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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for December 2012

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for this month (December 2012) was released by The Conference Board this morning:

Predicted: 70.0
Actual: 65.1

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 feeling regarding the current U.S. economy, the future of the U.S. economy, 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 71.5 (revised)

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New Home Sales for November 2012

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

Predicted: 375,000

Actual New Home Sales: 377,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +4.4%
Change from One Year Previous: +15.3%

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Median Price for a New Home during November: $246,200
Average Price for a New Home during November: $299,700

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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 22, 2012

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 22, 2012:

Predicted: 365,000
Actual: 350,000

Last Week (Revised): 362,000

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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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Existing Home Sales for November 2012

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

Predicted: 4,900,000
Actual: 5,040,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +5.9%
Change from One Year Previous: +14.5%

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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 November 2012: $180,600
Change from One Year Previous: +10.1%

Average Price for A used home In November 2012: $229,500
Change from One Year Previous: +9.1%

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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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 15, 2012

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 15, 2012:

Predicted: 359,000
Actual: 361,000

Last Week (Revised): 344,000

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, December 19, 2012

Housing Starts During November 2012

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

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 865,000
Actual: 861,000

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Change From Previous Month: -3.0%
Change From One Year Previous: +21.6%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 875,000
Actual: 899,000
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Change From Previous Month: +3.6%
Change From One Year Previous: +26.8%


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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. 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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Thursday, December 13, 2012

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

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

Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.3%


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 November : $412,400,000,000

  • Change from 1 Year previous: +3.7%
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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Producer Price Index (PPI) for November 2012

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

Predicted: -0.5%
Actual: -0.8%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 8, 2012

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 8, 2012:

Predicted: 370,000
Actual: 343,000

Last Week (Revised): 372,000

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, December 07, 2012

Consumer Sentiment: Reading #1 for December 2012

The first Consumer Sentiment reading for December 2012 was released today:

Predicted: 83.0
Actual: 74.5

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.

The previous Consumer Sentiment reading was 82.7.

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Employment Situation Report for November 2012

The Employment Situation report for November 2012 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 8.0%
Actual: 7.7%

Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +80K
Actual: +146K


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

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.4 hrs
Actual: 34.4 hrs

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, December 06, 2012

Challenger Report on Corporate Layoffs for November 2012

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

Job Cuts Announced during November 2012: 57,081
 
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 December 1, 2012

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on December 1, 2012:

Predicted: 380,000
Actual: 370,000

Last Week (Revised): 395,000

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, December 05, 2012

Productivity and Labor Cost Report for Q3 2012 Released Today (Revised)

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its quarterly report on Productivity and Unit Labor Costs for the third quarter of 2012 (revised data):

Non-farm Productivity
Predicted: +2.8%
Actual: +2.9%

Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: -0.9%
Actual: -1.9%

The above percentages represent the quarter-to-quarter change in non-farm productivity and unit labor costs.

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

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

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U.S. Factory Orders Report for October 2012

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

Predicted: -0.1%
Actual: +0.8%

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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Monday, December 03, 2012

ISM Manufacturing Index for November 2012

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

Predicted: 51.7%
Actual: 49.5%

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 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 manufacturing sector contracted.

Last month, the PMI was 51.7%.

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

"...'Conditions still appear to be positive for continued growth in sales.' (Machinery)

'Business is steady, but not much more than that. We are in a lull.' (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)

'The principle business conditions that will affect the company over the next three or four quarters will be the U.S. federal government tax and budgetary policies; the impact of those policies is not yet clear.' (Petroleum & Coal Products)

'Differences between first half of year and remaining half are very dramatic, growing to a peak in the middle of the year with a gradual decline since.' (Plastics & Rubber Products)

'Seeing a slowdown in request for quote activity.' (Computer & Electronic Products)

'The fiscal cliff is the big worry right now. We will not look toward any type of expansion until this is addressed; if the program that is put in place is more taxes and big spending cuts — which will push us toward recession — forget it.' (Fabricated Metal Products)

'Seeing a slowdown in demand across markets.' (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)

'Economy is very sluggish. Production is down and orders have slowed considerably from Q1.' (Transportation Equipment)

'East Coast storms delayed some shipments.' (Primary Metals)

'Global economic uncertainty still seems to be sticking around which is not necessarily making things worse, but it is also not making things better from a demand standpoint.' (Chemical Products)..."

Click here to view the complete ISM report.
 

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