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Economy

Economic Indicators (USA)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Existing Home Sales for January 2013

The Existing Home Sales report for January 2013 was released by The National Association of Realtors® this morning:

Predicted: 4,900,000
Actual: 4,920,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +0.4%
Change from One Year Previous: +9.1%

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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 January 2013: $173,600
Change from One Year Previous: +12.3%

Average Price for A used home In January 2013: $221,200
Change from One Year Previous: +10.1%

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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 February 16, 2013

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on February 16, 2013:

Predicted: 359,000
Actual: 362,000

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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Friday, February 15, 2013

Industrial Production for January 2013

The Industrial Production numbers for January 2013 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: -0.1%

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 78.9%
Actual: 79.1%
 
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 Sentiment: Reading #2 for January 2013

The first Consumer Sentiment reading for January 2013 was released today:

Predicted: 75.0
Actual: 76.3

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 73.8

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 9, 2013

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on February 9, 2013:

Predicted: 360,000
Actual: 341,000

Last Week (Revised): 368,000

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, February 13, 2013

U.S. Retail & Food Services Sales Report for January 2013

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for January 2013:

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%


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 November : $416,600,000,000

  • Change from 1 Year previous: +4.4%
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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Thursday, February 07, 2013

Productivity and Labor Cost Report for Q4 2012 Released Today (Preliminary)

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

Non-farm Productivity
Predicted: -1.3%
Actual: -2.0%

Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: +3.1%
Actual: +4.5%

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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 2, 2013

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on February 2, 2013:

Predicted: 360,000
Actual: 366,000

Last Week (Revised): 371,000

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, February 04, 2013

U.S. Factory Orders Report for December 2012

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

Predicted: +2.4%
Actual: +1.8%

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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Friday, February 01, 2013

ISM Manufacturing Index for January 2013

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released their Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) for January 2013:

Predicted: 50.7%
Actual: 53.1%

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 50.2% (revised.)

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

"...'Fiscal cliff, uncertainty in general and EU economic weakness are factors causing our customers to be very tentative with commitments for product purchases in 2013.' (Machinery)

'Midwest drought impact will be felt at least through midyear, impacting protein, sweeteners, eggs, oils, emulsifiers, etc.' (Food, Beverage + Tobacco Products)

'Slowing interest in high-dollar purchases reflects continuing economic uncertainty.' (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

'Expenditure and investment are expected to remain high in North America in Q1 and Q2, 2013.' (Petroleum + Coal Products)

'Housing sales are trending upward in light of overall market uncertainty, translating to improving optimism in appliance market.' (Electrical Equipment, Appliances + Components)

'Still waiting for reaction to consumer tax increases.' (Fabricated Metal Products)

'Government spending is very low, probably due to the fiscal cliff and the looming debt ceiling.' (Transportation Equipment)

'Business is improving.' (Furniture + Related Products)

'The general theme developing in our industry is that we can move suitable volumes. However, profit margin is elusive.' (Wood Products)

'Overall production volume decreasing. Decrease is led by decline in exports of 10 percent.' (Chemical Products)..."

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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Construction Spending during December 2012

Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department -- released the Construction Spending report for December 2012:

Predicted: +0.8%
Actual: +0.9%

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: +7.8%

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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Consumer Sentiment: Reading #1 for January 2013

The first Consumer Sentiment reading for January 2013 was released today:

Predicted: 71.5
Actual: 73.8

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 71.3

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Employment Situation Report for January 2013

The Employment Situation report for January 2013 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 7.7%
Actual: 7.9%

Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +166K
Actual: +157K


Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: 0.2%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.5 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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