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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of November 25, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on November 25, 2017:

Predicted: 240,000
Actual: 238,000

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): 240,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 242,250
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From today's report:

"...Claims taking procedures continue to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands..."
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PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for October 2017

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

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

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Personal Income
Predicted: +0.3%
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: +1.6%
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

  • Change from 12 months 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, November 29, 2017

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Second Estimate for Q3, 2017

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

Predicted: +3.3%
Actual: +3.3%

The highlighted percentage represents the quarter-to-quarter change in the Gross Domestic Product for the United States (preliminary = second estimate.)

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"...Corporate Profits

Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment and capital consumption adjustment) increased $91.6 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of $14.4 billion in the second quarter.

Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $60.6 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $33.8 billion in the second quarter. Profits of domestic non-financial corporations increased $12.5 billion, compared with an increase of $59.1 billion. Rest-of-the-world profits increased $18.6..."

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

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  • On December 21, 2017, a "final" GDP estimate will be released by the BEA, which will contain the most accurate and authoritative data for the third 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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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 24, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 24, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -3,400,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -34,400,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 453,700,000 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, November 28, 2017

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for November 2017

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

Predicted: 124.5
Actual: 129.5

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

From Today's Report:

"...'Consumer confidence increased for a fifth consecutive month and remains at a 17-year high (Nov. 2000 = 132.6),' said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved moderately, while their expectations regarding the short-term outlook improved more so, driven primarily by optimism of further improvements in the labor market. Consumers are entering the holiday season in very high spirits and foresee the economy expanding at a healthy pace into the early months of 2018.'

Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved moderately in November. The percentage saying business conditions are 'good' increased from 34.4
% to 34.9%, while those saying business conditions are 'bad' declined from 13.5% to 12.7%. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market also improved. Those stating jobs are 'plentiful' increased from 36.7% to 37.1%, while those claiming jobs are 'hard to get' decreased slightly from 17.1% to 16.9%.

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook was also more favorable in November. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased slightly from 22.1% to 22.4
%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased from 7.0% to 6.5%.

Consumers’ outlook for the job market was also more upbeat than in October. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 18.7
% to 22.6%, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 11.6% to 11.0%. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement decreased marginally from 20.3% to 20.1%, while the proportion expecting a decrease was virtually unchanged at 7.6%..."

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 126.2 (revised.)

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Monday, November 27, 2017

New Home Sales During October 2017

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

Predicted: 620,000
Actual New Home Sales: 685,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +6.2%

Change from One Year Previous: +18.7%

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Median Price for a New Home during October: $312,800

Average Price for a New Home during October: $400,200 (all-time record high)


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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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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 17, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 17, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -1,900,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -31,900,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 457,100,000 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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Consumer Sentiment: Final Result for November 2017

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

Predicted: 98.1
Actual: 98.5

  • Change from Last Month: -2.185%
  • Change from 12 Months Ago: +5.011%

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From today's report:

"...Consumer sentiment narrowed its loss from mid-month, although it was still slightly below last month's decade peak. Overall, the Sentiment Index has remained largely unchanged since the start of the year at the highest levels since 2004.
What has changed recently is the degree of certainty with which consumers hold their economic expectations. In contrast to the media buzz about approaching cyclical peaks and an aging expansion, with the implication of greater uncertainty about future economic trends, consumers have voiced greater certainty about their expectations for income, employment, and inflation. Inflation expectations have shown the smallest dispersion on record, and increased certainty about future income and job prospects has become a key factor that has supported discretionary purchases.
To be sure, caution is warranted given that the current expansion will soon be the second longest expansion since the mid-1800s, as well as the potential for significant changes in tax policies and the new Fed leadership and Board members.
Interestingly, the data indicate that neither changes in fiscal nor monetary policies have yet had any noticeable impact on consumer expectations. Overall, the data signal an expected gain of 2.7% in real consumption expenditures in 2018, and more importantly for retailers, the best runup to the holiday shopping season in a decade..."

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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 100.7.


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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Existing Home Sales During October 2017

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

Predicted: 5,440,000
Actual: 5,480,000

  •  Change from Previous Month: +2.0%
  •  Change from One Year Previous: -0.9%
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Inventory: 1,800,000 (3.9 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 the indicated 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 October 2017: $247,000

Change from One Year Previous: +5.5%

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Average Price for A Used Home During October 2017: $288,400

Change from One Year Previous: +4.7%

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From today's report:

"...Existing-home sales increased in October to their strongest pace since earlier this summer, but continual supply shortages led to fewer closings on an annual basis for the second straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors®..."

"...Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased 3.2 percent to 1.80 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 10.4 percent lower than a year ago (2.01 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 29 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.4 months a year ago.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 34 days in October, which is unchanged from last month and down from 41 days a year ago. Forty-seven percent of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month.

Realtor.com®'s Market Hotness Index, measuring time on the market data and listings views per property, revealed that the hottest metro areas in October were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.; San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.; and Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.

'Listings -- especially those in the affordable price range -- continue to go under contract typically a week faster than a year ago, and even quicker in many areas where healthy job markets are driving sustained demand for buying,' said Yun. 'With the seasonal decline in inventory beginning to occur in most markets, prospective buyers will likely continue to see competitive conditions through the winter.' 

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.90 percent in October (matches highest rate since June) from 3.81 percent in September. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in October, which is up from 29 percent in September but down from 33 percent a year ago. NAR's 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 34 percent.

NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty, says the pending tax reform legislation in both the House and Senate is a direct attack on homeowners and homeownership, with the result being a tax increase on millions of middle-class homeowners in both large and small communities throughout the U.S.

'Making changes to the mortgage interest deduction, eliminating or capping the deduction for state and local taxes and modifying the rules on capital gains exemptions poses serious harm to millions of homeowners and future buyers,' said Mendenhall. 'With first-time buyers struggling to reach the market, Congress should not be creating disincentives to buy and sell a home. Furthermore, adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt will raise future borrowing costs for our children and grandchildren.'

All-cash sales were 20 percent of transactions in October, unchanged from September and down from 22 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 13 percent of homes in October, down from 15 percent last month and unchanged from a year ago.

Distressed sales -- foreclosures and short sales -- were 4 percent of sales in October, unchanged from last month and down from 5 percent year ago. Three percent of October sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales..."

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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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Friday, November 17, 2017

Housing Starts During October 2017

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

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,190,000
Actual: 1,290,000

Change From Previous Month: +13.7%
Change From One Year Previous: -2.9%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,250,000
Actual: 1,297,000

Change From Previous Month: +5.9%
Change From One Year Previous: +0.9%

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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.  Seasonally adjusted annual rate.  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, November 16, 2017

Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization During October 2017

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

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.9%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +1.3%

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: 76.3%
Actual: 77.0

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.

From today's report:

"...Industrial production rose 0.9 percent in October, and manufacturing increased 1.3 percent. The index for utilities rose 2.0 percent, but mining output fell 1.3 percent, as Hurricane Nate caused a sharp but short-lived decline in oil and gas drilling and extraction. Even so, industrial activity was boosted in October by a return to normal operations after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma suppressed production in August and September.  Excluding the effects of the hurricanes, the index for total output advanced about 0.3 percent in October, and the index for manufacturing advanced about 0.2 percent.

With modest upward revisions for July through September, industrial production is now estimated to have only edged down 0.3 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter; the previously published estimate showed a decrease of 1.5 percent.

Total industrial production has risen 2.9 percent over the past 12 months; output in October was 106.1 percent of its 2012 average. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was 77.0 percent, a rate that is 2.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2016) average..."
 

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Import and Export Price Indexes for October 2017

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

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

Change From 12 Months Previous: +2.5%

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Export Prices
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: 0.0%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +2.7%

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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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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 10, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 10, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +1,900,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -31,300,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 459,000,000 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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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for October 2017

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

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Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.0%)

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

(Change from 12 months previous: +1.8%)

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

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for October 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): +1.9%

Estimated Retail Sales During October: $486,600,000,000

Change from 12 Months Previous: +4.6%

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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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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

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

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.4%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.8%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.4%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.4%

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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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Thursday, November 09, 2017

Bull-Market Update for November 8, 2017

Record highs for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the Standard and Poor's 500 Index and the NASDAQ Composite Index yesterday.  Here's a bull-market update for November 8, 2017.

Since the March 9, 2009 bear-market low:


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Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 3, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 3, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +2,200,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -27,900,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 457,100,000 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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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

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

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

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Job Openings

Predicted: 6,082,000
Actual:    6,093,000

  • Previous Month (revised): 6,090,000

  • One Year Previous: 5,666,000

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Hires: 5,273,000

Total Separations: 5,240,000

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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, November 03, 2017

Employment Situation Report for October 2017

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

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +325,000
Actual: +261,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Predicted: 4.2%
Actual: 4.1%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 7.9%
Previous Month: 8.3%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: -0.0377%

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.7%
Previous Month: 63.1%

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:

"...Employment in food services and drinking places increased sharply, mostly offsetting a decline in September that largely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. In October, job gains also occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care..."
"...Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at $26.53, were little changed in October (-1 cent) [-0.0377%], after rising by 12 cents in September. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 63 cents, or 2.4%. In October, average hourly earnings of private sector production and nonsupervisory employees, at $22.22, were little changed (-1 cent) [-0.045%].
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised up from +169,000 to +208,000, and the change for September was revised up from -33,000 to +18,000. With these revisions, employment was 90,000 higher 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.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 162,000 over the last 3 months..." [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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ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for October 2017

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

Predicted: 58.6%
Actual: 60.1%

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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 59.8%.

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From today' report:

"...Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in October for the 94th 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:

  •     "Increasing commodity pricing along with rising construction cost is a concern in [the] quarter ahead."
     (Accommodation and Food Services)

  •     "Business is strong, driven by large upticks in business from clients in the retail industry. Seasonal surge is starting out stronger than in a normal year."
     (Management of Companies and Support Services)

  •     "The current hurricane damage will result in a shortage of some building materials and draw labor forces away from our area."
     (Construction)

  •     "Positive trends continue. Business activity/results good. Revenue and net profit are above plan."
     (Finance and Insurance)

  •     "We continue to struggle with the ‘unknowns’ around Obamacare, and its impacts on our health care and insurance businesses."
     (Health Care and Social Assistance)

  •     "Business activity with oil companies remains flat. Oil field services, midstream, downstream and petrochemical sectors remain strong."
     (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)

  •     "Business levels increased due to hurricane recovery efforts."
     (Real Estate, Rental and Leasing)

  •     "Outlook is favorable. Labor is in short supply and is constraining growth."
     (Wholesale Trade)

  •     "Uptick based on replacement vehicle activity in hurricane-impacted areas of Texas and Florida."
     (Retail Trade)


Click here to view the complete ISM report



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U.S. Factory Orders During September 2017

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

Predicted: +1.2%
Actual: +1.4%

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: +1.2%.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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Thursday, November 02, 2017

Productivity and Labor Costs Report for Q3 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 third quarter of 2017 (preliminary):

Nonfarm Productivity
Predicted: +2.5%
Actual: +3.0%

Reading from Previous Quarter, Revised: +1.5%

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Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.5%

Reading from Previous Quarter, Revised: +0.2%

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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, Q3 2017
Labor Productivity, Q3 2017

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Unit Labor Costs, Q3 2017
Unit Labor Costs, Q3 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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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of October 27, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on October 27, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -2,400,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: -27,700,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 454,900,000 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 October 2017

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

Predicted: 59.5%
Actual: 58.7%

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 60.8%.

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From Today's Report:

"...Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in October, and the overall economy grew for the 101st consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®..."
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The following is a sampling of quotes from a diverse pool of U.S. manufacturers:



  •     "Raw material costs on the rise, but purchasing operation has navigated shortages caused by hurricanes."
     (Chemical Products)

  •     "Incoming orders are strong, mainly due to recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Backlogs are up due to operating inefficiencies."
     (Machinery)

  •     "Hurricanes have caused shortages in the resin market, resulting in price increases, inventory constraints and increased lead times."
     (Computer and Electronic Products)

  •     "Ongoing market growth. Minimal impact expected from hurricanes so far in this season."
     (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

  •     "Business seems to be a bit depressed due to the storms last month, but is picking back up."
     (Fabricated Metal Products)


        "Business continues to be better than expected."
     (Transportation Equipment)

  •     "Business is good. Supplier deliveries have extended. Things are really picking up."
     (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

  •     "Our plants are sold out for 2017 — we can’t take any new orders."
     (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)

  •     "In plastics processing, Hurricane Harvey is the reason for every price increase being announced — and virtually all suppliers are announcing price increases."
     (Plastics and Rubber Products)


Click here to view the complete ISM report



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