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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Consumer Sentiment: Reading #1 for April 2015

The first Consumer Sentiment reading for April 2015 was released today:

Predicted: 95.0
Actual: 95.9

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 93.0

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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2015

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2015:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.2%

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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Thursday, April 16, 2015

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 11, 2015

Earlier today, the Labor Department released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on April 11, 2015:

Predicted: 280,000
Actual: 294,000

Last Week (Revised): 282,000

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 03, 2015

Employment Situation Report for March 2015

The Employment Situation report for March 2015 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Unemployment Rate
Predicted: 5.5%
Actual: 5.5%

Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +247,000
Actual: +126,000


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

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.6 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 and b) 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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