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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of August 26, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on August 26, 2017:

Predicted: 237,000
Actual: 236,000

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: 236,750
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PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for July 2017

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for July 2017:

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.3%

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

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


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

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

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

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.4%
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.4%
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The yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in the prices associated with domestic personal consumption.  The PCE Price Index is different from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in that it is a very broad measure of the prices associated with domestic products and services, while the CPI measures a more limited fixed basket of goods and services.

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

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


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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of August 25, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on August 25, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -5,400,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -37,500,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 457,800,000 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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Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Second Estimate for Q2, 2017

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

Predicted: +2.8%
Actual: +3.0%

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

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"...Corporate Profits (Preliminary Estimate, Second Quarter 2017)

Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment and capital consumption adjustment) increased $26.8 billion in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $46.2 billion in the first quarter.

Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased $29.4 billion in the second quarter, compared with a decrease of $40.7 billion in the first quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $64.8 billion, compared with an increase of $3.8 billion. The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $8.6 billion, compared with a decrease of $9.3 billion. This measure is calculated as the difference between receipts from the rest of the world and payments to the rest of the world. In the second quarter, receipts increased $8.5 billion, and payments increased $17.1 billion..."

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GDP, Second Quarter 2017, Preliminary (Second Estimate)
GDP, Second Quarter 2017, Preliminary (Second Estimate)

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  • On September 28, 2017, a "final" GDP estimate will be released by the BEA, which will contain the most accurate and authoritative data for the second quarter of  2017.

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."


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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for August 2017

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

Predicted: 120.6
Actual: 122.9

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

From Today's Report:

"...'Consumer confidence increased in August following a moderate improvement in July,' said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'Consumers’ more buoyant assessment of present-day conditions was the primary driver of the boost in confidence, with the Present Situation Index continuing to hover at a 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3). Consumers’ short-term expectations were relatively flat, though still optimistic, suggesting that they do not anticipate an acceleration in the pace of economic activity in the months ahead.'

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved further in August. Those saying business conditions are 'good' increased from 32.5 percent to 34.5 percent, while those saying business conditions are 'bad' moderated from 13.5 percent to 13.1 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more upbeat. Those stating jobs are 'plentiful' rose from 33.2 percent to 35.4 percent, while those claiming jobs are 'hard to get' decreased from 18.7 percent to 17.3 percent.

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook was relatively flat in August. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 22.4 percent to 19.6 percent, but those expecting business conditions to worsen declined from 8.4 percent to 7.3 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined from 18.5 percent to 17.1 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased marginally from 13.2 percent to 13.0 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement increased moderately from 20.0 percent to 20.9 percent, while the proportion expecting a decline decreased from 9.5 percent to 7.8 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 120.0 (revised.)

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Durable Goods Orders During July 2017

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

Predicted: -5.8%
Actual: -6.8%

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  • Previous month, revised: +6.4%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +4.2%
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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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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Existing Home Sales During July 2017

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

Predicted: 5,565,000
Actual: 5,440,000

  •  Change from Previous Month: -1.3%
  •  Change from One Year Previous: +2.1%
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Inventory: 1,920,000 (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 July 2017: $258,300

Change from One Year Previous: +6.2%

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Average Price for A Used Home During July 2017: $298,800

Change from One Year Previous: +4.9%

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

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From today's report:

"...Listings in July typically went under contract in under 30 days for the fourth consecutive month because of high buyer demand, but existing-home sales ultimately pulled back as large declines in the Northeast and Midwest outweighed sales increases in the South and West, according to the National Association of Realtors®..."
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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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of August 19, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on August 19, 2017:

Predicted: 237,000
Actual: 234,000

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): 232,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 237,750
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of August 18, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on August 18, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -3,300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -29,800,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 463,200,000 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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New Home Sales During July 2017

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

Predicted: 610,000
Actual New Home Sales: 571,000

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Change from One Month Previous: -9.4%

Change from One Year Previous: -8.9%

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Median Price for a New Home during July: $313,700

Average Price for a New Home during July: $371,200


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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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Monday, August 21, 2017

Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) for July 2017

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

Predicted: +0.22
Actual (CFNAI): -0.01

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): +0.16
  • 3-Month Moving Average (CFNAI-MA3): -0.05
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Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for July 2017
Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for July 2017

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From Today's Report


"...Index points to growth near historical trend in July

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved down to –0.01 in July from +0.16 in June. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from June, and three of the four categories made negative contributions to the index in July. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, moved down to –0.05 in July from +0.09 in June.

The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, decreased to –0.06 in July from +0.01 in June. Forty-two of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in July, while 43 made negative contributions. Forty indicators improved from June to July, while 45 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, 14 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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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Leading Economic Index for July 2017

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

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Index for July: 128.3 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2010 data.)

Predicted: +0.3
Actual: +0.3%

  • Previous Month: +0.6%

  • Two Months Previous: +0.3%

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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 July 2017
Leading Economic Index (LEI) for July 2017

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From Today's Report:

"...'The U.S. LEI improved in July, suggesting the U.S. economy may experience further improvements in economic activity in the second half of the year,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. 'The large negative contribution from housing permits, a reversal from June, was more than offset by gains in the financial indicators, new orders and sentiment.'..."

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Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization for July 2017

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

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.2%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: -0.1%

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: 76.7%
Actual: 76.7

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 August 12, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on August 12, 2017:

Predicted: 240,000
Actual: 232,000

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: 240,500
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Housing Starts During July 2017

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

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,225,000
Actual: 1,155,000

Change From Previous Month: -4.8%
Change From One Year Previous: -5.6%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,246,000
Actual: 1,223,000

Change From Previous Month: -4.1%
Change From One Year Previous: +4.1%

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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 August 11, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on August 11, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -8,900,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -24,000,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 466,500,000 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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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Import and Export Price Indexes for July 2017

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

Import Prices
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +1.5%

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Export Prices
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.4%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +0.8%

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

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

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.6%

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): +0.3%

Estimated Retail Sales During July: $478,900,000,000

Change from 12 Months Previous: +4.2%

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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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Friday, August 11, 2017

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for July 2017

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

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Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

(Change from 12 months previous: +1.7%)

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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, August 10, 2017

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of August 5, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on August 5, 2017:

Predicted: 241,000
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): 241,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 241,000
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Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for July 2017

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.1%

Change from 12 months previous: +1.9%

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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: +1.8%

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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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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of August 4, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on August 4, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -6,500,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -17,500,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 475,400,000 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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Productivity and Labor Cost Report for Q2 2017 (Preliminary)

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this morning released its quarterly report on Productivity and Unit Labor Costs for the second quarter of 2017 (preliminary):

Nonfarm Productivity
Predicted: +0.8%
Actual: +0.9%

Reading from Previous Quarter, Revised: +0.1%

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Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: +1.3%
Actual: +0.6%

Reading from Previous Quarter, Revised: +5.4%

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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, Q2 2017
Labor Productivity, Q2 2017
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Unit Labor Costs, Q2 2017
Unit Labor Costs, Q2 2017

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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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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

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

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

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Job Openings

Predicted: 5,600,000
Actual:    6,163,000 (All-Time Record High)

  • Previous Month (revised): 5,702,000

  • One Year Previous: 5,535,000

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Hires: 5,356,000

Total Separations: 5,224,000

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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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NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for July 2017

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

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Predicted: 103.2
Actual: 105.2

  • Change from Previous Month: +1.5444%.
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +11.2051%

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NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - July 2017
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - July 2017
=========

From today's report:


"...The Index of Small Business Optimism rose 1.6 points to 105.2, preserving the surge in optimism that started the day after the election. Seven of the 10 Index components posted a gain, two declined, and one was unchanged. Since the recession, the Index peaked at 105.9 in January, just 0.7 points above the July reading. Main Street was buoyed by stronger customer demand despite the dysfunction in Washington, D.C. The economy (GDP) grew about 2 percent in the first half of the year, nothing special, but the second quarter was much stronger than the first, and consumer spending was a major contributor to growth. The stock market continues to post record high readings, although a bit inconsistent with moderate growth in output from the nation’s business sector..."

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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 103.6.

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Friday, August 04, 2017

Employment Situation Report for July 2017

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

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +178,000
Actual: +209,000


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

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

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.3426%

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.9%
Previous Reading (revised): 62.8%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.5 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 July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $26.36 [+0.3426%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 65 cents, or 2.5%. In July, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $22.10 [+0.2722%].

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised down from +152,000 to +145,000, and the change for June was revised up from +222,000 to +231,000. With these revisions, employment gains in May and June combined were 2,000 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
195,000 per month..." [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, August 03, 2017

U.S. Factory Orders During June 2017

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

Predicted: +2.7%
Actual: +3.0%

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

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

Predicted: 56.9%
Actual: 53.9%

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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 57.4%.

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From today' report:

"...Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in July for the 91st consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®..."

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Here's a sampling of comments made by survey participants:

  •     "A typical and expected midsummer slowdown in hiring activity by employers is causing a normal slowdown in business for this time of year. We expect a sharp ramp-up of business activity over the next three months."
     (Management of Companies and Support Services)

  •     "Quiet time of year for us, with focus on busy August through December peak season to come."
     (Information)

  •     "Through the first half of 2017, revenue and profits are ahead of projections and holding steady. Minimal expansion expected through year end 2017."
     (Finance and Insurance)

  •     "Business volume slowed some in June."
     (Health Care and Social Assistance)

  •     "We are still experiencing an increased activity level over last month, though the rate of growth seems to be flattening somewhat."
     (Mining)

  •     "Pork bellies trending higher in price. Beef, specifically grilling meats, still remain a bit high, even after the Fourth of July holiday. Some Asian vegetables are in short supply due to local grower issues."
     (Accommodation and Food Services)

  •     "Business in third quarter is looking up, but it may be delayed from slower than expected second quarter. The next couple of months will determine the outcome."
     (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)

  •     "Overall business conditions remained stable and flat from the previous month."
     (Retail Trade)

  •     "In general, a very stable sales month; flat to very slight increases in activity. Some slight price declines for products."
     (Wholesale Trade)

Click here to view the complete ISM report


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 29, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 29, 2017:

Predicted: 244,000
Actual: 240,000

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): 245,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 241,750
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Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 28, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 28, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -1,500,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -10,000,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 481,900,000 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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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Construction Spending During June 2017

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

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: -1.3%

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): +0.3%.
  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.6%.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report

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ISM Manufacturing Index for July 2017

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

Predicted: 56.2%
Actual: 56.3%

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 month's PMI reading was 57.8%.

From Today's Report:

"... Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in July, and the overall economy grew for the 98th 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:



  •     "Orders are strong, and quote activity is just as strong. Gearing up for [a] strong third quarter."
     (Chemical Products)

  •     "In regard to sales, we have had our best year ever. Demand still exceeds supply in our category. Competitors are investing in capital expansion."
     (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

  •     "We are having huge sales numbers, and backlog is growing."
     (Computer and Electronic Products)

  •     "Strong demand for our products has our manufacturing plants focusing on uptime and production."
     (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)

  •     "Export orders are continuing to strengthen. The understatement is how stable domestic business is as well."
     (Wood Products)

  •     "Business is very steady, but everyone is waiting till the last minute to place their orders."
     (Machinery)

  •     "Six profitable months in a row. First time since 2007."
     (Fabricated Metal Products)

  •     "Starting to see better order entry and planning on turnaround for 2018."
     (Electrical Equipment, Appliances and Components)

  •     "Business has picked up the last few months, but next month is a bit slower — could be cyclical."
     (Plastics and Rubber Products)

  •     "Labor shortages are pretty universal, leading to longer lead times through the supply chain. Pricing pressure as community clamors for premium capacity."
     (Transportation Equipment)


Click here to view the complete ISM report

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PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for June 2017

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for June 2017:

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

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

Personal Income
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: 0.0%


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

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

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Predicted: 0.0%
Actual: 0.0%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.4%
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.5%
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The yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in the prices associated with domestic personal consumption.  The PCE Price Index is different from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in that it is a very broad measure of the prices associated with domestic products and services, while the CPI measures a more limited fixed basket of goods and services.

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

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


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