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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of June 25, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on June 25, 2016:

Predicted: 266,000
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 (revised): 258,000

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 266,750

From today's report:

"...There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 69 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, June 29, 2016

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

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.4%

Personal Income
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.2%

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

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

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

  • Change from 12 months ago: +0.9%
=====================

Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

  • Change from 12 months ago: +1.6%
=====================

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.

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

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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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

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

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

Predicted: +1.0%
Actual: +1.1%

The above percentages represent the quarter-to-quarter change in the Gross Domestic Product for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Today's final GDP report contains the most 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.


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Friday, June 24, 2016

Consumer Sentiment: Final Result for June 2016

The Consumer Sentiment (Final Result) reading for June 2016 was released today:

Predicted: 94.0
Actual: 93.5

  • Change from Last Month: +1.267%
  • Change from 12 Months Ago: +2.706%

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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 94.7.

Click here to view the full University of Michigan report.

 

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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: +2.6%
Previous Reading: +2.8%

GDPNow: June 24, 2016
GDPNow: June 24, 2016

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


From Today's Report:

"...The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2016 is 2.6% on June 24, down from 2.8% on June 17. The forecast for second-quarter real residential investment growth declined from 3.6% to 1.7% yesterday after the U.S. Census Bureau released data on new home sales, prices, and construction costs. The forecast for the contribution of inventory investment to second-quarter growth declined from -0.41 percentage point to -0.53 percentage point after this morning's advance durable manufacturing report from the Census Bureau...."

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, policymaker 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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Durable Goods Orders Report for May 2016

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

Predicted: -0.7%
Actual: -2.2%

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  • Previous month, revised: +3.3%

  • Change from 12 months ago: +3.2%
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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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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Leading Economic Index for May 2016

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index for May 2016 this morning:

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Index for May: 123.7 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2010 data.)

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: -0.2%

  • Previous Month (revised): +0.6.

  • 2 Months Previous: +0.1
==============


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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New Home Sales for May 2016

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

Predicted: 565,000
Actual New Home Sales: 551,000

Change from One Month Ago: -6.0%
Change from One Year Ago: +8.7%

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Median Price for a New Home during May: $290,400

Average Price for a New Home during May: $358,900

Click here for historical prices and a chart.

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Cost of A Newly Built Home - May 2016
Cost of A Newly Built Home - May 2016

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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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of June 18, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on June 18, 2016:

Predicted: 270,000
Actual: 259,000

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: 277,000

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 267,000

From today's report:

"...There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 68 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, June 22, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 17, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 17, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -900,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +67,600,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 530,600,000 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 May 2016

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

Predicted: 5,570,000
Actual: 5,530,000

Change from Last Month: +1.8%
Change from One Year Ago: +4.5%

Inventory: 2,150,000 (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 May 2016: $239,700
Change from One Year Ago: +4.7%

Average Price for A Used Home During May 2016: $281,700
Change from One Year Ago: +3.2%

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Click here for historical prices and a chart.


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Existing Home Sales – May 2016
Existing Home Sales – May 2016

==========

From Today's Report:


"...Existing-home sales sprang ahead in May to their highest pace in almost a decade, while the uptick in demand this spring amidst lagging supply levels pushed the median sales price to an all-time high, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions except for the Midwest saw strong sales increases last month.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, grew 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.53 million in May from a downwardly revised 5.43 million in April. With last month's gain, sales are now up 4.5 percent from May 2015 (5.29 million) and are at their highest annual pace since February 2007 (5.79 million). 

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says existing sales continue to hum along, rising in May for the third consecutive month. 'This spring's sustained period of ultra-low mortgage rates has certainly been a worthy incentive to buy a home, but the primary driver in the increase in sales is more homeowners realizing the equity they've accumulated in recent years and finally deciding to trade-up or downsize,' he said. 'With first-time buyers still struggling to enter the market, repeat buyers using the proceeds from the sale of their previous home as their down payment are making up the bulk of home purchases right now.'

Adds Yun, 'Barring further deceleration in job growth that could ultimately temper demand from these repeat buyers, sales have the potential to mostly maintain their current pace through the summer.'

Surpassing the peak median sales price set last June ($236,300), the median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $239,700, up 4.7 percent from May 2015 ($228,900). May's price increase marks the 51st consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory3 at the end of May rose 1.4 percent to 2.15 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 5.7 percent lower than a year ago (2.28 million). Unsold inventory is at a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace, which is unchanged from April.

'Existing inventory remains subdued throughout much of the country and continues to lag even last year's deficient amount,' adds Yun. 'While new home construction has thankfully crept higher so far this year, there's still a glaring need for even more, to help alleviate the supply pressures that are severely limiting choices and pushing prices out of reach for plenty of prospective first-time buyers.'

The share of first-time buyers was 30 percent in May, down from 32 percent both in April and a year ago. First-time buyers in all of 2015 also represented an average of 30 percent.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate (link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage inched backward from 3.61 percent in April to 3.60 percent in May, which is the lowest since May 2013 (3.54 percent). The average commitment rate for all of 2015 was 3.85 percent.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 32 days in May (39 days in April), which is below a year ago (40 days) and the shortest time since NAR began tracking in May 2011. Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 103 days in May, while foreclosures sold in 51 days and non-distressed homes took 30 days. Forty-nine percent of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month — the highest percentage since NAR began tracking. 

May inventory data from Realtor.com® shows that the top five metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time were San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., both at a median of 25 days; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 26 days; and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., and Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., both at 30 days.

Earlier this month, NAR released a new survey looking at the home buying opportunities of student debt borrowers who are current in their repayment. The findings affirmed the notion that repaying student debt is a contributing factor to the low homeownership rate among young adults and the underperforming share of first-time buyers. Nearly three-quarters of non-homeowners in the survey believed that their student debt is delaying them from buying a home, with most of them citing not being able to save for a down payment as the primary reason.

'At a time of historically low interest rates, responsible student loan borrowers should have the opportunity to refinance their loans from their current rates, which can oftentimes run over double-digit percentage points,' said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. 'In addition to policy proposals that streamline income-based repayment programs and allow student loan borrowers the ability to refinance into lower rates, NAR supports those that promote student loan simplification, clarity and education. Furthermore, it's important that mortgage underwriting guidelines related to student loan debt are standardized and do not impair homeownership opportunities.'

All-cash sales were 22 percent of transactions in May, down from both 24 percent in April and a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 13 percent of homes in May, unchanged from April and down from 14 percent a year ago. Sixty-three percent of investors paid cash in May. 

Distressed sales4 — foreclosures and short sales — declined to 6 percent of sales in May, down from 7 percent in April and 10 percent a year ago. Five percent of May sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 12 percent below market value in May (17 percent in April), while short sales were discounted 11 percent (10 percent in April)..."

  • 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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Friday, June 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.

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

Latest Forecast for Q2, 2016: +2.8%
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 2.8% on June 17, unchanged from June 14. Since the previous GDPNow update on Tuesday, the forecast for real consumer spending growth increased from 3.9 percent to 4.1 percent and the forecast for real residential investment growth increased from 2.5% to 3.5%. These increases were offset by a decline in the forecast of the contribution of inventory investment to second-quarter growth from -0.28 percentage points on June 14 to -0.41 percentage points this morning..."

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 May 2016

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

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,150,000
Actual: 1,164,000

Change From Previous Month: -0.3%
Change From One Year Ago: +9.5%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,140,000
Actual: 1,138,000

Change From Previous Month: +0.7%
Change From One Year Ago: -10.1%

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


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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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May 2016

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

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

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.2%

(Change from 12 months ago: +1.0%)

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

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: +2.2%)

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

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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Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for June 2016

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

Predicted: +0.8
Actual: +4.7

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 -1.8.

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 June 11, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on June 11, 2016:

Predicted: 270,000
Actual: 277,000

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: 264,000

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 269,250

From today's report:

"...There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 67 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, June 15, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 10, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 10, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -900,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +63,600,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 531,500,000 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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Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization for May 2016

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

Industrial Production:
Predicted: -0.1%
Actual: -0.4%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.4%

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: 75.2%
Actual: 74.9

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 June 2016

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

Predicted: +3.5
Actual: +6.01

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 June 2016 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity expanded modestly for New York manufacturers. The headline general business conditions index climbed fifteen points to 6.0. The new orders index and the shipments index rose from negative values to 10.9 and 9.3, respectively—a sign that orders and shipments were increasing after last month’s decline. The inventories index fell to -15.3, indicating that inventories were lower, and the employment index was zero, signaling that employment counts were unchanged. The prices paid index held steady at 18.4, suggesting that moderate input price increases were continuing, and the prices received index was near zero, indicating that selling prices were stable. Firms were more optimistic about the six-month outlook this month, and capital spending plans picked up..."

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 -9.02.

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

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

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.4%

Change from 12 months ago: -0.1%

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

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%

Change from 12 months ago: +1.2%

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

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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Tuesday, June 14, 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: +2.5%


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 2.8% on June 14, up from 2.5% on June 9. After this morning's retail sales release from the U.S. Census Bureau, the forecast for second-quarter real personal consumption expenditures growth increased from 3.5% to 3.9% 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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U.S. Retail & Food Services Sales Report for May 2016

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

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.5%

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.

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

Previous Month: +1.3%

Estimated Retail Sales for May: $455,600,000,000

Change from 12 Months Previous: +2.5%

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

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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Import and Export Price Indexes for May 2016

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

Import Prices
Predicted: +0.8%
Actual: +1.4%

Last Month (revised): +0.7%

Change From 12 Months Ago: -5.0%

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

Export Prices
Predicted: 0.2%
Actual:
1.1%

Last Month (revised): +0.5%

Change From 12 Months Ago: -4.5%

===============
 
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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Thursday, June 09, 2016

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of June 4, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on June 4, 2016:

Predicted: 270,000
Actual: 264,000

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 (revised): 268,000

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 269,500

From today's report:

"...There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 66 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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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: +2.5%
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 2.5% on June 9, unchanged from June 3. After this morning's wholesale trade release from the U.S. Census Bureau, the forecast for the contribution of inventory investment to second-quarter real GDP growth ticked up from -0.27 percentage points to -0.23 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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Wholesale Trade, Sales And Inventories, for April 2016

Earlier today, the Commerce Department released its report on Wholesale Trade, Sales and Inventories, for April 2016:

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

Sales, change from previous month: +1.0

Sales, change from 12 months ago: -2.6

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

Inventories, change from previous month: +0.6

Inventories, change from 12 months ago: +0.9

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

The highlighted percentages represent the change in sales and inventories of merchant wholesalers, excluding manufacturers’ sales branches and offices.

When inventories swell and sales lag, manufacturing / production tends to wane, and vice versa.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report (PDF.)


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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 3, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 3, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -3,200,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +61,900,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 532,500,000 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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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Consumer Credit Status Report for April 2016 and Q1:2016

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

Total (preliminary): +4.5%

Revolving (preliminary): +2.1%

Nonrevolving (preliminary): +5.4%

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): +9.6%

Previous Month Revolving (revised): +13.3%

Previous Month Nonrevolving (revised): +8.2%

Q1, 2016 (revised): +6.1% 

Total Outstanding Consumer Credit (preliminary): $3,601,500,000,000

 ============

Click here to view the full Consumer Credit report.

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

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 (revised data):

Nonfarm Productivity
Predicted: -0.6%
Actual: -0.6%

Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: +4.1%
Actual: +4.5%

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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Friday, June 03, 2016

Employment Situation Report for May 2016

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

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +158,000
Actual: +38,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Predicted: 4.9%
Actual: 4.7%

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

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.196%

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.6%
Previous Reading: 62.8%

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 May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 5 cents to $25.59 [0.196%], following an increase of 9 cents in April. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5%. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 3 cents to $21.49 [0.14%] in May.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +208,000 to +186,000, and the change for April was revised from +160,000 to +123,000. With these revisions, employment gains in March and April combined were 59,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 116,000 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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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: +2.5%
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 2.5% on June 3, unchanged from June 1. Following this morning’s economic releases, the second-quarter forecast for real gross private domestic investment growth increased from –1.8 percent to –1.0 percent. Offsetting this increase was a decline in the forecast of the contribution of net exports to real GDP growth from 0.32 percentage points to 0.23 percentage points after this morning's international trade release from the U.S. Census Bureau..."

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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U.S. Factory Orders Report for April 2016

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

Predicted: +2.0%
Actual: +1.9%

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): +1.7.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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U.S. International Trade In Goods And Services for April, 2016

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

Predicted: $-41,000,000,000
Actual: $-37,400,000,000

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): -35,500,000,000.

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

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Thursday, June 02, 2016

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 27, 2016

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 27, 2016 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -1,400,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +58,300,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 535,700,000 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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 28, 2016

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on May 28, 2016:

Predicted: 267,000
Actual: 267,000

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: 268,000

  • 4-Week Moving Average: 276,750

From today's report:

"...There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 65 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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Challenger Report on Corporate Layoffs for May 2016

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

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

Job Cuts Announced During May 2016: 30,157
Previous month (revised): 64,141
Change from previous month: -52.983%

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

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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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Construction Spending During April 2016

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

Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: -1.8%

The yellow-highlighted percentage represents 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.

Previous Month (revised): +1.5%

Change from 12 months ago: +4.5%

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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ISM Manufacturing Index for May 2016

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

Predicted: 50.6%
Actual: 51.3%

Every month, the ISM surveys purchasing and supply executives at hundreds of companies across the country who are involved in manufacturing in some form. The resulting index is watched closely by academics, economists and investors because manufacturing accounts for about 12% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The PMI is a reliable barometer of U.S. manufacturing: A PMI above 50% implies that U.S. manufacturing expanded during the month specified, while a reading below 50% implies that the made-in-the-USA sector contracted.

The previous PMI reading was 50.8%.

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


  •     "Business conditions remain strong with the exception of South America. Continued expectation for a strong year even with the headwinds of currency and economic slowdown."
    (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

  •     "Consistent sales growth in greater China, North Asia, Southeast Asia, Canada and Mexico. Flat for the Americas and Europe."
    (Chemical Products)

  •     "Slowdown in Chinese economy causing low orders."
    (Computer and Electronic Products)

  •     "Continued brisk order flow for our business."
    (Fabricated Metal Products)

  •     "Steady to slightly up production rates vs. prior month."
     (Machinery)

  •     "Business is still good, but slowing."
    (Transportation Equipment)

  •     "Business conditions are stable; demand is steady for our products."
    (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

  •     "Our business remains to be strong, but many of my suppliers are telling me their business is flat."
    (Plastics and Rubber Products)

  •     "Oil and Gas continues to struggle to meet cost controls required in the new low-oil price environment."
    (Petroleum and Coal Products)

  •     "Market is improving steadily in both orders and pricing."
    (Wood Products)

Click here to view the complete ISM report.

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