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Economy

Economic Indicators (USA)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Personal Income & Consumer Spending Report for September 2012

Earlier today, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis released their report on Consumer Spending and Personal Income during September 2012:

Personal Consumption Expenditures
(a.k.a. Consumer Spending)
Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.8%

Personal Income
Predicted: +0.4%
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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Friday, October 26, 2012

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Advance" Released Today for Q3, 2012

U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers for the third quarter of 2012 were released this morning by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA):

Predicted: +1.9%
Actual: +2.0%

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

The "advance" estimates are based on data that are incomplete or subject to future revision. Next month, the Commerce Department will release a "preliminary" report for the above-referenced quarter, which will contain more accurate data. Eventually, a "final" GDP report will be released by the BEA, which will contain the most accurate and authoritative data on the above-referenced quarter.

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

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Consumer Sentiment for October 2012

The Consumer Sentiment figure for this month (October 2012):

Predicted: 78.3
Actual: 82.6

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

Earlier this month, the Consumer Sentiment Index was 83.1.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Durable Goods Orders Report for September 2012

The Durable Goods Orders report for September 2012 was released this morning:

Predicted: +7.0%
Actual: +9.9%

The above percentages represent 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 -- items that are built to last 3+ years.

The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters 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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of October 20, 2012

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on October 20, 2012:

Predicted: 372,000
Actual: 369,000

Last Week (Revised): 392,000

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, October 24, 2012

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of October 19, 2012

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on October 19, 2012 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +5,900,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +37,500,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 375,100,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories can translate 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 a more detailed summary of The Week in Petroleum.

Click here for weekly crude oil prices.

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New Home Sales for September 2012

The September 2012 New Home Sales report was released this morning:

Predicted: 385,000

Actual New Home Sales: 389,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +5.7%
Change from One Year Previous: +27.1%

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Median Price for a New Home during September: $242,400
Average Price for a New Home during September: $292,400

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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Friday, October 19, 2012

Existing Home Sales for September 2012

The Existing Home Sales report for September 2012 was released by The National Association of Realtors® this morning:

Predicted: 4,750,000
Actual: 4,750,000

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Change from One Month Previous: -1.7%
Change from One Year Previous: +11.0%

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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.


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Median Price for A used home In September 2012: $183,900
Change from One Year Previous: +11.3%

Average Price for A used home In September 2012: $232,000
Change from One Year Previous: +9.0%

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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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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for October 2012

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

Predicted: +0.5
Actual: +5.7

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 -1.9.

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

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Leading Economic Indicators for September 2012

The Conference Board report on the nation's Leading Economic Indicators for September 2012 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.6%

The above numbers represent the month-to-month change for the nation's leading economic indicators. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters 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 Money Supply (M2)

  2. The Standard and Poor's 500 Index

  3. The interest rate spread between the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury Note and Fed Funds

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

  5. Manufacturer's new orders for non-defense capital goods

  6. Average weekly claims for unemployment insurance

  7. Average weekly manufacturing hours

  8. The Index of Consumer Expectations

  9. Vendor performance

  10. Building permits for new private housing

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of October 13, 2012

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on October 13, 2012:

Predicted: 365,000
Actual: 388,000

Last Week (Revised): 342,000

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, October 17, 2012

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of October 12, 2012

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on October 12, 2012 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +2,900,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +36,300,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 369,200,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories can translate 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 a more detailed summary of The Week in Petroleum.

Click here for weekly crude oil prices.


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Housing Starts During September 2012

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released the Housing Starts report for September 2012:

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 765,000
Actual: 872,000
Change From Previous Month: +15.0%
Change From One Year Previous: +34.8%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 810,000
Actual: 894,000
Change From Previous Month: +11.6%
Change From One Year Previous: +45.1%

The above is a measure of initial construction of single and multi-family residential units in The United States for last month. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters 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. The monthly Housing Starts 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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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Industrial Production for September 2012

The Industrial Production numbers for September 2012 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

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

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 78.3%
Actual: 78.3%
 
The above Industrial Production numbers represent the month-to-month change in physical output from mining operations, utility plants and factories for the entire United States.

The Capacity Utilization Rate percentages represent 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 and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Federal Reserve report.

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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September 2012

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September 2012:

Predicted: 0.5%
Actual: 0.6%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

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.

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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Monday, October 15, 2012

U.S. Retail & Food Services Sales Report for September 2012

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for September 2012:

Predicted: +0.7%
Actual: +1.1%


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.

Estimated Retail Sales for September : $412,900,000

  • Change from 1 Year previous: +5.4%
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, October 12, 2012

Consumer Sentiment for October 2012

The Consumer Sentiment figure for this month (October 2012):

Predicted: 78.3
Actual: 83.1

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

Last month, the Consumer Sentiment Index was 78.3.

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Producer Price Index (PPI) for September 2012

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for September 2012 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.8%
Actual: +1.1%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.0%

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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Thursday, October 11, 2012

International Trade Balance Level for August, 2012

The International Trade Balance Level for August, 2012 was released by The U.S. Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: $ -44,000,000,000
Actual: $ -44,200,000,000

The "actual" figure above represents the balance of trade -- imports vs. exports -- between the United States and all other countries, and includes both goods and services. A negative number represents a trade deficit, while a positive number represents a trade surplus.

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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of October 6, 2012

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on October 6, 2012:

Predicted: 370,000
Actual: 339,000

Last Week (Revised): 369,000

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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Friday, October 05, 2012

Employment Situation Report for September 2012

The Employment Situation report for September 2012 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: +0.3%

Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +113K
Actual: +114K


Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.4 hrs
Actual: 34.5 hrs


Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 8.1%
Actual: 7.8%

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, October 04, 2012

U.S. Factory Orders Report for August 2012

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their report on manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories & Orders -- also known as Factory Orders -- for August 2012:

Predicted: -6.0%
Actual: -5.2%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in orders for both durable and nondurable goods made by from U.S. manufacturers. 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 Census Bureau report.

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Challenger Report on Corporate Layoffs for September 2012

Earlier today, the outplacement company Challenger released their report on corporate layoffs for September 2012:

U.S. Corporate Job Cuts Announced during September 2012: 33,816

If corporate layoffs are high, consumer spending may decline, since there would be fewer people with steady jobs.

When corporate layoffs are low, this can mean that the job market is relatively tight, which can be a harbinger of wage inflation.

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of September 29, 2012

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on September 29, 2012:

Predicted: 370,000
Actual: 367,000

Last Week (Revised): 363,000

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, October 03, 2012

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of September 28, 2012

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on September 28, 2012 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -500,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +28,400,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 364,700,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories can translate 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 a more detailed summary of The Week in Petroleum.

Click here for weekly crude oil prices.

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Monday, October 01, 2012

ISM Manufacturing Index for September 2012

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released their Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) for September 2012:

Predicted: 49.7%
Actual: 51.5%

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 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 manufacturing sector contracted.

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

For August 2012, the PMI was 49.6%.

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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