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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q2:2016

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

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Latest Forecast for Q2, 2016: +2.9%
Previous Reading: +2.9%


GDPNow Forecast
GDPNow Forecast
==============


From Today's Report:

"...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2016 is 2.9 percent on May 31, unchanged from May 26. The second-quarter forecast for real consumer spending growth remained at 3.6 percent after this morning's personal income and outlays release from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis..."

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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Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey for May 2016

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

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Production Index: -13.1

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General Business Activity Index: -20.8

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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 +5.8

  • Last month, the General Business Activity Index was -13.9

From today's report:

"...Texas factory activity declined in May after two months of increases, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell from 5.8 to -13.1, hitting its lowest reading in a year.

Other measures of current manufacturing activity also reflected contraction this month. The new orders index fell more than 20 points to -14.9 after pushing into positive territory last month. The growth rate of orders index has been negative since late 2014 and fell to -14.7 in May after climbing to near zero in April. The capacity utilization and shipments indexes returned to negative territory after two months of positive readings, coming in at yearlong lows of -11.0 and -11.5, respectively.

Perceptions of broader business conditions were more pessimistic this month. The general business activity index declined from -13.9 to -20.8, and the company outlook index fell 10 points to -16.1.

Latest readings on employment and workweek length indicated a fifth consecutive month of contraction in May. The employment index moved down three points to -6.7. Sixteen percent of firms noted net hiring, and 22 percent noted net layoffs in May. The hours worked index posted a double-digit decline from its April reading, coming in at -11.8.

Price pressures were mixed, and wages continued to rise. Input costs rose for a second month in a row, as the raw materials prices index pushed up to 12.4, its highest level since October 2014. The pace of decline in selling prices has slowed in recent months according to the finished goods prices index, which edged up for a third month in a row and came in at -3.3 in May. Meanwhile, the wages and benefits index stayed positive and rose from 16.7 to 21.8, suggesting a slightly accelerated rise in compensation.

Expectations regarding future business conditions were mixed in May. The index of future general business activity fell 2 points to -1.8, while the index measuring future company outlook remained positive but moved down to 4.4 this month. Indexes for future manufacturing activity fell but 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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Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for May 2016

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

Predicted: 97.0
Actual: 92.6

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 94.7 (revised.)

Click here to view the full Conference Board report.

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PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for April 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 April 2016:

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)
Predicted: +0.7%
Actual: +1.0%

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

  • Change from 12 months ago: +1.1%
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

  • 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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Friday, May 27, 2016

Consumer Sentiment: Final Result for May 2016

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

Predicted: 95.5
Actual: 94.7

Change from last month: +6.404%
Change from one year ago: +4.41%

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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 Month's Consumer Sentiment reading was 89.0.

Click here to view the full University of Michigan report.

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

U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "preliminary" 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: +0.8%

The highlighted percentage represents the quarter-to-quarter change in the Gross Domestic Product for the United States (preliminary = second estimate.)  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.

  • 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.

    The GDP is a very broad measure of economic activity for the entire United States, covering all sectors of the economy. The Commerce Department defines real GDP as, "the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States."

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

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    Thursday, May 26, 2016

    Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q2:2016

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

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    Latest Forecast for Q2, 2016: +2.9%
    Previous Reading: +2.5%


    GDPNow Forecast
    GDPNow Forecast

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


    From Today's Report:

    "...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2016 is 2.9% on May 26, up from 2.5 percent on May 17. The forecast for second-quarter real gross private domestic investment growth increased from -0.3 percent to 0.4 percent following this morning's durable manufacturing release from the U.S. Census Bureau. After yesterday's advance report on international trade in goods from the Census Bureau, the forecast for the contribution of net exports to second-quarter real GDP growth increased from -0.04 percentage points to 0.16 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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    New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 21, 2016

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on May 21, 2016:

    Predicted: 275,000
    Actual: 268,000

    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: 278,000

    • 4-Week Moving Average: 278,500

    From today's report:

    "...There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 64 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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    Durable Goods Orders Report for April 2016

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

    Predicted: +0.3%
    Actual: +3.4%

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    • Last month, revised: +1.9%

    • Change from 12 months ago: +1.9%
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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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    Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 20, 2016

    The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 20, 2016 was released this morning:

    Weekly Change: -4,200,000 Barrels

    Yearly Change: +57,700,000 Barrels

    Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 537,100,000 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 April, 2016

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

    Predicted: $-60,200,000,000
    Actual: $-57,532,000,000

    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.

    Previous Month (revised):  -55,622,000,000

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

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    Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    New Home Sales for April 2016

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

    Predicted: 523,000
    Actual New Home Sales: 619,000

    Change from One Month Ago: +16.6%
    Change from One Year Ago: +23.8%

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    Median Price for a New Home during April: $321,100

    Average Price for a New Home during April: $379,800

    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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    Friday, May 20, 2016

    Existing Home Sales for April 2016

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

    Predicted: 5,400,000
    Actual: 5,450,000

    Change from Last Month: +1.7%
    Change from One Year Ago: +6.0%

    Inventory: 2,140,000 (4.7 months supply)

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

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    Median Price for A Used Home During April 2016: $232,500
    Change from One Year Ago: +6.3%

    Average Price for A Used Home During April 2016: $275,000
    Change from One Year Ago: +4.2%

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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, May 19, 2016

    Leading Economic Index for April 2016

    The Conference Board® release its Leading Economic Index for April 2016 this morning:

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    Index for April: 123.9 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2010 data.)

    Predicted: +0.4%
    Actual: +0.6%

    • Previous Month (revised): 0.0%

    • 2 Months Previous: +0.1%
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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. 

    Click here to view the full Conference Board report with Technical Notes.



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    Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for May 2016

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

    Predicted: +3.0
    Actual: -1.8

    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 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 -1.6.

    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 May 14, 2016

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on May 14, 2016:

    Predicted: 275,000
    Actual: 278,000

    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: 294,000

    • 4-Week Moving Average: 275,750

    From today's report:

    "...This marks 63 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, May 18, 2016

    Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 13, 2016

    The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 13, 2016 was released this morning:

    Weekly Change: +1,300,000 Barrels

    Yearly Change: +59,100,000 Barrels

    Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 541,300,000 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, May 17, 2016

    Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q2:2016

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

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    Latest Forecast for Q2, 2016: +2.5%
    Previous Reading: +2.8%


    GDPNow Forecast
    GDPNow Forecast
    ==============


    From Today's Report:

    "...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2016 is 2.5% on May 17, down from 2.8 percent on May 13. The second-quarter forecast for real residential investment growth declined from 5.3 to 2.5 percent after this morning's housing starts release from the U.S. Census Bureau, the forecast for real consumer spending growth ticked down from 3.7 percent to 3.6 percent after this morning's Consumer Price Index release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the forecast for the contribution of inventory investment to second-quarter growth declined from -0.24 percentage points to -0.39 percentage points after this morning's industrial production release from the Federal Reserve. The latter decline was concentrated in motor vehicle and parts dealers' inventories..."

    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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    Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization for April 2016

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

    Industrial Production:
    Predicted: +0.2%
    Actual: +0.7%

    Manufacturing:
    Predicted: +0.2%
    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: 74.9%
    Actual: 75.4

    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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    Housing Starts During April 2016

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

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    Housing Starts:
    Predicted: 1,135,000
    Actual: 1,172,000

    Change From Previous Month: +6.6%
    Change From One Year Ago: -1.7%

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    Building Permits:
    Predicted: 1,130,000
    Actual: 1,116,000

    Change From Previous Month: +3.6%
    Change From One Year Ago: -5.3%

    ----------------------------------------------------


    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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    Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April 2016

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

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

    Predicted: +0.3%
    Actual: +0.4%

    (Change from 12 months ago: +1.1%)

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

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

    Predicted: +0.2%
    Actual: +0.2%

    (Change from 12 months ago: +2.1%)

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

    The above, yellow-highlighted figures 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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    Monday, May 16, 2016

    Empire State Manufacturing Survey for May 2016

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

    Predicted: +7.0
    Actual: -9.02

    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.

    From today's report:

    "...The May 2016 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity declined for New York manufacturers. The headline general business conditions index turned negative, falling nineteen points to -9.0. The new orders and shipments indexes also fell below zero, pointing to a decline in both orders and shipments..."
     "...Business activity contracted for New York manufacturing firms, according to the May 2016 survey. Following a brief foray into positive territory in March and April, the general business conditions index fell back below zero, declining nineteen points to -9.0..."

    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 +9.56.

    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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    Friday, May 13, 2016

    Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q2:2016

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

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

    Latest Forecast for Q2, 2016: +2.8%
    Previous Reading: +2.2%


    GDPNow Forecast
    GDPNow Forecast
    ==============

    From Today's Report:


    "...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2016 is 2.8% on May 13, up from 2.2 percent on May 10. After this morning's retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the forecast for second-quarter real consumer spending growth increased from 3.0 percent to 3.7 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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    Consumer Sentiment: Preliminary Estimate for May 2016

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

    Predicted: 89.7
    Actual: 95.8

    • Change from Last Month: +7.64%
    • Change from 12 Months Ago: +5.62%

    =========

    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 89.0.

    Click here to view the full University of Michigan report.

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

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

    Predicted: +0.3%
    Actual: +0.2%

    Change from 12 months ago: 0.0%

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

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

    Predicted: +0.1%
    Actual: +0.1%

    Change from 12 months ago: +0.9%

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

    The above, yellow-highlighted percentages 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 April 2016

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

    Predicted: +0.9%
    Actual: +1.3%

    The yellow-highlighted percentage represents 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): -0.3%

    Estimated Retail Sales for April: $453,400,000,000

    Change from 12 Months Ago: +3.0%

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

    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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    Thursday, May 12, 2016

    Import and Export Price Indexes for April 2016

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

    Import Prices
    Predicted: +0.6%
    Actual: +0.3%

    Last Month (revised): +0.3%

    Change From 12 Months Ago: -5.7%

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

    Export Prices
    Predicted: 0.0%
    Actual:
    +0.5%

    Last Month: 0.0%

    Change From 12 Months Ago: -5.0%

    ===============
     
    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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    New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 7, 2016

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on May 7, 2016:

    Predicted: 267,000
    Actual: 294,000

    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: 274,000

    • 4-Week Moving Average: 268,250

    From today's report:

    "...This marks 62 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, May 11, 2016

    Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 6, 2016

    The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 6, 2016 was released this morning:

    Weekly Change: -3,400,000 Barrels

    Yearly Change: +55,100,000 Barrels

    Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 540,000,000 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, May 10, 2016

    Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q2:2016

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

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

    Latest Forecast for Q2, 2016: +2.2%
    Previous Reading: +1.7%

    GDPNow Forecast
    GDPNow Forecast
    ==============

    From Today's Report:

    "...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2016 is 2.2 percent on May 10, up from 1.7 percent on May 4. Since the previous GDPNow update on May 4, the forecast for second-quarter real consumer spending growth increased from 2.6 percent to 3.0 percent and the forecast for second-quarter real fixed investment growth increased from 0.4 percent to 2.2 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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    Friday, May 06, 2016

    Consumer Credit Status Report for March 2016 and Q1:2016

    The Consumer Credit Status Report for March, 2016, and for the first quarter of 2016, was released by the Federal Reserve earlier this afternoon:

    Total (preliminary): +10.0%

    Revolving (preliminary): +14.2%

    Nonrevolving (preliminary): +8.5%

    The above figures represent the seasonally adjusted, month-to-month change in outstanding, installment-based consumer credit; does not include real-estate-secured loans, like mortgages.

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

    Previous Month Total (revised): +4.8%

    Q1, 2016 (preliminary): +6.4% 

    Total Outstanding Consumer Credit (preliminary): $3,592,300,000,000

     ============

    Click here to view the full Consumer Credit report.

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    Employment Situation Report for April 2016

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

    Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +200,000
    Actual: +160,000


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

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

    Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +0.3%
    Actual: +0.314%

    Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.8%
    Previous Reading: 63.0%

    Average Workweek
    Predicted: 34.5 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 were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

    From today's report:

    "...Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 160,000 in April. Over the prior 12 months, employment growth had averaged 232,000 per month. In April, employment gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and financial activities, while mining continued to lose jobs..."
     "...In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 8 cents to $25.53 [0.314%], following an increase of 6 cents in March. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.489%. In April, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $21.45 [0.234%].

    The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from +245,000 to +233,000, and the change for March was revised from +215,000 to +208,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 19,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 200,000 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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    Thursday, May 05, 2016

    Challenger Report on Corporate Layoffs for April 2016

    Earlier today, the global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc. released its report on Corporate Layoffs for April 2016:

    -------------------------------

    Job Cuts Announced During April 2016: 65,141
    Previous month: 48,207
    Change from previous month: +35.128%

    -------------------------------

    If corporate layoffs are high, consumer spending may decline, since there would be fewer people with steady jobs.

    When corporate layoffs are low, this can mean that the job market is relatively tight, which can be a harbinger of wage inflation.

    Click here to read the full Challenger, Gray and Christmas report.

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    New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 30, 2016

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on April 30, 2016:

    Predicted: 262,000
    Actual: 274,000

    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: 257,000

    • 4-Week Moving Average: 258,000

    From today's report:

    "...This marks 61 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, May 04, 2016

    Latest GDPNow Real Gross Domestic Product Forecast for Q2:2016

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

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

    Latest Forecast for Q2, 2016: +1.7%
    Previous Reading: +1.8%

    GDPNow Forecast
    GDPNow Forecast
    ==============

    From Today's Report:


    "...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2016 is 1.7 percent on May 4, down 0.1 percentage point from May 2. The forecasts for second-quarter real nonresidential equipment investment growth and the change in private inventory investment declined following this morning's M3 report on manufacturers' shipments, inventories, and orders from the U.S. Census Bureau. While the forecasts for second-quarter real exports and real imports growth increased following the international trade report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the expected contribution of net exports to real GDP growth in the second quarter was virtually unchanged...."

    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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    Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 29, 2016

    The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 29, 2016 was released this morning:

    Weekly Change: +2,800,000 Barrels

    Yearly Change: +56,400,000 Barrels

    Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 543,400,000 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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    U.S. International Trade In Goods And Services for March, 2016

    The U.S. International Trade In Goods And Services report for March, 2016 was released by The U.S. Commerce Department this morning:

    Predicted: $-41,400,000,000
    Actual: $-40,400,000,000

    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.

    Previous Month (revised): -47,000,000,000.

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

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    Productivity and Labor Cost Report for Q1 2016 Released Today (Preliminary)

    The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this morning released its quarterly report on Productivity and Unit Labor Costs for the first quarter of 2016 (preliminary reading):

    Nonfarm Productivity
    Predicted: -1.2%
    Actual: -1.0%

    Unit Labor Costs
    Predicted: +3.5%
    Actual: +4.1%

    The highlighted figures 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 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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    U.S. Factory Orders Report for March 2016

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

    Predicted: +0.6%
    Actual: +1.1%

    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): -1.9.

    Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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    Monday, May 02, 2016

    ISM Manufacturing Index for April 2016

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

    Predicted: 51.5%
    Actual: 50.8%

    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 51.8%.

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


    •     'We are still running at capacity. New CapEx for $30 million to increase capacity, but will not be online until 2017.'
      (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)
    •     'Remaining a bit sluggish overall although showing signs of a pickup in some areas.'
      (Chemical Products)
       
    •     'While oil prices have recovered slightly, the industry as a whole continues to struggle greatly.'
      (Computer & Electronic Products)
    •     'Steel prices are increasing, but it is supply-side driven. General economy is plugging along with no big changes. Kind of lackluster.'
      (Fabricated Metal Products)
    •     'Auto industry is still going strong.'
      (Machinery)
    •     'Sales are firming at the reduced levels we’ve seen this year. We think we have hit a bottom.'
      (Transportation Equipment)
    •     'Business conditions are stable. Sales and production rates are steady to improving.'
      (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
    •     'Activity increasing as we move to our busy season.'
      (Printing and Related Support Activities)
    •     'Market is starting to pick up as expected.'
      (Wood Products)


    Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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    Construction Spending During March 2016

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

    Predicted: +0.5%
    Actual: +0.3%

    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: +8.0%

    Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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