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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for February 2017

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

Predicted: 111.3
Actual: 114.8

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 February and remains at a 15-year high (July 2001, 116.3),' said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'Consumers rated current business and labor market conditions more favorably this month than in January. Expectations improved regarding the short-term outlook for business, and to a lesser degree jobs and income prospects. Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue expanding in the months ahead.'..."

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 111.6 (revised.)

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Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Second Estimate for Q4, 2016

U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "preliminary" (second estimate) report for the fourth quarter of 2016 was released this morning by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA):

Predicted: +2.1%
Actual: +1.9%

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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GDP, Fourth Quarter 2016, Second Estimate
GDP, Fourth Quarter 2016, Second Estimate

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  • On March 30, 2017, a "final" GDP estimate will be released by the BEA, which will contain the most accurate and authoritative data for the fourth quarter of  2016.

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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Friday, February 24, 2017

New Home Sales During January 2017

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

Predicted: 576,000
Actual New Home Sales: 555,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +3.7%

Change from One Year Previous: +5.5%

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Median Price for a New Home during January: $312,900

Average Price for a New Home during January: $360,900


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Chart: Cost of A Newly Built Home
Chart: Cost of A Newly Built Home
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Compiled jointly by the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the monthly New Home Sales report measures the number of newly-built homes with committed buyers during the indicated month.

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

The New Home Sales report is watched by economists and investors because it offers insight into the state of the U.S. housing market, and also provides data that can be used to predict sales of large household furniture and appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of February 17, 2017

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

Weekly Change: +600,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +42,400,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 518,700,000 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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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Existing Home Sales During January 2017

The Existing Home Sales report for January 2017 was released by The National Association of Realtors® this morning:

Predicted: 5,575,000
Actual: 5,690,000

Change from Previous Month: +3.3%
Change from One Year Previous: +3.8%

Inventory: 1,690,000 (3.6 months supply)

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The "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 January 2017: $228,900
Change from One Year Previous: +7.1%

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Average Price for A Used Home During January 2017: $271,000
Change from One Year Previous: +5.2%

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Click here for historical prices and a chart.


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Existing Home Sales During January 2017
Existing Home Sales During January 2017

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

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Leading Economic Index for January 2017

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® for January 2017 this morning:

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Index for January: 125.5 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2010 data.)

Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.6%

  • Previous Month: +0.5%

  • Two Months Previous: +0.2%

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


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 Leading Economic Indicators Index 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™

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

From Today's Report:

"...'The U.S. Leading Economic Index increased sharply again in January, pointing to a positive economic outlook in the first half of this year,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. 'The January gain was broad based among the leading indicators. If this trend continues, the U.S. economy may even accelerate in the near term'..."


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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Housing Starts During January 2017

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

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,232,000
Actual: 1,246,000

Change From Previous Month: -2.6%
Change From One Year Previous: +10.5%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,233,000
Actual: 1,285,000

Change From Previous Month: +4.6%
Change From One Year Previous: +8.2%

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Housing Starts: The above 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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 11, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on February 11, 2017:

Predicted: 246,000
Actual: 239,000

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.

  • Last Week (unrevised): 234,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 245,250

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Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for February 2017

Earlier today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released its diffuse index of current manufacturing conditions for this month (February 2017):

Predicted: +19.3
Actual: +43.3

The "actual" figure above is an index of current manufacturing conditions within the Federal Reserve's Third District, which includes eastern Pennsylvania, all of Delaware and the southern half of New Jersey. Any figure below zero implies that manufacturing in the region is contracting, and vice versa.


The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.
 
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Philadelphia Fed: Current and Future General Activities Indexes
Philadelphia Fed: Current and Future General Activities Indexes

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


Click here to view the full Philadelphia Fed report.

  • Last month, the actual figure was +23.6.

For a national perspective of manufacturing conditions, check out the Institute of Supply Management's Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI).

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization for January 2017

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

Industrial Production:
Predicted: 0.0%
Actual: -0.3%

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

The above numbers (highlighted) 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: 75.5%
Actual: 75.3

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.

Click here to view the full Federal Reserve report
 

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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of February 10, 2017

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

Weekly Change: +9,500,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +45,300,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 518,100,000 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 Price Index (CPI) for January 2017

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

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Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.6%

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.5%)

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.3%)

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

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 January 2017

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.4%

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): +1.0%

Estimated Retail Sales During January: $472,100,000,000

Change from 12 Months Previous: +5.6%

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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, February 14, 2017

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for January 2017

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

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Predicted: 104.5
Actual: 105.9

  • Change from Previous Month: +0.0945%
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +12.78%

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Small Business Optimism Index - January 2017
Small Business Optimism Index - January 2017

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From today's report:

"...The Index of Small Business Optimism rose 0.1 point to 105.9, the highest reading since December 2004, sustaining the remarkable surge in optimism that started post-election. Five of the 10 Index components posted a gain and 5 declined, but all by just a few points. After the stunning increases seen after the election, all of the Index components held near their record high levels. Job openings and job-creation plans both posted small gains, confirmed by a huge increase in the net number of jobs added by the average firm, a gain subsequently confirmed by the BLS in its February jobs report. As 'good feelings' are translated into actual hiring and spending, GDP growth should see an uptick. The inflation outlook remained stable, there was no surge in reports of higher selling prices..."
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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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Last month's Small Business Optimism Index was 105.8.

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

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

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.6%

Change from 12 months previous: +1.6%

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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: +1.2%

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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.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Import and Export Price Indexes for January 2017

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

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

Change From 12 Months Previous: +3.7%

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

Change From 12 Months Previous: +2.3%

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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.

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Thursday, February 09, 2017

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 4, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on February 4, 2017:

Predicted: 250,000
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.

  • Last Week (unrevised): 246,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 244,250

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From today's report:

"...This is the lowest level for this average since November 3, 1973 when it was 244,000..."

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of March 3, 2017

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

Weekly Change: +13,800,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +37,900,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 508,600,000 Barrels

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

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

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Friday, February 03, 2017

U.S. Factory Orders During December 2016

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders -- also known as Factory Orders -- for December 2016:

Predicted: +0.9%
Actual: +1.3%

The 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): -2.3%.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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

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

Predicted: 57.0%
Actual: 56.5%

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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).

The previous month's non-manufacturing NMI reading was 56.6% (revised.)

Here's a sampling of comments from survey participants:

  •     "Demand is relatively flat; down about 2 percent from December to January."
    (Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting)

  •     "Strong second half. Exceeded 2016 revenue and earning targets. Q1 [is] looking strong so far. Cautiously optimistic for 2017."
    (Finance and Insurance)

  •     "Current conditions stable. Uncertainty with Trump presidency and how it is going to impact health care."
    (Health Care and Social Assistance)

  •     "The overall outlook from our perspective is that we are seeing an uptick in activities, both in the energy sector and the construction side of our business."
    (Mining)

  •     "Market conditions are good with lower prices on most animal proteins, grains, and dairy prices. Butter still uncertain with increased demand [for] natural fats."
    (Accommodation and Food Services)

  •     "A lot of activity to start the year. Companies reassessing their contracts and looking for savings whenever they can get it."
    (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)

  •     "The outlook for future business has improved, but there is still a degree of uncertainty regarding how the new administration will execute."
    (Public Administration)

  •     "Continued optimism concerning the business environment in the near term."
    (Management of Companies and Support Services)

  •     "Year-over-year for this period, we are down slightly, but that is primarily due to the mild winter we are experiencing. Outlook for upcoming season is very positive."
    (Wholesale Trade)

Click here to view the complete ISM report

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Employment Situation Report for January 2017

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

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +175,000
Actual: +227,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Predicted: 4.7%
Actual: 4.8%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 9.4%
Previous Reading: 9.2%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.1155%

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

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.4 hours
Actual: 34.4 hours

Economist, academics, central bankers and investors pay very close attention to the monthly Employment Situation report as it offers penetrating insight as to the current and near-future state of the overall U.S. economy. If a) Americans are earning more money and b) the economy is creating new jobs, this typically translates to more money being pumped into the economy (and vice versa.)

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

From today's report:

"...In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $26.00 [+0.1155%], following a 6-cent increase in December. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5%. In January, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.84 [+0.1835%]...

...The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised down from +204,000 to +164,000, and the change for December was revised up from +156,000 to +157,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were 39,000 lower than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to the November and December revisions. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged
183,000 per month..." [Establishment Survey Data]
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...The effect of these revisions on the underlying trend in nonfarm payroll employment was minor. For example, the over-the-year change in total nonfarm employment for 2016 was revised from 2,157,000 to 2,242,000... [Revisions to 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, February 02, 2017

Productivity and Labor Cost Report for Q4 2016 (Preliminary)

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this morning released its quarterly report on Productivity and Unit Labor Costs for the fourth quarter of 2016 (preliminary):

Nonfarm Productivity
Predicted: +1.2%
Actual: +1.3%

Previous Reading, Revised: +3.5%

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Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: +1.8%
Actual: +1.7%

Previous Reading, 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.

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Labor Productivity, Q4 2016 (Preliminary)
Labor Productivity, Q4 2016 (Preliminary)

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Unit Labor Costs, Q4 2016 (Preliminary)
Unit Labor Costs, Q4 2016 (Preliminary)

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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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of January 28, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on January 28, 2017:

Predicted: 253,000
Actual: 246,000

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.

  • Last Week (revised): 260,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 248,000

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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of January 27, 2017

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

Weekly Change: +6,500,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +23,400,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 494,800,000 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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Construction Spending During December 2016

Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the Commerce Department -- released its Construction Spending report for December 2016:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: -0.2%

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: +0.9%

Change from 12 months previous: +4.2%

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report

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ISM Manufacturing Index for January 2017

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

Predicted: 55%
Actual: 56%

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

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

The previous month's PMI reading was 54.5% (revised.)

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



  •     “Demand very steady to start the year.”
    (Chemical Products)

  •     “January revenue target slightly lower following a big December shipment month.”
    (Computer and Electronic Products)

  •     “Strong start to the new year. Production is increasing and we are adding capacity.”
    (Plastics and Rubber Products)

  •     “Business looks stronger moving into the first quarter of 2017.”
    (Primary Metals)

  •     “Economic outlook remains stable and no current effects of geopolitical changes appear to be penetrating market conditions.”
    (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

  •     “Sales bookings are exceeding expectations. We are starting to see supply shortages in hot rolled steel due to the curtailment of imports.”
    (Machinery)

  •     “Year starting on pace with Q4 2016.”
    (Transportation Equipment)

  •     “Business conditions are good, demand is generally increasing.”
    (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

  •     “Conditions and outlook remain positive. Raw material prices are stable resulting in stable margins. Asset utilization remains high.”
    (Petroleum and Coal Products)

  •     “Steady demand from automotive.”
    (Fabricated Metal Products)
Click here to view the complete ISM report

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