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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for June 2017

The Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (June 2017) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

Predicted: 116.7
Actual: 118.9

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

From Today's Report:

"...'Consumer confidence increased moderately in June following a small decline in May,' said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved to a nearly 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3.) Expectations for the short-term have eased somewhat, but are still upbeat. Overall, consumers anticipate the economy will continue expanding in the months ahead, but they do not foresee the pace of growth accelerating.'  

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved in June. Those saying business conditions are 'good' increased from 29.8 percent to 30.8 percent, while those saying business conditions are 'bad' declined from 13.9 percent to 12.7 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more positive. Those stating jobs are 'plentiful' rose from 30.0 percent to 32.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are 'hard to get' decreased slightly from 18.3 percent to 18.0 percent.

Consumers, however, were less optimistic about the short-term outlook in June. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 21.5 percent to 20.4 percent, however, those expecting business conditions to worsen declined marginally from 10.3 percent to 9.9 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market remained mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 18.6 percent to 19.3 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs increased from 12.1 percent to 14.6 percent. The percentage of consumers expecting an improvement in their income rose from 19.1 percent to 22.2 percent, but the proportion expecting a decline increased slightly from 8.7 percent to 9.2 percent..."

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 117.6 (revised.)


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Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) for May 2017

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released its National Activity Index (CFNAI) for May 2017:

Predicted: +0.32
Actual (CFNAI): -0.26

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of growth in national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data:

  • Production and income;
  • Employment, unemployment, and hours;
  • Personal consumption and housing; and
  • Sales, orders, and inventories.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the yellow-highlighted figure is what was reported.

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  • Previous Month (revised): +0.57
  • 3-Month Moving Average (CFNAI-MA3): +0.04
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Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for May 2017
Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for May 2017
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From Today's Report


"...Index Points To Slower Economic Growth in May.

Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved down to –0.26 in May from +0.57 in April. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from April, and three of the four categories made negative contributions to the index in May. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, declined to +0.04 in May from +0.21 in April.

The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, decreased to –0.08 in May from +0.10 in April. Thirty-two of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in May, while 53 made negative contributions. Twenty-six indicators improved from April to May, while 56 indicators deteriorated and three were unchanged. Of the indicators that improved, ten made negative contributions..."
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Understanding The CFNAI:

A zero value for the monthly index has been associated with the national economy expanding at its historical trend (average) rate of growth; negative values with below-average growth (in standard deviation units); and positive values with above-average growth.

Periods of economic expansion have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above -0.70 and the CFNAI Diffusion Index above -0.35. Conversely, periods of economic contraction have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 below -0.70 and the CFNAI Diffusion Index below -0.35.

An increasing likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +0.70 more than two years into an economic expansion. Similarly, a substantial likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +1.00 more than two years into an economic expansion.

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Durable Goods Orders During May 2017

The Durable Goods Orders report for May 2017 was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: -0.4%
Actual: -1.1%

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  • Previous month, revised: -0.9%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.7%
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The yellow-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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Friday, June 23, 2017

New Home Sales During May 2017

The May 2017 New Home Sales report was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: 590,000
Actual New Home Sales: 610,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +2.9%

Change from One Year Previous: +8.9%

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Median Price for a New Home during May: $345,800
(All-Time Record High)

Average Price for a New Home during May: $406,400
(All-Time Record High)


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Chart: Cost of A Newly Built Home, USA - May 2017
Chart: Cost of A Newly Built Home, USA - May 2017

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Compiled jointly by the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the yellow-highlighted figure above is the seasonally adjusted and annualized number of newly-built homes with committed buyers for 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.


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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Leading Economic Index for May 2017

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for May 2017 this morning:

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Index for April: 127.0 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2010 data.)

Predicted: +0.3
Actual: +0.3%

  • Previous Month: +0.2 (revised.)

  • Two Months Previous: +0.4

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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 LEI 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™

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Leading Economic Index (LEI) for May 2017
Leading Economic Index (LEI) for May 2017

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From Today's Report:

"...'The U.S. LEI continued on its upward trend in May, suggesting the economy is likely to remain on, or perhaps even moderately above, its long-term trend of about 2 percent growth for the remainder of the year,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. 'The improvement was widespread among the majority of the leading indicators except for housing permits, which declined again. And, the average workweek in manufacturing has recently shown no sign of improvement.'..."


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of June 17, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on June 17, 2017:

Predicted: 240,000
Actual: 241,000

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.

  • Previous Week (revised): 238,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 244,750
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Existing Home Sales During May 2017

The Existing Home Sales report for May 2017 was released by The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) this morning:

Predicted: 5,550,000
Actual: 5,620,000

  •  Change from Previous Month: +1.1%
  •  Change from One Year Previous: +2.7%
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Inventory: 1,960,000 (4.2 months supply)

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The yellow-highlighted, "actual" figure above represents the preliminary, seasonally adjusted annualized 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 2017: $252,800
(All-Time Record High)
Change from One Year Previous: +5.8%

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Average Price for A Used Home During May 2017: $294,600
(All-Time Record High)
Change from One Year Previous: +4.9%

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Cost of A Used (Preowned) Home in The USA - May 2017
Cost of A Used (Preowned) Home in The USA - May 2017

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From today's report:

"...Existing-home sales rebounded in May following a notable decline in April, and low inventory levels helped propel the median sales price to a new high while pushing down the median days a home is on the market to a new low, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions except for the Midwest saw an increase in sales last month...."
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  • The monthly Existing Home Sales report is released on or around the 25TH day of each month.

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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 16, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 16, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -2,500,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +9,100,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 509,100,000 Barrels

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

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

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Housing Starts During May 2017

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released its Housing Starts report for May 2017:

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,223,000
Actual: 1,092,000

Change From Previous Month: -5.5%
Change From One Year Previous: -2.4%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,249,000
Actual: 1,168,000

Change From Previous Month: -4.9%
Change From One Year Previous: -0.8%

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Housing Starts: The top, yellow-highlighted figure 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 15, 2017

Import and Export Price Indexes for May 2017

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for May 2017:

Import Prices
Predicted: -0.1%
Actual: -0.3%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +2.1%

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Export Prices
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.7%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +1.4%

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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.



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Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization for May 2017

The Industrial Production, Manufacturing and Capacity Utilization numbers for May 2017 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: 0.0%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: -4.0%

The yellow-highlighted percentages 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: 76.8%
Actual: 76.6

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.

 

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of June 10, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on June 10, 2017:

Predicted: 243,000
Actual: 237,000

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.

  • Previous Week (unrevised): 245,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 243,000
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 9, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 9, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -1,700,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +10,600,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 511,500,000 Barrels

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

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


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U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for May 2017

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for May 2017:

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.3%

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.

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Previous Month (unrevised): +0.4%

Estimated Retail Sales During February: $473,800,000,000

Change from 12 Months Previous: +3.8%

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

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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May 2017

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May 2017:

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Predicted: 0.0%
Actual: -0.1%

(Change from 12 months previous: +1.9%)

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

(Change from 12 months previous: +1.7%)

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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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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Bull Market Update

Record highs for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the Standard and Poor's 500 Index today.  Here's a bull-market update for June 13, 2017.

Since the March 9, 2009 bear-market low:


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Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for May 2017

The Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for May 2017 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: 0.0%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.4%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.1%

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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.



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NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for May 2017

The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index for May 2017:

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Predicted: 104.0
Actual: 104.5

  • Change from Previous Month: No Change.
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +11.407%

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NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - May 2017
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - May 2017

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From today's report:

"...'The remarkable surge in optimism that began last year right after the election shows no signs of slowing down' said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. 'Small business owners are highly encouraged by the President’s regulatory reform agenda, and they remain optimistic there will be tax reform and health-care reform. This is a policy-driven phenomenon.'

The Index for May matched its strong performance in April of 104.5. That means the Index has been at a historically high level for six straight months. Five of the Index components posted a gain, four declined, and one remained unchanged.

The average employment change per firm was 0.34, which puts hiring activity in May near the highest levels in the 43-year history of the Index. Fifteen percent of owners reported hiring three workers per firm, 9 percent reported cutting 2.3 workers per firm.

A strong majority of owners, 59 percent, reported hiring or trying to hire in May, although 51 percent said they found few or no qualified workers. Remarkably, that was a problem for 86 percent of owners who said they tried to hire. Nineteen percent of all owners in the survey said finding qualified workers was their top concern, making it the second-biggest problem for small business.

'The tight labor market has been a persistent problem for small business owners for the past several months, and the problem appears to be getting worse,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'It’s forcing small business owners to increase compensation, which we’re seeing in this data, to attract new workers and keep the ones they have. But it also means a lot of small business owners are short-handed. They can’t keep up with customer demand because the labor pool isn’t producing enough qualified workers. It’s a significant structural problem in the economy that policymakers will have to watch.'

Twenty-eight percent reported plans to make capital outlays, a one-point gain from April but well below historical levels for periods of growth.

'Typically, in a strong economy, we see a lot more spending on capital,' said Dunkelberg. 'We’re seeing increased hiring activity and some other positive signs, but the capital-outlays component is the missing ingredient for robust economic growth.'

According to Duggan, the answer is tax reform.

'If Congress wants small businesses to invest in the economy, then they must cut taxes and simplify the code,' she said. 'The President’s tax plan would slash taxes for small businesses and level the playing field for businesses of every size and structure. Congress also has other good ideas for tax reform, but they need to stop talking and pass a bill.'

'We know, based on our data, that small business owners are watching very closely what is happening in Washington,' she continued. 'The optimism is based on the expectation of policy changes, and that means tax reform.'..."

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  • Small business survey questions can be found at the end of today's report.
  • The baseline "100" score is associated with 1986 survey data.
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The previous month's Small Business Optimism Index was 104.5.

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    Thursday, June 08, 2017

    New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of June 3, 2017

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on June 3, 2017:

    Predicted: 241,000
    Actual: 245,000

    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.

    • Previous Week (revised): 255,000
    • 4-Week Moving Average: 242,000
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    Wednesday, June 07, 2017

    Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 2, 2017

    The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 2, 2017 was released this morning:

    Weekly Change: +3,300,000 Barrels

    Yearly Change: +11,400,000 Barrels

    Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 513,200,000 Barrels

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

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

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    Tuesday, June 06, 2017

    Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for April 2017

    The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for April 2017 was released by the Labor Department this morning:

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    Job Openings

    Predicted: 5,725,000
    Actual:    6,044,000

    • Previous Month (revised): 5,785,000

    • One Year Previous: 5,643,000

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    Hires: 5,051,000

    Total Separations: 4,973,000

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    The above, yellow-highlighted percentage represents the estimated number of job openings in the United States during the indicated month.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

    Here's how the Labor Department defines Total Separations:

    "Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations is referred to as turnover. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm."

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    Monday, June 05, 2017

    Productivity and Labor Cost Report for Q1 2017 (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 2017 (revised):

    Nonfarm Productivity
    Predicted: -0.2%
    Actual: 0.0%

    Reading from Previous Quarter: -0.6%

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    Unit Labor Costs
    Predicted: +2.6%
    Actual: +2.2%

    Reading from Previous Quarter: +3.0%

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    The yellow-highlighted figures represent the quarter-to-quarter change in non-farm productivity and unit labor costs for the United States.

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    Labor Productivity, Q1 2017 (Revised)
    Labor Productivity, Q1 2017 (Revised)

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    Unit Labor Costs, Q1 2017 (Revised)
    Unit Labor Costs, Q1 2017 (Revised)

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    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 During April 2017

    The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders -- also known as Factory Orders -- for April 2017:

    Predicted: -0.2%
    Actual: -0.2%

    The yellow-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): +1.0%.

    Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for May 2017

    Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM®) released their Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for May 2017:

    Predicted: 57.0%
    Actual: 56.9%

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    The NMI is a reliable barometer of the U.S. services sector; above 50% implies expansion, while a reading below 50% implies that the services sector contracted.

    Service categories include: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing + Hunting; Mining; Utilities; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Transportation + Warehousing; Information; Finance + Insurance; Real Estate, Rental + Leasing; Professional, Scientific + Technical Services; Management of Companies + Support Services; Educational Services; Health Care + Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment + Recreation; Accommodation + Food Services; Public Administration; and Other Services (services such as Equipment + Machinery Repairing; Promoting or Administering Religious Activities; Grantmaking; Advocacy; and Providing Dry-Cleaning + Laundry Services, Personal Care Services, Death Care Services, Pet Care Services, Photofinishing Services, Temporary Parking Services, and Dating Services).

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    The previous month's NMI reading was 57.5%.

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    Here's a sampling of comments from survey participants:

    •     "Lumber tariff effects are beginning to show up."
      (Construction)

    •     "Business is progressing steadily. No real issues or adjustments to affect annual goals/efforts."
      (Finance and Insurance)

    •     "General feeling is caution. Too much uncertainty."
      (Health Care and Social Assistance)

    •     "Seeing an uptick in the overall activity within the oil and gas sector, which typically will cause a trickle-down effect on the majority of businesses."
      (Mining)

    •     "Typical transition month in terms of fresh produce and other food related categories. End of spring items and beginning of summer. Gapping of some items. Beef is increasing in price, especially grilling meat cuts. I anticipate this to increase to over $1 per pound on some items as we approach the 4th of July holiday."
      (Accommodation and Food Services)

    •     "Continuing to feel [the] effect of overheated commercial construction market — few bidders, higher prices. Scarce construction labor seems to be the driver."
      (Public Administration)

    •     "Business outlook continues to be steady and meeting original projects, but some ups and downs in successive months."
      (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)

    •     "Overall, business conditions the past month were flat as compared with several months of growth. While levels haven’t decreased, it may be that overall conditions have reached a high watermark."
      (Retail Trade)

    •     "Strong market conditions bring a renewed confidence."(Transportation and Warehousing)

    Click here to view the complete ISM report


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    Friday, June 02, 2017

    Employment Situation Report for May 2017

    The Employment Situation Report for May 2017 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

    Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +185,000
    Actual: +138,000


    U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
    Predicted: 4.4%
    Actual: 4.3%

    U-6 Unemployment Rate*
    Actual: 8.4%
    Previous Reading: 8.6%

    Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +0.2%
    Actual: +0.1528%

    Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.7%
    Previous Reading (revised): 62.9%

    Average Workweek
    Predicted: 34.4 hours
    Actual: 34.4 hours

    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 rose by 4 cents to $26.22 [+0.1528%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 63 cents, or 2.5%. In May, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 3 cents to $22.00 [+0.1365%].


    "...The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised down from +79,000 to +50,000, and the change for April was revised down from +211,000 to +174,000. With these revisions, employment gains in March and April combined were 66,000 less than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. 
    Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 121,000..." [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."

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      Construction Spending During April 2017

      Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the Commerce Department -- released its Construction Spending report for April 2017:

      Predicted: +0.5%
      Actual: -1.4%

      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): +1.1%.
      • Change from 12 months previous: +6.7%.

      Click here to view the full Census Bureau report

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      Thursday, June 01, 2017

      Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 26, 2017

      The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 26, 2017 was released this morning:

      Weekly Change: -6,400,000 Barrels

      Yearly Change: +5,700,000 Barrels

      Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 509,900,000 Barrels

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

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

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      ISM Manufacturing Index for May 2017

      Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) released their Manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI®) for May 2017:

      Predicted: 54.6%
      Actual: 54.9%

      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 month's PMI reading was 54.8%.

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



      •      "Sales have picked up compared to the last two months. Customer demand has increased."
        (Plastics and Rubber Products)


      •     "Economy is still strong, but [the] political climate can change things very quickly."
        (Transportation Equipment)


      •     "Global price increases for commodities."
        (Electrical Equipment, Appliances and Components)


      •     "Business (sales/production) is steady. Pricing pressures on raw materials. Skilled labor in short supply."
        (Furniture and Related Products)


      •     "Agricultural demand very strong."
        (Chemical Products)


      •     "Our business is definitely paying attention to developments with the Canadian lumber tariff announcement. The final outcome could change our fiber pricing."
        (Paper Products)


      •     "OEM longer lead parts possibly longer lead time due to more orders."
        (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)


      •     "Business conditions are steady, and with competition increasing, it's making negotiations even more intense to reduce costs."
        (Machinery)


      •     "Business is booming, and getting direct employees is increasingly difficult."
        (Fabricated Metal Products)


      •     "Difficult to find qualified labor for factory positions."
        (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

      Click here to view the complete ISM report


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      New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 27, 2017

      Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on May 27, 2017:

      Predicted: 239,000
      Actual: 248,000

      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.

      • Previous Week (revised): 235,000
      • 4-Week Moving Average: 238,000
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