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Economy

Economic Indicators (USA)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Personal Income & Consumer Spending Report for December 2012

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

Personal Consumption Expenditures
(a.k.a. Consumer Spending)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.2%

Personal Income
Predicted: +0.7%
Actual: +2.6%

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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of January 26, 2013

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on January 26, 2013:

Predicted: 350,000
Actual: 368,000

Last Week (Revised): 330,000

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, January 30, 2013

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Advance" Released Today for Q4, 2012

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

Predicted: +1.0%
Actual: -0.1%

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. Two Months from now, 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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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for January 2013

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for this month (January 2013) was released by The Conference Board this morning:

Predicted: 65.1
Actual: 58.6

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 66.7 (revised)

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Durable Goods Orders Report for December 2012

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

Predicted: +1.6%
Actual: +4.6%

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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Friday, January 25, 2013

New Home Sales for December 2012

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

Predicted: 388,000

Actual New Home Sales: 369,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +7.3%
Change from One Year Previous: +8.8%

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Median Price for a New Home during December: $248,900
Average Price for a New Home during December: $304,000

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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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Leading Economic Indicators for December 2012

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

Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.5%

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 January 19, 2013

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on January 19, 2013:

Predicted: 360,000
Actual: 330,000

Last Week (Revised): 335,000

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, January 23, 2013

Existing Home Sales for December 2012

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

Predicted: 5,100,000
Actual: 4,940,000

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Change from One Month Previous: -1.0%
Change from One Year Previous: +12.8%

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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 December 2012: $180,800
Change from One Year Previous: +11.5%

Average Price for A used home In December 2012: $231,400
Change from One Year Previous: +10.5%

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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, January 17, 2013

Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for January 2013

Earlier today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released its diffuse index of current manufacturing conditions for this month (January, 2013):

Predicted: +6.0
Actual: -5.8

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 +4.6 (revised.)

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

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Housing Starts During December 2012

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

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 887,000
Actual: 954,000

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Change From Previous Month: +12.1%
Change From One Year Previous: +36.9%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 910,000
Actual: 903,000
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Change From Previous Month: +0.3%
Change From One Year Previous: +28.8%


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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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of January 12, 2013

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on January 12, 2013:

Predicted: 368,000
Actual: 335,000

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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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December 2012

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

Predicted: +0.0%
Actual: +0.0%

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

Predicted: +0.1%
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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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Producer Price Index (PPI) for December 2012

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

Predicted: -0.1%
Actual: -0.2%

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

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.5%


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 : $415,700,000,000

  • Change from 1 Year previous: +4.7%
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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Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of January 5, 2013

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on January 5, 2013:

Predicted: 362,000
Actual: 371,000

Last Week (Revised): 367,000

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, January 04, 2013

Employment Situation Report for December 2012

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

Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 7.8%
Actual: 7.8%

Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +155K
Actual: +155K


Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: 0.3%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.4 hrs
Actual: 34.5 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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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

ISM Manufacturing Index for December 2012

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

Predicted: 50.5%
Actual: 50.7%

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 49.5%.
The following is a sampling of quotes from a diverse pool of U.S. manufacturers:

"...'Many Chinese sources are coming to us with cost reductions to maintain their current business volumes.' (Machinery)


'Saw some stronger than expected demand in October and November, but December demand is weak comparatively.' (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)


'We are seeing stabilization of orders and costs as well as production capacity for the first time in months.' (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)


'We are experiencing a mix of results — domestic up year over year for industrial business, down in retail and down in LATAM, EU and Asia. Next year is anyone's guess — has never been so unpredictable.' (Apparel, Leather & Allied Products)


'Black Friday was good, but forward economic visibility is foggy.' (Computer & Electronic Products)


'The election is over; unemployment is dropping; consumer confidence is increasing as are home sales prices. We seem to be turning the corner. New car sales are increasing, which affects our customers.' (Fabricated Metal Products)


'Business conditions have flattened out since last month. Overall production has leveled off from their previous reduction last month.' (Transportation Equipment)


'Business is strengthening.' (Furniture & Related Products)


'Prices and orders are staying stronger than normal for December — a pleasant surprise.' (Wood Products)


'Uncertainty in additional government regulations and tax climate seems to be slowing orders.' (Chemical Products)..."

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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