Months Previous: +4.719% (+$22,938,000,000)

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        Chart: Retail Sales - September 2018 Update
        Chart: Retail Sales - September 2018 Update


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