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Economy

Economic Indicators (USA)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Home Sales for March 2013

The March 2013 New Home Sales report was released this morning:

Predicted: 419,000

Actual New Home Sales: 417,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +1.5%
Change from One Year Previous: +18.5%

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Median Price for a New Home during March: $247,000
Average Price for a New Home during March: $279,900

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 during the indicated 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, April 22, 2013

Existing Home Sales for March 2013

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

Predicted: 5,030,000
Actual: 4,920,000

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Change from One Month Previous: -0.6%
Change from One Year Previous: +10.3%

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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 March 2013: $184,300
Change from One Year Previous: +11.8%

Average Price for A used home In March 2013: $233,200
Change from One Year Previous: +9.9%

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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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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2013

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2013:

Predicted: +0.0%
Actual: -0.2%

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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Housing Starts During March 2013

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released the Housing Starts report for March 2013:

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 930,000
Actual: 1,036,000

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Change From Previous Month: +7.0%
Change From One Year Previous: +46.7%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 942,000
Actual: 902,000

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Change From Previous Month: -3.9%
Change From One Year Previous: +17.3%

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The above is a measure of initial construction of single and multi-family residential units in the United States for the indicated 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, April 11, 2013

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 6, 2013

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on April 6, 2013:

Predicted: 365,000
Actual: 346,000

Last Week (Revised): 388,000

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, April 05, 2013

Employment Situation Report for March 2013

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

Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 7.7%
Actual: 7.6%

Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +193K
Actual: +88K


Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: 0.0%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.5 hrs
Actual: 34.6 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, April 04, 2013

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of March 30, 2013

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on March 30, 2013:

Predicted: 350,000
Actual: 385,000

Last Week (Revised): 357,000

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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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

U.S. Factory Orders Report for February 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their report on manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories & Orders -- also known as Factory Orders -- for February 2013:

Predicted: +2.9%
Actual: +3.0%

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, April 01, 2013

ISM Manufacturing Index for March 2013

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

Predicted: 54.0%
Actual: 51.3%

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 factory sector contracted.

Last month, the PMI was 54.2%.

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

"...'Beginning to feel the seasonal upswing in business — energy and resin remain a concern.' (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)


'Medical reimbursements from insurance companies, particularly Medicare, are slowing.' (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)


'While the second half of 2013 looks promising, the first half is a mixed bag.' (Computer & Electronic Products)


'Things seem slightly better than last year, but still not great.' (Printing & Related Support Activities)


'Automotive is still very strong.' (Fabricated Metal Products)


'Post-election in the U.S. — companies within the oil and gas sector are still waiting for signs of some regulatory certainty or stability.' (Petroleum & Coal Products)


'Reduced government spending in the defense sector lowers business output.' (Transportation Equipment)


'Business is continuing to be brisk.' (Furniture & Related Products)


'Market continues to be strong, and our production is exceeding plans at this time.' (Wood Products)


'Sales are low, even adjusted for seasonal variation.' (Chemical Products)..."

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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