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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for March 2009

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for this month (March 2009) was released by The Conference Board this morning:

Predicted: 28.0
Actual: 26.0

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

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 linked to 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 almost always released on the last Tuesday of the month.

Last month, the CCI was 25.3 (revised.)

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Friday, March 27, 2009

All 3 Majors Gained More Than 6% On The Week

Each of the 3 major indices advanced by more than six percent on the week.

For the week, the DJIA added 497.80 points (+6.839%), the NASDAQ Composite Index advanced by 87.93 points (+6.034%), and the S&P 500 Index gained 47.40 points (+6.168%).

Bear Market Update: Since closing with record highs on October 9, 2007, the DJIA is now down 6,388.35 points (45.101%), while the S + P 500 Index is down 749.21 points (47.868%). The record high for the DJIA is 14,164.53; for the S + P 500 Index it's 1,565.15.

For the year, the DJIA is down 1,000.21 points (11.397%), while the S&P 500 is down 87.31 points (9.666%).

Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 7,776.18 (-148.38)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 1,545.20 (-41.80)

S + P 500: Closed @ 815.94 (-16.92)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $52.38/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $923.10/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7524 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.329 U.S. Dollars

The Target Range for the Fed Funds Rate is 0% - 0.25%

10-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 2.761%

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Final" Released Today for Q4, 2008

The final, real U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report for the fourth quarter of 2008 was released this morning:

Predicted: -6.6%
Actual: -6.3%

The above percentages represent the quarter-to-quarter change in the Gross Domestic Product for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure. The GDP report is produced by the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Today's final GDP report contains the most authoritative data for Q4, 2008.

The 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 (PDF).

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of March 21, 2009

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on March 21, 2009:

Predicted: 650,000
Actual: 652,000

The above figures represent the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Home Sales for February 2009

The February 2009 New Home Sales report was released this morning:

Predicted: 315,000

Actual New Home Sales: 337,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +4.7%

Change from One Year Previous: -41.1%

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Median Price for a New Home during February: $200,900

Average Price for a New Home during February: $251,000

Click here for historical prices and a chart.

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 for a given month.

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters 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 and microwave ovens.

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

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Existing Home Sales for February 2009

The Existing Home Sales report for February 2009 was released by The National Association of Realtors® this morning:

Predicted: 4,500,000
Actual: 4,720,000
Change from One Month Previous: +5.1%
Change from One Year Previous: -4.6%

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

Median Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In February 2009: $165,400
Change from One Year Previous: -15.5%

Average Price for A Preowned, Single-Family
Home In February 2009: $209,700
Change from One Year Previous: -13.4%

Click here for historical prices and a chart.

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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Friday, March 20, 2009

All 3 Majors Edged Higher On The Week

Each of the 3 major indexes advanced on the week. On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve opted keep short-term rates at current levels, and announced plans to buy up to $300 billion of long-term Treasury securities.

For the week, the DJIA added 54.40 points (+0.753%), the NASDAQ Composite Index advanced by 25.77 points (+1.8%), and the S and P 500 Index gained 11.99 points (+1.585%).


Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 7,278.38 (-122.42)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 1,457.27 (-26.21)

S and P 500: Closed @ 768.54 (-15.50)

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NYMEX Crude Oil for Future Delivery closed @ $52.07/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $952.60/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7363 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.3582 U.S. Dollars

The Target Range for the Fed Funds Rate is 0% - 0.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 2.625%

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for March 2009

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

Predicted: -38.0
Actual: -35.0

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

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

Click here to view the full Philadelphia Fed report.

Last month, the actual figure was -41.3.

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

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of March 14, 2009

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on March 14, 2009:

Predicted: 654,000
Actual: 646,000

The above figures represent the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February 2009

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February 2009:

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.4%

Below is the CPI when food and energy are subtracted from the equation, also known as the "core CPI":

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

The above numbers 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 and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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The CPI figure for February 2009: 212.193 (not seasonally adjusted)

Change from 2/2008 through 2/2009: +0.5 point (+0.236%)

The baseline 100 score is pegged to 1982-1984 data. In other words, in general, consumer prices have more than doubled since the early 80's.

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General categories that constitute the CPI are:

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

Click here to view the full Labor Department report
.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Producer Price Index (PPI) for February 2009

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for February 2009 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.1%

Below is the PPI when food and energy are subtracted from the equation, also known as the "core PPI":

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.2%


The above numbers represent the month-to-month change in prices for a specific group of goods and capital equipment that producers buy in order to produce finished goods for consumers. The PPI is an important part of the overall inflation picture for the country because when costs go up for producers, producers will often pass those increased costs on to consumers.

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

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

The PPI is a family or amalgamation of indexes, including The:

  • All Commodities Index
  • Crude Energy Materials Index
  • Crude Foodstuffs & Feedstuffs Index
  • Crude Materials for Further Processing Index
  • Finished Goods Index
  • Finished Consumer Foods Index
  • Finished Consumer Goods Index
  • Finished Consumer Goods Excluding Foods Index
  • Finished Energy Goods Index
  • Finished Goods: Capital Equipment Index
  • Finished Goods Excluding Foods Index
  • Finished Goods Less Energy Index
  • Finished Goods Less Food & Energy Index
  • Fuels & Related Products & Power Index
  • Industrial Commodities Index
  • Intermediate Energy Goods Index
  • Intermediate Foods & Feeds Index
  • Intermediate Materials: Supplies & Components Index

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

All 3 Majors Gained More Than 9 Percent On The Week

Each of the 3 major indexes gained more than 9% on the week.

For the week, the DJIA added 597.04 points (+9.009%), the NASDAQ Composite Index advanced by 137.65 points (+10.639%), and the S and P 500 Index gained 73.17 points (+10.707%).


Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 7,223.98 (+53.92)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 1,431.50 (+5.40)

S and P 500: Closed @ 756.55 (+5.81)

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NYMEX Crude Oil for Future Delivery  closed @ $46.25/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $929.40/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7735 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.2928 U.S. Dollars

The Target Range for the Fed Funds Rate is 0% - 0.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 2.885%

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of March 7, 2009

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on March 7, 2009:

Predicted: 645,000
Actual: 654,000

The above figures represent the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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U.S. Retail & Food Services Sales Report for February 2009

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for February 2009:

Predicted: -0.5%
Actual: -0.1%

Minus Auto and Auto Parts Sales
Predicted: -0.2%
Actual : +0.7%


The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in total sales receipts for retailers that sell durable & non-durable goods, and retailers that provide food & beverage services.

  • Change from 12 months previous: -8.6%
The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full report.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

All 3 Majors Lost More Than 6 Percent On The Week

Each of the 3 major indexes lost more than 6% on the week, with fresh, bear-market lows for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S and P 500.

For the week, the DJIA shed 435.99 points (-6.173%), the NASDAQ Composite Index declined by 83.99 points (-6.096%), and the S and P 500 Index lost 51.71 points (-7.035%).

Bear Market Update: since closing with record highs on October 9, 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has now declined by 7,537.59 points (53.215%), while the broader S&P 500 Index has fallen by 881.77 points (56.338%). The record high for the DJIA is 14,164.53; for the S&P 500 Index it's 1,565.15.

For the year, the DJIA is down 2,149.45 points (24.491%), while the S&P 500 is down 219.87 points (24.342%).


Summary of The U.S. Markets for Today:

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DJIA: Closed @ 6,626.94 (+32.50)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 1,293.85 (-5.74)

S and P 500: Closed @ 683.38 (+0.83)

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NYMEX Crude Oil for Future Delivery closed @ $45.52/barrel

NY Spot Gold closed @ $938.40/ounce

In New York, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7904 Euros

In New York, The Euro buys 1.2652 U.S. Dollars

The Target Range for the Fed Funds Rate is 0% - 0.25%

Ten-Year Treasury Note Yield is currently @ 2.83%

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Employment Situation Report for February 2009

The Employment Situation report for February 2009 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

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


Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: -648K
Actual: -651K


Average Workweek
Predicted: 33.3 hrs
Actual: 33.3 hrs


Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 7.9%
Actual: 8.1%

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, b) unemployment is low and c) 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 and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Department of Labor report.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 28, 2009

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on February 28, 2009:

Predicted: 650,000
Actual: 639,000

The above figures represent the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Construction Spending during January 2009

Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department -- released the Construction Spending report for January 2009:

Predicted: -1.5%
Actual: -3.3%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in new public and private construction activity for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Change from one year previous: -9.1%

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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Personal Income & Consumer Spending Report for January 2009

Earlier today, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis released their report on Consumer Spending and Personal Income during January 2009:

Personal Consumption Expenditures
(a.k.a. Consumer Spending)
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.6%

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

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending and Personal Income for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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

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ISM Manufacturing Index for February 2009

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released their Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) for February 2009:

Predicted: 33.8%
Actual: 35.8%

Every month, the ISM surveys purchasing and supply executives at hundreds of companies across the country that are involved in manufacturing in some form. The resulting index is watched closely by academics, economists and investors because manufacturing accounts for 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 in question; when it's below 50%, it implies that the manufacturing sector contracted.

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

During the prior month, the PMI was 35.6%.

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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