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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) First Estimate for Q2, 2017

The U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "advance" (first estimate) report for the second quarter of 2017 was released this morning by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA):

Predicted: +2.6%
Actual: +2.6%

The yellow-highlighted figure represents the quarter-to-quarter change in real gross domestic product for the United States.

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

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

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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - Q2 2017 - First Estimate
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - Q2 2017 - First Estimate

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  • On August 30, 2017, the Commerce Department will release a "preliminary" GDP report for Q2 2017, which will contain a second estimate (more accurate data.)

  • On September 28, 2017, a "final" GDP report will be released by the BEA, which will contain the government's best estimates for Q2 2017.

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Employment Cost Index for Q2, 2017

The Employment Cost Index (ECI) for the second quarter of 2017 was released by The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.5%

  • Reading from previous quarter: +0.8%
     
  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.4%

The yellow-highlighter figure represents the quarter-to-quarter change for the ECI, which is the Labor Department's broadest measure of employee-compensation costs, and includes wages, salaries and benefits.

From the Labor Department website:


"...The Employment Cost Index (ECI) measures the change in the cost of labor, free from the influence of employment shifts among occupations and industries..."

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  • The ECI report for the third quarter of 2017 will be released on July 28, 2017.

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Consumer Sentiment: Final Result for July 2017

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) - Final Result for July 2017 was released today:

Predicted: 93.1
Actual: 93.4

  • Change from Last Month: -1.788%
  • Change from 12 Months Ago: +3.778%

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From today's report:

"...Consumer confidence remained largely unchanged at the same favorable level recorded at mid-month. The overall Sentiment Index has declined by 5.1 Index-points since the January peak, which was the highest figure in a dozen years. The relatively small decline still left the Sentiment Index higher in the first seven months of 2017 than in any other year since 2004. The size of the decline was tempered by record favorable views of Current Economic Conditions, which rose to its highest level since July of 2005. These gains were mainly due to improvements in consumers' personal finances. At the same time, consumers expressed less optimism about future prospects for the overall economy and for their own personal finances. The Expectations Index fell from 90.3 in January to a still positive 80.5 in July; if it continues to decline by another 10 points in the second half of 2017, the loss would become more worrisome. Moreover, while current conditions were judged strictly on the performance of the economy, expectations continue to be significantly influenced by partisanship: the difference on the Expectations Index between Democrats and Republicans was 45 Index-points (63.7 versus 108.7); among Independents, in contrast, the Expectations Index was exactly equal to the weighted difference between the partisan extremes (80.5). Importantly, the partisan gap has narrowed in the past six months, mostly due to Republicans tempering their optimism. The recent declines among Republicans were somewhat predictable, but the maintenance of extreme pessimism among Democrats is more surprising..."

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The ICS is derived from the following five survey questions:

  1. "We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?"


  2. "Now looking ahead, do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now?"


  3. "Now turning to business conditions in the country as a whole, do you think that during the next twelve months we'll have good times financially, or bad times, or what?"


  4. "Looking ahead, which would you say is more likely: that in the country as a whole we'll have continuous good times during the next five years or so, or that we will have periods of widespread unemployment or depression, or what?"


  5. "About the big things people buy for their homes, such as furniture, a refrigerator, stove, television, and things like that. Generally speaking, do you think now is a good or bad time for people to buy major household items?"

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The ICS uses a 1966 baseline, i.e. for 1966, the ICS = 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 ICS is similar to the Consumer Confidence Index in that they both measure consumer attitudes and offer valuable insight into consumer spending.

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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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Last month's final ICS reading was 95.1.


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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Durable Goods Orders During June 2017

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

Predicted: +3.5%
Actual: +6.5%

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  • Previous month, revised: -0.1%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +16.1%
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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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Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) for June 2017

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

Predicted: +0.10
Actual (CFNAI): +0.13

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): -0.30
  • 3-Month Moving Average (CFNAI-MA3): +0.06
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Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for June 2017
Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for June 2017

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From Today's Report


"Index points to a pickup in economic growth in June...Led by increases in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved up to +0.13 in June from -0.30 in May. All four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from May, and three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in June. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to +0.06 in June from -0.04 in May..."
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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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 22, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 22, 2017:

Predicted: 240,000
Actual: 244,000

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): 234,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 244,000
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 21, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 21, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -7,200,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -7,100,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 483,400,000 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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New Home Sales During June 2017

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

Predicted: 611,000
Actual New Home Sales: 610,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +0.8%

Change from One Year Previous: +9.1%

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Median Price for a New Home during June: $310,800

Average Price for a New Home during June: $379,500


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Chart: Cost of A Newly Built Home, USA - June 2017
Chart: Cost of A Newly Built Home, USA - June 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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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for July 2017

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

Predicted: 117.0
Actual: 121.1

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

From Today's Report:

"...'Consumer confidence increased in July following a marginal decline in June,' said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'Consumers’ assessment of current conditions remained at a 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3) and their expectations for the short-term outlook improved somewhat after cooling last month. Overall, consumers foresee the current economic expansion continuing well into the second half of this year.'     

Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved in July. Those saying business conditions are 'good' increased from 30.6 percent to 33.3 percent, while those saying business conditions are 'bad' was virtually unchanged at 13.5 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also more favorable. Those stating jobs are 'plentiful' rose from 32.0 percent to 34.1 percent, while those claiming jobs are 'hard to get' decreased slightly from 18.4 percent to 18.0 percent.

Consumers were also more optimistic about the short-term outlook in July. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 20.1 percent to 22.9 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen declined from 10.0 percent to 8.2 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market improved. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead was unchanged at 19.2 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 14.6 percent to 13.3 percent. Consumers, however, were not as upbeat about their income prospects as in June. The percentage of consumers expecting an improvement in their income declined moderately from 20.9 percent to 20.0 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline increased from 9.3 percent to 10.0 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 117.3 (revised.)


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Monday, July 24, 2017

Existing Home Sales During June 2017

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

Predicted: 5,580,000
Actual: 5,520,000

  •  Change from Previous Month: -1.8%
  •  Change from One Year Previous: +0.7%
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Inventory: 1,960,000 (4.3 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 June 2017: $263,800
(All-Time Record High)
Change from One Year Previous: +6.5%

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Average Price for A Used Home During June 2017: $303,900
(All-Time Record High)
Change from One Year Previous: +4.9%

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

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From today's report:

"...Existing-home sales slipped in June as low supply kept homes selling at a near record pace but ultimately ended up muting overall activity, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Only 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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Thursday, July 20, 2017

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 15, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 15, 2017:

Predicted: 246,000
Actual: 233,000

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): 248,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 243,750
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Leading Economic Index for June 2017

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

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Index for June: 127.8 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2010 data.)

Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.6%

  • Previous Month: +0.2% (revised.)

  • Two Months Previous: +0.2%

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The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change for the index.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The 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 June 2017
Leading Economic Index (LEI) for June 2017

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From Today's Report:

"...'The U.S. LEI rose sharply in June, pointing to continued growth in the U.S. economy and perhaps even a moderate improvement in GDP growth in the second half of the year,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. 'The broad-based gain in the U.S. LEI was led by a large contribution from housing permits, which improved after several months of weakness.'..."


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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Housing Starts During June 2017

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

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,170,000
Actual: 1,215,000

Change From Previous Month: +8.3%
Change From One Year Previous: +2.1%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,206,000
Actual: 1,254,000

Change From Previous Month: +7.4%
Change From One Year Previous: +5.1%

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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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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 14, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 14, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -4,700,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +1,800,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 490,600,000 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, July 18, 2017

Import and Export Price Indexes for June 2017

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

Import Prices
Predicted: -0.2%
Actual: -0.2%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +1.5%

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Export Prices
Predicted: 0.0%
Actual: -0.2%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +0.6%

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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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Friday, July 14, 2017

Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization for June 2017

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

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.4%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

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

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.2%

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 (revised): -0.1%

Estimated Retail Sales During June: $473,500,000,000

Change from 12 Months Previous: +2.8%

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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 June 2017

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

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Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: 0.0% (No Change)

(Change from 12 months previous: +1.6%)

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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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Thursday, July 13, 2017

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

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

Predicted: 0.0%
Actual: +0.1%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.0%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

Change from 12 months previous: +1.9%

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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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 8, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 8, 2017:

Predicted: 246,000
Actual: 247,000

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): 250,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 245,750
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 7, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 7, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -7,600,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +4,200,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 495,400,000 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, July 11, 2017

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for June 2017

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

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Predicted: 104.5
Actual: 103.6

  • Change from Previous Month: -0.8612%.
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +9.6296%

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NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - June 2017
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - June 2017
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From today's report:

"...OPTIMISM INDEX

The Index of Small Business Optimism fell 0.9 points to 103.6, but
sustained the surge in optimism that started the day after the election. The Index peaked at 105.9 in January and has dropped 2.3 points to date, no doubt in part due to the mess in Washington, D.C. Four of the 10 Index components posted a gain, five declined, and one was unchanged.
Progress is being made, but poorly communicated, and the biggest issues, healthcare and tax reform remain stuck in the bowels of Washington politics. Economic growth in the first half of this year will be about the same as we have experienced for the past three or four years, no real progress. There isn’t much euphoria in the outlook for the second half of the year.

LABOR MARKETS

Small business owners reported an adjusted average employment change per firm of negative 0.04 workers per firm over the past few months, basically zero. This followed one of the best readings since 2008 posted in May. Ten percent (down 5 points) reported increasing employment an average of 3.4 workers per firm and 11 percent (up 2 points) reported reducing employment an average of 2.1 workers per firm (seasonally adjusted). Fifty-four percent reported hiring or trying to hire (down 5 points), but 46 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Fifteen percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem (down 4 points), third on the list of important problems behind taxes and regulatory costs. Thirty percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down 4 points, but historically very high. A seasonally adjusted net 15 percent plan to create new jobs, down 3 points.

CREDIT MARKETS

Four percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, up 1 point and historically very low. Twenty-seven percent reported all credit needs met (down 4 points) and 54 percent explicitly said they did not want a loan, up 3 points. The reduction in the percent not having their credit needs satisfied moved to the “don’t want a loan” category. Including those who did not answer the question, 69 percent of owners have no interest in borrowing, up 3 points. Only 1 percent reported that financing was their top business problem compared to 22 percent citing taxes, 19 percent citing regulations and red tape, and 15 percent the availability of qualified labor. Weak sales garnered 10 percent of the vote. Twenty-seven percent of all owners reported borrowing on a regular basis
(down 1 point). Overall, loan demand remains historically weak, even with cheap money. The net percent of owners expecting credit conditions to ease in the coming months improved 1 point to a net negative 3 percent..
."

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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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Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) During May 2017

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

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Job Openings

Predicted: 5,975,000
Actual:    5,666,000

  • Previous Month (revised): 5,967,000

  • One Year Previous: 5,582,000

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Hires: 5,472,000

Total Separations: 5,259,000

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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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Friday, July 07, 2017

Employment Situation Report for June 2017

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

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +170,000
Actual: +222,000


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

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

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.1526%

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.8%
Previous Reading (revised): 62.7%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.4 hours
Actual: 34.5 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 June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $26.25 [+0.1526%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 63 cents, or 2.5%. In June, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $22.03 [+0.1819%].


The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised up from +174,000 to +207,000, and the change for May was revised up from +138,000 to +152,000. With these revisions, employment gains in April and May combined were 47,000 more 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 194,000..." [Establishment Survey Data]
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 * =  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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Thursday, July 06, 2017

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

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

Predicted: 56.5%
Actual: 57.4%

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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 56.9%.

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Here's a sampling of comments from survey participants:

  •     "Labor continues to be constrained in the construction industry, driving cost increases. Regional unemployment rate of 2.7 percent is making hiring difficult on all phases of the construction supply chain."
     (Construction)

  •     "Off to a very strong start — 2017 YTD results above 2016 actual and 2017 target. Expect trend to continue. Very positive outlook for our business."
     (Finance and Insurance)

  •     "We continue to struggle with the unknowns surrounding Obamacare, whether it will be repealed, or replaced, and if replaced what does it mean for our health services business, as well as our health plans business." (Health Care and Social Assistance)

  •     "Activity level continues to climb in the oil and gas sector with supply in certain spend categories continuing to tighten."
     (Mining)

  •     "June has been quite a busy month in terms of internal food activity. Seasonal increases in beef and poultry overall. Produce has remained steady with some early summer items coming down in price as product moves from Mexico to California growing regions. Dairy slightly up due to summer season cream production increase."
     (Accommodation and Food Services)

  •     "General overall optimism in economy. Still job growth issues with mismatch in available labor pool and jobs available."
     (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)

  •     "Activity is increasing due to full budget appropriations."
     (Public Administration)

  •     "Overall business is trending up and we have a positive outlook for 2017."
     (Retail Trade)

  •     "Several positive signals as we approach [the] third quarter."
     (Wholesale Trade)

Click here to view the complete ISM report


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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 30, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 30, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -6,300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +9,200,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 502,900,000 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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 1, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 1, 2017:

Predicted: 244,000
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 (unrevised): 244,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 243,000
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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

U.S. Factory Orders During May 2017

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

Predicted: -0.5%
Actual: -0.8%

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): -0.3%.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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Monday, July 03, 2017

Construction Spending During May 2017

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

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: 0.0%

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): -0.7%.
  • Change from 12 months previous: +4.5%.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report

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ISM Manufacturing Index for June 2017

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

Predicted: 55.1%
Actual: 57.8%

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

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

The previous month's PMI reading was 54.9%.

From Today's Report:

"...Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in June, and the overall economy grew for the 97th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®..."

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



  •      "Overall, business is strong. We are seeing price increases for packaging and handling materials as well as some MRO supplies"
     (Plastics and Rubber Products)
  •     "Overall, demand is up 5-7 percent and expected to continue through the end of the year, at least."
     (Transportation Equipment)
     
  •     "Demand is picking up; meeting budget expectations."
     (Electrical Equipment, Appliances and Components)
  •     "Business is still very robust. Have continued to hire to match increased demand."
     (Computer and Electronic Products)
     
  •     "Business [is] steady; not great, but good and fairly solid."
     (Furniture and Related Products)
     
  •     "Business globally continues to show improvement."
     (Chemical Products)
  •     "Environmental regulations have strong effects on our business. We continue to watch for any changes as a result of the new administration."
     (Paper Products)
     
  •     "Dry weather helping demand."
     (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)
     
  •     "International business outside North America on the upswing."
     (Machinery)
  •     "Metal pricing continues to drag down our profit margins, but we are very busy quoting new business, so our customers have a good outlook on the rest of the year."
     (Fabricated Metal Products)
     
  •     "Business is strong both domestically and internationally. Supplier deliveries are quick domestically, international supply chain is slowing. We are in a hiring mode."
     (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

Click here to view the complete ISM report


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