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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 22, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 22, 2017 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -4,600,000 Barrels

-- Change from Last Year: -54,200,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 431,900,000 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 December 23, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on December 23, 2017:

Predicted: 240,000
Actual: 245,000

The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Previous Week (unrevised): 245,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 237,750
========

From today's report:

"...Claims taking procedures continue to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands. The claims-taking process in Puerto Rico has still not returned to normal..."

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for December 2017

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

Predicted: 128.0
Actual: 122.1

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

Previous month, revised: 128.6

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

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

From Today's Report:

"...'Consumer confidence retreated in December after reaching a 17-year high in November,' said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'The decline in confidence was fueled by a somewhat less optimistic outlook for business and job prospects in the coming months. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, however, improved moderately. Despite the decline in confidence, consumers’ expectations remain at historically strong levels, suggesting economic growth will continue well into 2018.'

Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions was slightly more positive in December. The percentage saying business conditions are 'good' increased marginally from 35.0 percent to 35.2 percent, while those saying business conditions are 'bad' decreased marginally, from 12.3 percent to 12.1 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was mixed. Those claiming jobs are 'plentiful' decreased from 37.5 percent to 35.7 percent, while those claiming jobs are 'hard to get' also decreased, from 16.8 percent to 15.2 percent (a 16-year low).

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook declined sharply in December. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions to improve over the next six months declined from 23.1 percent to 20.2 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 6.7 percent to 9.2 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the job market was also less upbeat than in November. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 21.3 percent to 18.4 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs rose from 12.1 percent to 16.3 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement increased from 20.3 percent to 22.3 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease also rose, from 7.6 percent to 8.9 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.


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Friday, December 22, 2017

Consumer Sentiment: Final Result for December 2017

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

Predicted: 97.0
Actual: 95.9

  • Change from Last Month: -2.64%
  • Change from 12 Months Ago: -2.342%

=========

From today's report:

"...Consumer confidence continued to slowly sink in December, with most of the decline among lower income households. The extent of the decline was minor, with the December figure just below the average for 2017 (95.9 versus 96.8). Indeed, the average in 2017 was the highest since 2000, and only during the long expansions of the 1960's and 1990's was confidence significantly higher. The recent strength was due to the second highest assessments of current economic conditions since 2000. This strength was offset by a slight increase in uncertainty about future economic prospects.
Tax reform was spontaneously mentioned by 29% of all respondents, with nearly an equal split between positive and negative impacts on economic prospects. Party affiliation was the dominant correlate of people's assessments of the tax legislation, with the long term economic outlook the most negatively affected.
Buying plans for durables and vehicles remained unchanged at favorable levels. Most consumers will know more about the revised tax code when the new paycheck withholding amounts take effect in early 2018. While the mostly small gains in take-home pay may not spark an uptick in optimism, those gains would act to dampen any renewed pessimism. Overall, the data indicate that real personal consumption expenditures will expand by 2.6% in 2018..."

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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.

=========

Last month's final ICS reading was 98.5.



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Durable Goods Orders During November 2017

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

Predicted: +2.0%
Actual: +1.3%

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

  • Previous month (revised): -0.4%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +8.2%
================

Durable Goods Orders - November 2017
Durable Goods Orders - November 2017

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

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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New Home Sales During November 2017

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

Predicted: 650,000
Actual New Home Sales: 733,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +17.5%

Change from One Year Previous: +26.6%

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Median Price for a New Home during November: $318,700

Average Price for a New Home during November: $377,100


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New Home Sales - November 2017
New Home Sales - November 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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PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for November 2017

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

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.6%

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

Personal Income
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.3%

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

Disposable Personal Income:  +0.4%

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

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


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

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.2%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.8%
=====================

Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.5%
=====================

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

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

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

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


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    Thursday, December 21, 2017

    New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 16, 2017

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on December 16, 2017:

    Predicted: 234,000
    Actual: 245,000

    The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

    • Previous Week (unrevised): 225,000
    • 4-Week Moving Average: 236,000
    ========

    From today's report:

    "...Claims taking procedures continue to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands. The claims taking process in Puerto Rico has still not returned to normal..."

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

    U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "final" (third 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: +3.2%

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

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

    Corporate Profits

    Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment and capital
    consumption adjustment) increased $90.2 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of
    $14.4 billion in the second quarter.

    Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $47.8 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $33.8 billion in the second. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $10.4 billion, compared with an increase of $59.1 billion. Rest-of-the-world  profits increased $32.0 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $10.8 billion. In the third quarter, receipts increased $26.9 billion, and payments decreased $5.2 billion.

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

    GDP, Third Quarter 2017, Final Estimate
    GDP, Third Quarter 2017, Final Estimate

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

    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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    Wednesday, December 20, 2017

    Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 15, 2017

    The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 15, 2017 was released this morning:

    -- Change from Last Week: -6,500,000 Barrels

    -- Change from Last Year: -49,000,000 Barrels

    -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 436,500,000 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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    Existing Home Sales During November 2017

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

    Predicted: 5,550,000
    Actual: 5,810,000

    •  Change from Previous Month: +5.6%
    •  Change from One Year Previous: +3.8%
    ==========

    Inventory: 1,670,000 (3.4 months supply)

    ==========

    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.

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

    Median Price for A Used Home During November 2017: $248,000

    Change from One Year Previous: +5.8%

    ---------

    Average Price for A Used Home During November 2017: $289,900

    Change from One Year Previous: +4.8%

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    ==========

    From today's report:

    "...Existing-home sales surged for the third straight month in November and reached their strongest pace in almost 11 years, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions except for the West saw a significant hike in sales activity last month.

    "The anticipated rise in mortgage rates next year could further cut into affordability if these staggeringly low supply levels persist,' said Yun. 'Price appreciation is too fast in a lot of markets right now. The increase in homebuilder optimism must translate to significantly more new construction in 2018 to help ease these acute inventory shortages.'

    First-time buyers were 29 percent of sales in November, which is down from 32 percent both in October and a year ago. NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released earlier this year – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 34 percent.

    Matching the highest share since May, all-cash sales were 22 percent of transactions in November, which is up from 20 percent in October and 21 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14 percent of homes in November, up from 13 percent last month and unchanged from a year ago.

    'The elevated presence of investors paying in cash continues to add a layer of frustration to the supply and affordability headwinds aspiring first-time buyers are experiencing,' said Yun. 'The healthy labor market and higher wage gains are expected to further strengthen buyer demand from young adults next year. Their prospects for becoming homeowners will only improve if more lower-priced and smaller-sized homes come onto the market.'

    Properties typically stayed on the market for 40 days in November, which is up from 34 days in October but down from 43 days a year ago. Forty-four percent of homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month.

    "On the topic of tax reform, NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty, says it’s good news homeowners can continue to count on tax incentives such as the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local tax deduction.

    'Only 6 percent of homeowners have mortgages exceeding $750,000, and only 5 percent pay more than $10,000 in property taxes, but most homeowners won’t itemize under the new regime,' she said. 'While we’re pleased that important homeownership incentives such as the capital gains exclusion survived in conference, additional changes are required to truly incentivize homeownership in the tax code.'

    Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – were 4 percent of sales for the fourth straight month in November, and are down from 6 percent a year ago. Three percent of November sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales..."

    ==========

    • The monthly Existing Home Sales report is released on or around the 25TH day of each month.

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    Tuesday, December 19, 2017

    Housing Starts During November 2017

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

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

    Housing Starts:
    Predicted: 1,240,000
    Actual: 1,297,000

    Change From Previous Month: +3.3%
    Change From One Year Previous: +12.9%

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

    Building Permits:
    Predicted: 1,270,000
    Actual: 1,298,000

    Change From Previous Month: -1.4%
    Change From One Year Previous: +3.4%

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

    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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    Friday, December 15, 2017

    Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization During November 2017

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

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

    Manufacturing:
    Predicted: +0.3%
    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: 77.2%
    Actual: 77.1

    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 moved up 0.2 percent in November after posting an upwardly revised increase of 1.2 percent in October. Manufacturing production also rose 0.2 percent in November, its third consecutive monthly gain. The output of utilities dropped 1.9 percent. The index for mining increased 2.0 percent, as oil and gas extraction returned to normal levels after being held down in October by Hurricane Nate. Excluding the post-hurricane rebound in oil and gas extraction, total industrial production would have been unchanged in November. Total industrial production was 106.4 percent of its 2012 average in November and was 3.4 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was 77.1 percent in November, a rate that is 2.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2016) average..."

      

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    Thursday, December 14, 2017

    Import and Export Price Indexes for November 2017

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

    Import Prices
    Predicted: +0.7%
    Actual: +0.7%

    Change From 12 Months Previous: +3.1%

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

    Export Prices
    Predicted: +0.3%
    Actual: +0.5%

    Change From 12 Months Previous: +3.1%

    ===============
     
    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 November 2017

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

      Predicted: +0.3%
      Actual: +0.8%

      The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change in total sales receipts for retailers that sell durable and non-durable goods, and retailers that provide food and beverage services.

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

      Previous Month (revised): +0.5%

      Estimated Retail Sales During November: $492,700,000,000

      Change from 12 Months Previous: +5.8%

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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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      New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 9, 2017

      Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on December 9, 2017:

      Predicted: 239,000
      Actual: 225,000

      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): 236,000
      • 4-Week Moving Average: 234,750
      ========

      From today's report:

      "...Claims taking procedures continue to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands. The claims taking process in Puerto Rico has still not returned to normal..."

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      Wednesday, December 13, 2017

      Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 8, 2017

      The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 8, 2017 was released this morning:

      -- Change from Last Week: -5,100,000 Barrels

      -- Change from Last Year: -40,200,000 Barrels

      -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 443,000,000 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 November 2017

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

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

      Predicted: +0.4%
      Actual: +0.4%

      (Change from 12 months previous: +2.2%)

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

      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%)

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

      The above, yellow-highlighted figures represent the seasonally adjusted, month-to-month change in prices for a specific group of goods and services that consumers buy, and is, therefore, a very important part of the overall inflation picture for the country.

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

      General categories that constitute the CPI are:

      • Healthcare
      • Housing
      • Clothing
      • Communications
      • Education
      • Transportation
      • Food and Beverages
      • Recreation
      • Miscellaneous Goods and Services (grooming expenses, etc.)
      Click here to view the full Labor Department report.



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      Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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

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

      Predicted: +0.3%
      Actual: +0.4%

      Change from 12 months previous: +3.1%

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

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

      Predicted: +0.2%
      Actual: +0.3%

      Change from 12 months previous: +2.4%

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

      The above, yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in prices received by domestic producers of goods and services, for goods, services and construction in the United States, for final demand.

      Final Demand = personal consumption (consumers), exports, government purchases and capital investment.

      The PPI-FD is released by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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



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      NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for November 2017

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

      =========

      Predicted: 104.4
      Actual: 107.5

      • Change from Previous Month: +3.565%.
      • Change from 12 Months Previous: +9.248%

      =========

      NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - November 2017
      NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - November 2017

      =========

      From today's report:


      "...Not since the roaring Reagan economy has small business optimism been as high as it was in November, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Index of Small Business Optimism, released today.

      'We haven’t seen this kind of optimism in 34 years, and we’ve seen it only once in the 44 years that NFIB has been conducting this research,' said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. 'Small business owners are exuberant about the economy, and they are ready to lead the U.S. economy in a period of robust growth.'

      The Index gained 3.7 points in November, a sharp increase over what was already a near-record performance the previous month. Eight of 10 components posted gains, including a stunning and rare 16-point gain in Expected Better Business Conditions and a 13-point jump in Sales Expectations.

      'This is the second-highest reading in the 44-year history of the Index,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'The NFIB indicators clearly anticipate further upticks in economic growth, perhaps pushing up toward four percent GDP growth for the fourth quarter. This is a dramatically different picture than owners presented during the weak 2009-16 recovery.

      'The change in the management team in Washington has dramatically improved expectations,' he continued.

      Job Creation plans increased six points last month, providing more evidence of a strong labor market. The number of owners who said it’s a Good Time to Expand rose four points; Inventory Plans increased by three points; Inventory Satisfaction increased by three points; and Actual Earnings Trend moved up two points.

      'Job creation faded, but hiring plans soared, primarily in construction, manufacturing, and professional services,' said Dunkelberg.

      Finding qualified workers has been a persistent problem all year for small business owners, a reliable sign of growing economy. Last month, it was the second most important problem facing small business owners. Only taxes polled higher.

      'Small business owners are paying very close attention to what is happening in Washington,' said Duggan. 'They continue to list taxes as their number-one problem, but they now have clear expectations that Congress and the President will address that problem.

      'As long as Congress and the President follow through on tax reform, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year for small business, workers, and the economy.'..."

       =========

      • Small business survey questions can be found at the end of today's report.
      • The baseline "100" score is associated with 1986 survey data.
      =========

      The previous month's SBOI reading was 103.8.

      =========



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      Monday, December 11, 2017

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

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

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

      Job Openings

      Predicted: 6,100,000
      Actual:    5,996,000

      • Previous Month (revised): 6,177,000

      • One Year Previous: 5,587,000

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

      Hires: 5,552,000

      Total Separations: 5,178,000

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

      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, December 08, 2017

      Employment Situation Report for November 2017

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

      Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
      Predicted: +190,000
      Actual: +228,000


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

      U-6 Unemployment Rate*
      Actual: 8.0%
      Previous Month: 7.9%

      Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
      Predicted: +0.3%
      Actual: +0.1887%

      Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.7%
      Previous Month: 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 November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents to $26.55 [+0.1887%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 64 cents, or 2.5%. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 5 cents to $22.24 [+0.2253%] in November.
      The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from +18,000 to +38,000, and the change for October was revised down from +261,000 to +244,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 3,000 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.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 170,000 over the last 3 months..." [Establishment Survey Data]
      ======

       * =  The U-6 Unemployment Rate is defined as:

      "Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force."

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      Thursday, December 07, 2017

      New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 2, 2017

      Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on December 2, 2017:

      Predicted: 240,000
      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 (unrevised): 238,000
      • 4-Week Moving Average: 241,500
      ========

      From today's report:

      "...Claims taking procedures continue to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands. Claims taking process in Puerto Rico has still not returned to normal..."
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      Wednesday, December 06, 2017

      Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 1, 2017

      The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 1, 2017 was released this morning:

      Weekly Change: -5,600,000 Barrels

      Yearly Change: -37,700,000 Barrels

      Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 448,100,000 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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      Productivity and Labor Costs Report for Q3 2017 (Revised)

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

      Nonfarm Productivity
      Predicted: +3.2%
      Actual: +3.0%

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

      Unit Labor Costs
      Predicted: +0.3%
      Actual: -0.2%

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

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


      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, December 05, 2017

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

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

      Predicted: 59.0%
      Actual: 57.4%

      ==========

      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).

      ==========

      The Previous Month's NMI reading was 60.1%.

      ==========

      From today' report:

      "...Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in November for the 95th consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®..."

      ==========

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

      •     "Domestic business is strong, with positive growth indicators for 2018 from both internal sources and client feedback."
        (Management of Companies and Support Services)

      •     "Construction labor continues to be constrained in the West."
        (Construction)

      •     "Steady; no material changes."
        (Finance and Insurance)

      •     "We continue to struggle with understanding the [potential] changes to the Affordable Care Act, and are trying to be flexible in how we respond. Also, Hurricane Maria has affected some of our pharmaceutical supplies."
        (Health Care and Social Assistance)

      •     "Mixed bag of goods for November 2017. Typical seasonal increases for specific braising cuts of beef as the holidays approach. Some volatility on produce items such as brussel sprouts. Expect cream to spike due to holiday season." (Accommodation and Food Services)

      •     "Business seems to be leveling off. Attribute this to the holiday season that is approaching."
        (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)

      •     "Business is strong, but not as strong as Q3."
        (Retail Trade)

      •     "Bookings would suggest a strong run to the end of the year."
        (Wholesale Trade)


      Click here to view the complete ISM report




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      Monday, December 04, 2017

      U.S. Factory Orders During October 2017

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

      Predicted: -0.4%
      Actual: -0.1%


      • October 2017 New Orders: $479,600,000,000


      The yellow-highlighted percentage is the month-to-month change in orders for both durable and nondurable goods made by from U.S. manufacturers. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

      Previous Month (revised): +1.7% ($479,900,000,000.)

      ========


      U.S. Factory Orders During October 2017
      U.S. Factory Orders During October 2017

      ======== 



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      Friday, December 01, 2017

      Construction Spending During October 2017

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

      Predicted: +0.5%
      Actual: +1.4%

      The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change in new public and private construction activity for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

      • Previous Month: +0.3%.
         
      • Change From 12 Months Previous: +2.9%.

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

      Construction Spending During October 2017
      Construction Spending During October 2017

      ================
       
      Click here to view the full Census Bureau report



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      ISM Manufacturing Index for November 2017

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

      Predicted: 58.4%
      Actual: 58.2%

      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 58.7%.

      =========

      From Today's Report:

      "...Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November, and the overall economy grew for the 102nd 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:



      •     "Continuing to see more orders for the next six to 12 months."
         (Chemical Products)

      •     "Strong sales through third and now fourth quarters. Backlog increasing, and capacity at suppliers tightening."
         (Machinery)

      •     "Business has leveled out but remains strong heading into the end of the year."
         (Computer and Electronic Products)

      •     "We are just coming off a record sales year. We expect to continue in 2018 robust activity."
         (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

      •     "We are seeing steady, consistent demand for end of year. We usually see a slowdown, which we haven’t seen yet."
         (Fabricated Metal Products)

      •     "Overall industry demand remains strong. Continue to have a healthy backlog of orders. Local economy is also strong, with a fairly tight labor market."
         (Transportation Equipment)

      •     "Business is strong. Employment is tight. Supplier deliveries have lengthened. A few suppliers are still blaming Hurricane Harvey for the lead times."
         (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

      •     "Strong season demand for products and continued requirements for uptime."
         (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)

      •     "Currently, we have not experienced the typical seasonal slowdown toward the end of Q4. Could be that there is a lot of optimism in the American economy."
         (Plastics and Rubber Products)


      Click here to view the complete ISM report


      ISM Manufacturing Index History
      ISM Manufacturing Index History



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