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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization During December 2017

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

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.9%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.1%

The yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in manufacturing, and physical output from mining operations, utility plants and factories for the entire United States.

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 77.3%
Actual: 77.9

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 December even though manufacturing output only edged up 0.1 percent. Revisions to mining and utilities altered the pattern of growth for October and November, but the level of the overall index in November was little changed. For the fourth quarter as a whole, total industrial production jumped 8.2 percent at an annual rate after being held down in the third quarter by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. At 107.5 percent of its 2012 average, the index has increased 3.6 percent since December 2016 for its largest calendar-year gain since 2010.

The gain in manufacturing output in December was its fourth consecutive monthly increase. The output of utilities advanced 5.6 percent for the month, while the index for mining moved up 1.6 percent. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was 77.9 percent, a rate that is 2.0 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2016) average..."



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    Friday, January 12, 2018

    Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December 2017

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

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

    Predicted: +0.1%
    Actual: +0.1%

    (Change from 12 months previous: +2.1%)

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

    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: +1.8%)

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

    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.)



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

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

      Predicted: +0.3%
      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.

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

      Previous Month (revised): +0.9%

      Estimated Retail Sales During December: $495,400,000,000

      Change from 12 Months Previous: +5.4%

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

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


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      Thursday, January 11, 2018

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

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

      Predicted: +0.2%
      Actual: -0.1%

      Change from 12 months previous: +2.6%

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

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

      Predicted: +0.2%
      Actual: -0.1%

      Change from 12 months previous: +2.3%

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

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

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

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

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


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      New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of January 6, 2018

      Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on January 6, 2018:

      Predicted: 245,000
      Actual: 261,000

      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): 250,000
      • 4-Week Moving Average: 250,750
      ========

      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, January 10, 2018

      Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of January 5, 2018

      The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on January 5, 2018 was released this morning:

      -- Change from Last Week: -4,900,000 Barrels

      -- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -63,600,000 Barrels

      -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 419,500,000 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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      Import and Export Price Indexes for December 2017

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

      Import Prices
      Predicted: +0.4%
      Actual: +0.1%

      Change From 12 Months Previous: +3.0%

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

      Export Prices
      Predicted: +0.3%
      Actual: -0.1%

      Change From 12 Months Previous: +2.6%

      ===============
       
      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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      Tuesday, January 09, 2018

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

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

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

      Job Openings

      Predicted: 6,038,000
      Actual:    5,879,000

      • Previous Month (revised): 5,925,000

      • One Year Previous: 5,631,000

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

      Hires: 5,488,000

      Total Separations: 5,202,000

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

      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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      NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for December 2017

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

      =========

      Predicted: 107.9
      Actual: 104.9

      • Change from Previous Month: -2.4186%
      • Change from 12 Months Previous: -0.8507%

      =========

      The previous month's SBOI reading was 107.5.

      =========

      NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - December 2017
      NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - December 2017

      =========

      From today's report:


      "...Small business confidence blasted off the day after the 2016 election and remained in the stratosphere for all of 2017, making last year an all-time record setter for the NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism, released today.

      '2017 was the most remarkable year in the 45-year history of the NFIB Optimism Index,' said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. 'With a massive tax cut this year, accompanied by significant regulatory relief, we expect very strong growth, millions more jobs, and higher pay for Americans.'

      The Optimism Index for last month came in at 104.9, slightly lower than the near-record November report but still a historically exceptional performance. That makes 2017 the strongest year ever in the history of the survey. The average monthly Index for 2017 was 104.8. The previous record was 104.6, set in 2004.

      'We’ve been doing this research for nearly half a century, longer than anyone else, and I’ve never seen anything like 2017,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'The 2016 election was like a dam breaking. Small business owners were waiting for better policies from Washington, suddenly they got them, and the engine of the economy roared back to life.'

      Two of the December components posted gains, five declined, and three remained unchanged. Moving the Index moderately lower were declines in Expected Better Business Conditions (11-point decline) which tends to fluctuate sharply and Inventory Plans (8-point decline.) Small business owners were bedeviled by a labor shortage in 2017 that grew more intense as optimism rose. The NFIB Jobs Report last week showed that problem reaching record levels.

      Offsetting the dip in Expected Better Business Conditions was a dramatic,14-point improvement in Actual Sales for December. In November, a net negative five percent of all firms reported sales increases. A net nine percent reported higher sales in December, indicating a very strong holiday season for small business.

      'There’s a critical shortage of qualified workers and it’s becoming a real cost driver for small businesses,' said Dunkelberg. 'They are raising compensation for workers in order to attract and keep good employees, but that’s a positive indicator for the overall economy.'

      Driving record optimism in 2017 was the expectation of better economic policies from Washington. Suspending the regulatory assault on business and now a massive tax cut answered two of the three top concerns for small business owners, according to NFIB research.

      'The lesson of 2017 is that better policies make for better economic results,' said Duggan. 'The evidence is overwhelming that small business owners pay close attention to Washington, and that federal policies affect their decisions on whether to hire, whether to invest, whether to grow inventory, and whether to seek capital.'..."

       =========

      • 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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      Friday, January 05, 2018

      U.S. Factory Orders During November 2017

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

      Predicted: +1.1%
      Actual: +1.3%


      • November 2017 New Orders: $488,100,000,000


      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): +0.4% ($481,600,000,000.)

      ========

      U.S. Factory Orders During November 2017
      U.S. Factory Orders During November 2017

      ======== 



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

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

      Predicted: 57.6%
      Actual: 55.9%

      ==========

      Previous month: 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).

      ==========

      From today' report:

      "...Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in December for the 96th 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:

      •     "Many suppliers are proposing price increases, but few are being implemented. Increases in volume and efficiencies seem to be outperforming commodity pricing."
         (Accommodation and Food Services)

      •     "December is slowing, as is seasonally expected after a strong fall. Business in general is strong [and] within the normal pattern of seasonal fluctuation."
         (Management of Companies and Support Services)

      •     "Some improvement is jobs from the private sector."
         (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)

      •     "Lumber prices are increasing due to product [being] damaged in the recent wildfires. Duties on steel from Vietnam is expected to cause an increase in steel prices. Ongoing shortages in construction related [to] labor continue to be a problem."
         (Construction)

      •     "Ending the year with profits and business levels on track. 2018 is projected to be as productive with an optimistic outlook."
         (Finance and Insurance)

      •     "IV solutions are still on national manufacturer back order. Hospital gauze back orders are also causing issues in the industry."
         (Health Care and Social Assistance)

      •     "We are seeing a resurgence in the business activity of our oil and gas customers, in a positive direction that is impacting our sales."
         (Other Services)

      •     "Steady end-of-year demand. Forecasting substantial increase in 2018 activity."
         (Public Administration)

      •     "Sales have slowed in food supply after last month’s buildup for the holidays."
         (Retail Trade)




      ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) History
      ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) History



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      Employment Situation Report for December 2017

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

      Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
      Predicted: +191,000
      Actual: +148,000


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

      U-6 Unemployment Rate*
      Actual: 8.1%
      Previous Month: 8.0%

      Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
      Predicted: +0.3%
      Actual: +0.3391%

      Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
      Actual: +2.5019%

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

      Average Workweek
      Predicted: 34.5 hours
      Actual: 34.5 hours

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

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

      From today's report:

      "...In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $26.63 [+0.3391%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 65 cents, or 2.5019%. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.30 [+0.3149%] in December.

      The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised down from +244,000 to +211,000, and the change for November was revised up from +228,000 to +252,000. With these revisions, employment gains in October and November combined were 9,000 less 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
      204,000 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, January 04, 2018

      Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 29, 2017

      The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 29, 2017 was released this morning:

      -- Change from Last Week: -7,400,000 Barrels

      -- Change from Last Year: -54,500,000 Barrels

      -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 424,500,000 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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      Challenger Report on Corporate Layoffs for 2017

      Earlier today, the global outplacement consultancy firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc. released its report on Corporate Layoffs for 2017:

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

      Job Cuts Announced During 2017: 418,770
      Job Cuts Announced During 2016: 526,915
      Change: -20.524%

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

      If corporate layoffs are high, consumer spending may decline, since there would be fewer people with steady jobs.

      When corporate layoffs are low, this can mean that the job market is relatively tight, which can be a harbinger of wage inflation.

      From today's report:

      "...U.S.-based employers announced 32,423 job cuts in the last month of the year, bringing the year-end total to 418,770. That is the lowest annual total since 1990, when 316,047 cuts were recorded, according to a report released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

      'The retail pivot that caused thousands of store closures and job cuts was not seen in any other industry this year,' said John Challenger, Chief Executive Officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

      'While companies in the Pharmaceutical, Health Care, Construction, and Food industries did announce more job cuts than last year, it was nothing like the Energy cuts seen in the last two years or the Financial cuts seen during the recession,' added Challenger.

      Employers announced 20.5 percent fewer cuts than the previous year, when 526,915 cuts were announced. Last month saw a 7.4 percent decrease from November’s total of 35,038, and a 3.6 percent decrease from the 33,627 cuts announced in the same month last year.

      'The tight labor market, coupled with uncertainty surrounding health care and tax legislation, possibly kept employers from making any long-term staffing decisions this year. However, 2018 may see an increase in job cut announcements, as companies realign with consumer demand,' said Challenger.

      Retail’s restructuring led to 76,084 job cuts this year, a 28.2 percent increase from 2016, when 59,324 job cuts were announced. The move from brick-and-mortar to online shopping has caused over 7,400 store closures, according to Challenger tracking.

      The Health Care sector announced 40,732 job cuts, 118 percent more than last year’s annual total for the industry of 18,725. The Services sector announced 36,174 cuts this year, nearly quadrupling the total from last year, which was 9,917.

      Meanwhile, announced hiring plans are the highest on record, according to Challenger tracking. Employers announced plans to hire over 1,100,000 new hires, 27 percent more than the 868,702 announced last year.

      'While we may see more job cuts in the first quarter of 2018, some companies have announced wage increases and bonuses for employees due to the passing of the tax bill,' said Challenger..."



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      New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 30, 2017

      Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on December 30, 2017:

      Predicted: 240,000
      Actual: 250,000

      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): 247,000
      • 4-Week Moving Average: 241,750
      ========

      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, January 03, 2018

      Construction Spending During November 2017

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

      Predicted: +0.6%
      Actual: +0.8%

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

      • Previous month (revised): +0.9%.
         
      • Change from 12 months previous: +2.4%.

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

      Construction Spending During November 2017
      Construction Spending During November 2017

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




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      ISM Manufacturing Index for December 2017

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

      Predicted: 58.1%
      Actual: 59.7%

      =========

      Previous month: 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.

      =========

      From Today's Report:

      "...Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December, and the overall economy grew for the 103rd 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:



      •     "Our business is moving higher into the new year. Increased sales are resulting in increased purchases of CapEx and raw materials."
         (Chemical Products)

      •     "Strong international sales — Europe and Australia — versus last two years. U.S. sales continue to grow. Seeing commodity pricing pressures."
         (Machinery)

      •     "We are seeing a ramp-up with companies releasing early 2018 spend now."
         (Computer and Electronic Products)

      •     "Business conditions are good; we are tracking well to our projections for the year."
         (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

      •     "First quarter 2018 probably will be better than the fourth quarter 2017."
         (Fabricated Metal Products)

      •     "Domestic and international sales on the rise."
         (Transportation Equipment)

      •     "Economy [is] strong and business is strong, yet signals of headwinds in 2018 are persistent."
         (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

      •     "All suppliers are reporting strong business activity and difficulties obtaining qualified employees."
         (Paper Products)

      •     "Demand at this time is strong in the construction part of our business. I think it is due to the impact of the hurricanes and the rebuild and new construction that is required."
         (Plastics and Rubber Products)

      =========

      ISM Manufacturing Index History
      ISM Manufacturing Index History

      =========



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