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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Consumer Sentiment: Final Result for April 2016

The Consumer Sentiment (final result) for April 2016 was released today:

Predicted: 90.4
Actual: 89.0

Change from last month: -2.198%
Change from one year ago: -7.195%

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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 were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Previous Consumer Sentiment reading was 89.7.

Click here to view the full University of Michigan report.

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PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for March 2016

Earlier today, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for March 2016:

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

Personal Income
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.4%

The highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending (aka Personal Consumption Expenditures) and Personal Income for the entire United States.

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=====================

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%

  • Change from 12 months ago: +0.8%
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%

  • Change from 12 months ago: +1.6%
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The yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in the prices associated with domestic personal consumption.  The PCE Price Index is different from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in that it is a very broad measure of the prices associated with domestic products and services, while the CPI measures a more limited fixed basket of goods and services.

The broad nature of the PCE Price Index is key to why it is the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation.  The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) pays very close attention to it.

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The "predicted" figures are what economists were expecting, while the "actual" figures are the true or real figure.

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

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Advance" Released Today for Q1, 2016

The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "advance" report for the first quarter of 2016 was released this morning by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA):

Atlanta Fed Prediction: +0.6%
Actual: +0.5%

The highlighted figure represents the quarter-to-quarter change in the Gross Domestic Product for the United States.

The GDP is the broadest measure of economic activity in the entire United States, covering all sectors of the economy.

The "advance" estimate is based on data that are incomplete or subject to future revision.

  • On May 27, 2016, the Commerce Department will release a "preliminary" GDP report for Q1 2016, which will contain more accurate data.

  • On June 28, 2016, a "final" GDP report will be released by the BEA, which will contain the most accurate and authoritative data for Q1 2016.

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

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 23, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on April 23, 2016:

Predicted: 260,000
Actual: 257,000

The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Last Week: 248,000 (revised.)

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 256,000

From today's report:

"...This marks 60 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1973..."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 22, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 22, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +2,000,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +49,700,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 540,600,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translates to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Click here for the full Week in Petroleum report.

Click here for weekly crude oil prices.

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International Trade Balance Level for March, 2016

The International Trade Balance Level for March, 2016 was released by The U.S. Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: $-62,600,000,000
Actual: $-56,899,000,000

The "actual" figure above represents the balance of trade -- imports vs. exports -- between the United States and all other countries, and includes both goods and services. A negative number represents a trade deficit, while a positive number represents a trade surplus.

The "predicted" figure is what economists 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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Last GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q1:2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released its last GDPNow forecast for the growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2016.

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Last Forecast for Q1, 2016: +0.6%
Previous Reading: +0.4%

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GDPNow Forecast
GDPNow Forecast

From Today's Report:


"...The final GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2016 is 0.6 percent on April 27, up from 0.4 percent on April 26. After this morning's advance report on international trade in goods from the U.S. Census Bureau, the forecast of the contribution of net exports to first-quarter real GDP growth increased from -0.68 percentage points to -0.45 percentage points..."

About The GDPNow Forecast Model:

"...The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) measured by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a key metric of the pace of economic activity. It is one of the four variables included in the economic projections of Federal Reserve Board members and Bank presidents for every other Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. As with many economic statistics, GDP estimates are released with a lag whose timing can be important for policymakers. For example, of the four scheduled 2014 release dates of an 'advance' (or first) estimate of GDP growth, two are on the second day of a scheduled FOMC meeting with the other two on the day after the meeting. In preparation for FOMC meetings, policymakers have the Fed Board staff projection of this 'advance' estimate at their disposal...

...The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model also mimics the methods used by the BEA to estimate real GDP growth. The GDPNow forecast is constructed by aggregating statistical model forecasts of 13 subcomponents that comprise GDP. Other private forecasters use similar approaches to 'nowcast' GDP growth. However, these forecasts are not updated more than once a month or quarter, are not publicly available, or do not have forecasts of the subcomponents of GDP that add 'color' to the top-line number. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model fills these three voids...

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q1:2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released its latest GDPNow forecast for the growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2016.

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Latest Forecast for Q1, 2016: +0.4%
Previous Reading: +0.3%

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GDPNow
GDPNow

From Today's Report:


"...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2016 is 0.4 percent on April 26, up from 0.3 percent on April 19. After last Wednesday's existing-home sales release from the National Association of Realtors, the forecast for first-quarter real residential investment growth increased from 8.5 percent to 10.8 percent. After this morning's advance report on durable manufacturing from the U.S. Census Bureau, the forecast for real equipment investment growth declined slightly while the forecast for real inventory investment increased slightly..."

About The GDPNow Forecast Model:

"...The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) measured by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a key metric of the pace of economic activity. It is one of the four variables included in the economic projections of Federal Reserve Board members and Bank presidents for every other Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. As with many economic statistics, GDP estimates are released with a lag whose timing can be important for policymakers. For example, of the four scheduled 2014 release dates of an 'advance' (or first) estimate of GDP growth, two are on the second day of a scheduled FOMC meeting with the other two on the day after the meeting. In preparation for FOMC meetings, policymakers have the Fed Board staff projection of this 'advance' estimate at their disposal...

...The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model also mimics the methods used by the BEA to estimate real GDP growth. The GDPNow forecast is constructed by aggregating statistical model forecasts of 13 subcomponents that comprise GDP. Other private forecasters use similar approaches to 'nowcast' GDP growth. However, these forecasts are not updated more than once a month or quarter, are not publicly available, or do not have forecasts of the subcomponents of GDP that add 'color' to the top-line number. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model fills these three voids...

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Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for April 2016

The Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (April 2016) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

Predicted: 96.0
Actual: 94.2

The "predicted" figure is what economists 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 feelings regarding the U.S. economy, current and future, 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 associated with 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 usually released on the last Tuesday of the month.

Last month, the CCI was 96.1 (revised.)

Click here to view the full Conference Board report.

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Durable Goods Orders Report for March 2016

The Durable Goods Orders report for March 2016 was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: +1.6%
Actual: +0.8%

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  • Last month, revised: -3.1%

  • Change from 12 months ago: -2.5%
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The  highlighted figure represents 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, furniture -- items that are built to last at least three years.

The "predicted" figure is what economists 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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Monday, April 25, 2016

Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey for April 2016

Earlier today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Dallas Fed) released the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey for this month (April 2016):

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Production Index: +5.8

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General Business Activity Index: -13.9

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Any figure above zero implies that manufacturing in the region is expanding, and vice versa.

  • Last month, the Production Index was +3.3

  • Last month, the General Business Activity Index was -13.6

From today's report:

"...Texas factory activity increased for a second month in a row in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 3.3 to 5.8, suggesting a slight pickup in output growth.

Most other indexes of current manufacturing activity also reflected growth this month. The new orders index rebounded into positive territory after four months of negative readings, coming in at 6.2. The growth rate of orders index jumped 11 points to -0.7. The capacity utilization and shipments indexes posted their second positive reading in a row and climbed to 8.2 and 7.1, respectively.

Perceptions of broader business conditions remained pessimistic. The general business activity index held steady at -13.9, its 16th straight negative reading. The company outlook index posted a negative reading for the fifth consecutive month but rose from -11.0 to -5.9, showing signs of additional stabilization in April.

Labor market indicators reflected persistent weakness in April. The employment and hours worked indexes remained negative for the fourth straight month but rose to -3.7 and -1.0, respectively. Fourteen percent of firms noted net hiring, and 18 percent noted net layoffs in April.

Price pressures were mixed, and wages continued to rise. Abatement in downward pressure on input costs was seen in April, as the raw materials prices index bounced back into positive territory after nine months of decline, coming in at 5.5. The finished goods prices index has been negative since January 2015 and edged up to -6.6 this month. Meanwhile, the wages and benefits index stayed positive and rose from 14.7 to 16.7, suggesting a slightly accelerated rise in compensation.

Expectations regarding future business conditions were mixed in April. The index of future general business activity fell 6 points to 0.4, while the index measuring future company outlook posted its third positive reading at 8.9. Indexes for future manufacturing activity rose and remained solidly positive..."

About this survey, from the Dallas Fed website:

"...The Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey (TMOS) is a monthly survey of area manufacturers. Firm executives report on how business conditions have changed for a number of indicators, such as production, new orders, employment, prices and company outlook. Respondents are also asked to report on how they perceive broader economic conditions to have changed (general business activity). For all questions, participants are asked whether the indicator has increased, decreased or remained unchanged. Answers cover changes over the previous month and expectations for activity six months into the future. Participants are given the opportunity to submit comments on current issues that may be affecting their business.

About 100 manufacturers regularly participate in TMOS, which began collecting data in mid-2004. Respondents are broadly representative of manufacturing subsectors in the state economy. TMOS questionnaires are electronically transmitted to respondents in the middle of each month, and answers are collected over seven business days.

Survey responses are used to calculate an index for each indicator. Each index is calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents reporting a decrease from the percentage reporting an increase. When the share of firms reporting an increase exceeds the share of firms reporting a decrease, the index will be greater than zero, suggesting the indicator has increased over the prior month. If the share of firms reporting a decrease exceeds the share reporting an increase, the index will be below zero, suggesting the indicator has decreased over the prior month. An index will be zero when the number of firms reporting an increase is equal to the number of firms reporting a decrease. Indexes are seasonally adjusted as needed...

...Texas is important to the nation’s manufacturing output. The state produced $159 billion in manufactured goods in 2008, roughly 9.5% of the country’s manufacturing output. Texas ranks second behind California in factory production and first as an exporter of manufactured goods.

Texas turns out a large share of the country’s production of petroleum and coal products, reflecting the significance of the region’s refining industry. Texas also produces over 10 percent of the nation’s computer and electronics products and nonmetallic mineral products, such as brick, glass and cement..."

Click here to view the full Dallas Fed report.


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

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New Home Sales for March 2016

The March 2016 New Home Sales report was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: 522,000
Actual New Home Sales: 511,000

Change from One Month Ago: -1.5%
Change from One Year Ago: +5.4%

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Median Price for a New Home during March: $288,000

Average Price for a New Home during March: $356,200

Click here for historical prices and a chart.

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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 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, microwave ovens, etc.

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

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Index of Leading Economic Indicators for March 2016

The Conference Board® release its Index of Leading Economic Indicators for March 2016 this morning:

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Index for March: 123.4 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2010 data.)

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.2%

  • Last Month (revised): -0.1.

  • 2 Months Ago: -0.2
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The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change for the index.  The "predicted" figure is what economists 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 Standard + Poor's 500 Index

  2. Average weekly claims for unemployment insurance

  3. Building permits for new private housing

  4. The interest rate spread between the yield on the benchmark 10-Year Treasury Note and Federal Funds

  5. ISM® Index of New Orders

  6. Manufacturer's new orders for consumer goods or materials

  7. Manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders

  8. Average weekly manufacturing hours

  9. Average consumer expectations for business conditions

  10. Leading Credit Index™

Click here to view the full Conference Board report.

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Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for April 2016

Earlier today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released its diffuse index of current manufacturing conditions for this month (April 2016):

Predicted: +9.0
Actual: -1.6

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 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 +12.4.

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

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 16, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on April 16, 2016:

Predicted: 265,000
Actual: 247,000

The highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Last Week: 253,000 (unrevised.)

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 260,500

From today's report:

"...This is the lowest level for initial claims since November 24, 1973 when it was 233,000..."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 15, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 15, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +2,100,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +49,600,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 538,600,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translates to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Click here for the full Week in Petroleum report.

Click here for weekly crude oil prices.

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Existing Home Sales for March 2016

The Existing Home Sales report for March 2016 was released by The National Association of Realtors® this morning:

Predicted: 5,268,000
Actual: 5,330,000

Change from Last Month: +5.1%
Change from One Year Ago: +1.5%

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 were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.


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Median Price for A Used Home In March 2016: $222,700
Change from One Year Ago: +5.7%

Average Price for A Used Home In March 2016: $265,200
Change from One Year Ago: +3.5%

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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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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q1:2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released its latest GDPNow forecast for the growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2016.

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Latest Forecast for Q1, 2016: +0.3%
Previous Reading: +0.3%

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GDPNow Forecast
GDPNow Forecast

From Today's Report:


"...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2016 is 0.3 percent on April 19, unchanged from April 13. After last Thursday's Consumer Price Index release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the forecast for first-quarter real consumer spending growth ticked up from 1.8 percent to 1.9 percent. After this morning's report on new residential construction from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the forecast for real residential investment growth declined from 9.0 percent to 8.5 percent..."

About The GDPNow Forecast Model:

"...The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) measured by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a key metric of the pace of economic activity. It is one of the four variables included in the economic projections of Federal Reserve Board members and Bank presidents for every other Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. As with many economic statistics, GDP estimates are released with a lag whose timing can be important for policymakers. For example, of the four scheduled 2014 release dates of an “advance” (or first) estimate of GDP growth, two are on the second day of a scheduled FOMC meeting with the other two on the day after the meeting. In preparation for FOMC meetings, policymakers have the Fed Board staff projection of this “advance” estimate at their disposal...

...The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model also mimics the methods used by the BEA to estimate real GDP growth. The GDPNow forecast is constructed by aggregating statistical model forecasts of 13 subcomponents that comprise GDP. Other private forecasters use similar approaches to “nowcast” GDP growth. However, these forecasts are not updated more than once a month or quarter, are not publicly available, or do not have forecasts of the subcomponents of GDP that add “color” to the top-line number. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model fills these three voids...

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Housing Starts During March 2016

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released the Housing Starts report for March 2016:

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,167,000
Actual: 1,089,000

Change From Previous Month: -8.8%
Change From One Year Ago: +14.2%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,200,000
Actual: 1,086,000

Change From Previous Month: -7.7%
Change From One Year Ago: +4.6%

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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 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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Friday, April 15, 2016

Consumer Sentiment: Preliminary Estimate for April 2016

The Consumer Sentiment (preliminary estimate) reading for April 2016 was released today:

Predicted: 91.8
Actual: 89.7

Change from Last Month: -1.43%
Change from Last Year: -6.47%

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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 were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Last month's Consumer Sentiment reading was 91.0.

Click here to view the full University of Michigan report.



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Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization for March 2016

The Industrial Production, Manufacturing and Capacity Utilization numbers for March 2016 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

Industrial Production:
Predicted: -0.1%
Actual: -0.6%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.3%

The above numbers (highlighted) represent the month-to-month change in manufacturing, and physical output from mining operations, utility plants and factories for the entire United States.

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 75.4%
Actual: 74.8

The Capacity Utilization Rate represents 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 were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Federal Reserve report.




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Empire State Manufacturing Survey for April 2016

Earlier today, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York  (NY Fed) released the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for this month (April 2016):

Predicted: +3.0
Actual: +9.56

Any figure above zero implies that manufacturing in the region is expanding, and vice versa.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From today's report:

"...The April 2016 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity expanded for New York manufacturers. The headline general business conditions climbed nine points to 9.6, its highest level in more than a year. The new orders and shipments indexes registered an increase in both orders and shipments, and inventories were slightly lower than last month. The prices paid index climbed sixteen points to 19.2, pointing to a pickup in input price increases, while the prices received index rose above zero, a sign that selling prices increased. Employment levels and the average workweek were little changed from March. The six-month outlook continued to improve, with the index for future business conditions rising for a third straight month..."
About this survey, from the NY Fed website:

"...Participants from across the state in a variety of industries respond to a questionnaire and report the change in a variety of indicators from the previous month. Respondents also state the likely direction of these same indicators six months ahead..."

Click here to view the full NY Fed report.

  • Last month, the actual figure was +0.62.

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



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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2016

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2016:

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Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

(Change from 12 months ago: +0.9%)

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Below is the CPI when food and energy are removed, also known as core CPI:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

(Change from 12 months ago: +2.2%)

=========================================

The above figures (highlighted) 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 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 and Beverages
  • Recreation
  • Miscellaneous Goods and Services (grooming expenses, etc.)
Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 9, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on April 9, 2016:

Predicted: 267,000
Actual: 253,000

The highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.
  • Last Week: 266,000 (revised.)

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 265,000

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 8, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 8, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +6,600,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +52,800,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 536,500,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translates to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Click here for the full Week in Petroleum report.

Click here for weekly crude oil prices.

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Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q1:2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released its GDPNow forecast for the growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2016.

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Latest Forecast for Q1 2016: +0.3%
Previous Reading: +0.1%

==============

GDPNow
GDPNow

From Today's Report:


"...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2016 is 0.3 percent on April 13, up from 0.1 percent on April 8. After this morning's retail sales report from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the forecast for first-quarter real consumer spending growth increased from 1.6 percent to 1.8 percent..."

About The GDPNow Forecast Model:

"...The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) measured by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a key metric of the pace of economic activity. It is one of the four variables included in the economic projections of Federal Reserve Board members and Bank presidents for every other Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. As with many economic statistics, GDP estimates are released with a lag whose timing can be important for policymakers. For example, of the four scheduled 2014 release dates of an “advance” (or first) estimate of GDP growth, two are on the second day of a scheduled FOMC meeting with the other two on the day after the meeting. In preparation for FOMC meetings, policymakers have the Fed Board staff projection of this “advance” estimate at their disposal...

...The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model also mimics the methods used by the BEA to estimate real GDP growth. The GDPNow forecast is constructed by aggregating statistical model forecasts of 13 subcomponents that comprise GDP. Other private forecasters use similar approaches to “nowcast” GDP growth. However, these forecasts are not updated more than once a month or quarter, are not publicly available, or do not have forecasts of the subcomponents of GDP that add “color” to the top-line number. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model fills these three voids...

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Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for March 2016

The Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for March 2016 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: -0.1%

Change from 12 months ago: -0.1%

=============

Below is the PPI-FD when food and energy are removed:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: -0.1%

Change from 12 months ago: +1.0%

=============

The above numbers (highlighted) represent the month-to-month change in prices received by domestic producers of goods and services, for goods, services and construction in the United States, for final demand.

Final Demand = personal consumption (consumers), exports, government purchases and capital investment.

The PPI-FD is released by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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U.S. Retail & Food Services Sales Report for March 2016

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for March 2016:

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.3%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in total sales receipts for retailers that sell durable and non-durable goods, and retailers that provide food and beverage services.

=================

Last Month (revised): 0.0%

Estimated Retail Sales for March: $446,900,000,000

Change from 12 Months Ago: +1.7%

=================

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Click here to view the full report.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Import and Export Price Indexes for March 2016

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for March 2016:

Import Prices
Predicted: +1.0%
Actual: +0.2%

Last Month (revised): -0.4%

Change From 12 Months Ago: -6.2%

===============

Export Prices
Predicted: 0.0%
Actual:
0.0%

Last Month (revised): -0.5%

Change From 12 Months Ago: -6.1%

===============
 
The above percentages, highlighted in yellow, represent the month-to-month change in prices for:

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the United States.
  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the USA and sold in other countries.

Together, these indexes offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well. The "predicted" figure is what economists 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 08, 2016

Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q1:2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released its GDPNow forecast for the growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2016.

==============

Latest Forecast for Q1 2016: +0.1%
Previous Reading: +0.4%

==============

GDPNow
GDPNow

From Today's Report:

"...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2016 is 0.1 percent on April 8, down from 0.4 percent on April 5. After this morning's wholesale trade report from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the forecast for the contribution of inventory investment to first-quarter real GDP growth fell from –0.4 percentage points to –0.7 percentage points..."

About The GDPNow Forecast Model:

"...The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) measured by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a key metric of the pace of economic activity. It is one of the four variables included in the economic projections of Federal Reserve Board members and Bank presidents for every other Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. As with many economic statistics, GDP estimates are released with a lag whose timing can be important for policymakers. For example, of the four scheduled 2014 release dates of an “advance” (or first) estimate of GDP growth, two are on the second day of a scheduled FOMC meeting with the other two on the day after the meeting. In preparation for FOMC meetings, policymakers have the Fed Board staff projection of this “advance” estimate at their disposal...

...The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model also mimics the methods used by the BEA to estimate real GDP growth. The GDPNow forecast is constructed by aggregating statistical model forecasts of 13 subcomponents that comprise GDP. Other private forecasters use similar approaches to “nowcast” GDP growth. However, these forecasts are not updated more than once a month or quarter, are not publicly available, or do not have forecasts of the subcomponents of GDP that add “color” to the top-line number. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model fills these three voids...

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Thursday, April 07, 2016

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 2, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on April 2, 2016:

Predicted: 272,000
Actual: 267,000

The highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Last Week: 276,000 (unrevised.)

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 1, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 1, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -4,900,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +47,500,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 529,900,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translates to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Click here for the full Week in Petroleum report.

Click here for weekly crude oil prices.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q1:2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta released its GDPNow forecast for the growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2016.

==============

Latest Forecast for Q1 2016: +0.4%
Previous Reading: +0.4%

==============

GDPNow
GDPNow

From Today's Report:

"...The GDPNow model forecast for real (GDP) growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2016 is 0.4 percent on April 5, down from 0.7 percent on April 1. After yesterday morning's light vehicle sales release from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the manufacturing report from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the forecast for real GDP growth declined from 0.7 percent to 0.4 percent due to declines in the forecasts for real consumer spending growth and real equipment investment growth. The forecast for real GDP growth remained at 0.4 percent after this morning's international trade report from the U.S. Census Bureau, as a slight decline in the forecast for real net exports was offset by a slight increase in the forecast of real equipment investment growth...."

About The GDPNow Forecast Model:

"...The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) measured by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a key metric of the pace of economic activity. It is one of the four variables included in the economic projections of Federal Reserve Board members and Bank presidents for every other Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. As with many economic statistics, GDP estimates are released with a lag whose timing can be important for policymakers. For example, of the four scheduled 2014 release dates of an “advance” (or first) estimate of GDP growth, two are on the second day of a scheduled FOMC meeting with the other two on the day after the meeting. In preparation for FOMC meetings, policymakers have the Fed Board staff projection of this “advance” estimate at their disposal...

...The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model also mimics the methods used by the BEA to estimate real GDP growth. The GDPNow forecast is constructed by aggregating statistical model forecasts of 13 subcomponents that comprise GDP. Other private forecasters use similar approaches to “nowcast” GDP growth. However, these forecasts are not updated more than once a month or quarter, are not publicly available, or do not have forecasts of the subcomponents of GDP that add “color” to the top-line number. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow model fills these three voids...

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Monday, April 04, 2016

U.S. Factory Orders Report for February 2016

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders -- also known as Factory Orders -- for February 2016:

Predicted: -1.6%
Actual: -1.7%

The highlighted percentage is 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 were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Previous Month (revised): +1.2.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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Friday, April 01, 2016

Construction Spending During February 2016

Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the Commerce Department -- released the Construction Spending report for February 2016:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: -0.5%

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 were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Change from 12 months ago: +10.3%

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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ISM Manufacturing Index for March 2016

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released their Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) for March 2016:

Predicted: 50.5%
Actual: 51.8%

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 made-in-the-USA sector contracted.

The previous PMI reading was 49.5%.

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

  •     "Unemployment rate is low in our county, making it hard to find workers. We are understaffed and running lots of overtime."
    (Plastics & Rubber Products)

  •     "Business in telecom is booming. Fiber plant is at capacity."
    (Chemical Products)

  •     "Current trends remain steady. No issues with delivery or costs."
    (Computer & Electronic Products)

  •     "Capital equipment sales are steady."
    (Fabricated Metal Products)

  •    "Requests for proposals for new equipment [are] very strong."
    (Machinery)

  •    "Government is spending again. Have received delivery orders."
    (Transportation Equipment)

  •     "Things are starting to pick up. Our business is seasonal and it is that time of year."
    (Printing & Related Support Activities)

  •     "Business conditions are stable, little change from last month."
    (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

  •    "Incoming sales are improving."
    (Furniture & Related Products)

  •     "Our business is still going strong."
    (Primary Metals)

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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Consumer Sentiment: Final Result for March 2016

The Consumer Sentiment (final result) for March 2016 was released today:

Predicted: 90.9
Actual: 91.0

Change from last month: -0.76%
Change from one year ago: -2.15%

===============

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 were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Last month's Consumer Sentiment reading was 91.7.

Click here to view the full University of Michigan report.

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Employment Situation Report for March 2016

The Employment Situation Report for March 2016 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +210,000
Actual: +215,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Official)
Predicted: 4.9%
Actual: 5.0%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 9.8%
Previous Reading: 9.7%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.28%

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 63.0%
Previous Reading: 62.9%

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 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 were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From today's report:

"...In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 7 cents to $25.43 [+0.28%], following a 2-cent decline in February. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.3 percent. In March, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.37 [+0.19%]...

...The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised from +172,000 to 168,000, and the change for February was revised from +242,000 to +245,000. With these revisions, employment gains in January and February combined were 1,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 209,000 per month..." [Establishment Survey Data]

====

* =  The U-6 Unemployment Rate is defined as:

"Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force."

Click here to view the full Department of Labor report.

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