.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Pending Home Sales Index for April 2018

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) report for April 2018 was released by The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) this morning:

  • Actual: 106.4
==========

Previous Month (revised): 107.8

  •  Change from Previous Month: -1.299% (-1.4 points)

  •  Change from One Year Previous: -2.116% (-2.3 points)
==========


========
 
 From the NAR website:

  • An index above 100 coincides with a historically high level of home sales activity.

  • An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, the first year to be analyzed. Coincidentally, 2001 was the first of four consecutive record years for existing-home sales. 2001 sales are fairly close to the higher level of home sales expected in the coming decade relative to the norms experienced in the mid-1990s. As such, an index of 100 coincides with a historically high level of home sales activity.
========
 
From today's report:

"...After two straight months of modest increases, pending home sales dipped in April to their third-lowest level over the past year, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions saw no gain in contract activity last month.

The Pending Home Sales Index, www.nar.realtor/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, declined 1.3 percent to 106.4 in April from an upwardly revised 107.8 in March. With last month’s decrease, the index is down on an annualized basis (2.1 percent) for the fourth straight month.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market this spring is hindered because of the severe housing shortages in much of the country. 'Pending sales slipped in April and continued to stay within the same narrow range with little signs of breaking out,' he said. 'Feedback from Realtors®, as well as the underlying sales data, reveal that the demand for buying a home is very robust. Listings are typically going under contract in under a month, and instances of multiple offers are increasingly common and pushing prices higher.'

Added Yun, 'The unfortunate reality for many home shoppers is that reaching the market will remain challenging if supply stays at these dire levels.'

Heading into the summer months, if low supply and swift price growth were not enough of a headwind for the housing market, Yun believes that rising mortgage rates and gas prices could lead to hesitation among some would-be buyers.

'The combination of paying extra at the pump, while also needing to save more for a down payment because of higher rates and home prices, may weigh on the psyche of those looking to buy,' he said. 'For now, the economy is very healthy, job growth is holding steady and wages are slowly rising. However, it all comes down to overall supply. If more new and existing homes are listed for sale, it would allow home prices to moderate enough to stave off inflationary pressures and higher rates.'

Yun still forecasts for existing-home sales in 2018 to increase 0.5 percent to 5.54 million – up from 5.51 million in 2017. The national median existing-home price is expected to increase around 5.1 percent. In 2017, existing sales increased 1.1 percent and prices rose 5.7 percent.

The PHSI in the Northeast remained at 90.6 in April, and is 2.1 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index decreased 3.2 percent to 98.5 in April, and is 5.1 percent lower than April 2017.

Pending home sales in the South declined 1.0 percent to an index of 127.3 in April, but is still 2.7 percent higher than last April. The index in the West inched backward 0.4 percent in April to 94.4, and is 4.6 percent below a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

According to NAR’s April Realtors® Confidence Index, properties typically stayed on the market for 26 days in April, down from 30 days in March and 29 days a year ago.

The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing..."
========

 

 ========





========

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,


>  SITEMAP  <

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 25, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 25 2018 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -3,600,000 Barrels

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -75,400,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 434,500,000 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).



Labels: , , , ,


>  SITEMAP  <

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 26, 2018

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on May 26, 2018:

Predicted: 224,000
Actual: 221,000

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): 234,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 222,250
========

From today's report:

"...Claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal..."

========


 

Labels: , , , ,


>  SITEMAP  <

PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for April 2018

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for April 2018:

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.6%

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

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

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

  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars:  +0.4%
  • Disposable Personal Income, 2009 Chained* Dollars +0.2% 

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

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: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.0%
=====================

Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.2%

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

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.


 =====================

 =====================

*Chained dollars is a method of adjusting real dollar amounts for inflation over time, so as to allow comparison of figures from different years. The Commerce Department introduced the chained-dollar measure in 1996. Chained dollars generally reflect dollar figures computed with 2009 as the base year.

    Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


    >  SITEMAP  <

    Wednesday, May 30, 2018

    Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Second Estimate for Q1, 2018

    Earlier this morning, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its second estimate for U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2018 :

    Predicted: +2.2%
    Actual: +2.2%

    The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the quarter-to-quarter change for Real Gross Domestic Product for the entire United States.

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

    "...Corporate Profits

    Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment and capital consumption adjustment) decreased $12.4 billion in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter.

    Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $2.2 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $14.6 billion in the fourth quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations decreased $19.0 billion, in contrast to an increase of $19.4 billion. Rest-of-the-world profits increased $4.4 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $5.9 billion. In the first quarter, receipts increased $20.0 billion, and payments increased $15.7 billion.

    The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes several provisions that impact the business income statistics in the national income and product accounts (NIPAs). The provisions do not directly impact corporate profits from current production or GDI but do impact taxes on corporate income and net dividends in the first quarter of 2018. For more information, see the Technical Note..."

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

    GDP, First Quarter 2018, Second Estimate
    GDP, First Quarter 2018, Second Estimate

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

    • On June 28, 2018, a third and "final" GDP estimate will be released by the BEA, which will contain the most accurate and authoritative data for the first quarter of  2018.

    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."

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




    Labels: , ,


    >  SITEMAP  <

    Tuesday, May 29, 2018

    Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for May 2018

    The Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (May 2018) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

    Predicted: 128.6
    Actual: 128.0

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

    Previous Month (revised): 125.6.

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

    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 May after a modest decline in April,' said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'Consumers’ assessment of current conditions increased to a 17-year high (March 2001, 167.5), suggesting that the level of economic growth in Q2 is likely to have improved from Q1. Consumers’ short-term expectations improved modestly, suggesting that the pace of growth over the coming months is not likely to gain any significant momentum. Overall, confidence levels remain at historically strong levels and should continue to support solid consumer spending in the near-term.'

    Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved in May. Those claiming business conditions are 'good' increased from 34.8 percent to 38.4 percent, while those claiming business conditions are 'bad' decreased from 12.3 percent to 12.0 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was somewhat mixed. The percentage of consumers stating jobs are 'plentiful' improved from 38.2 percent to 42.4 percent, while those claiming jobs are 'hard to get' also increased, from 15.5 percent to 15.8 percent.

    Consumers were modestly more positive about the short-term outlook in May. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months decreased from 23.6 percent to 23.1 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen also decreased, from 9.8 percent to 8.3 percent.

    Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 18.6 percent to 19.7 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs also increased, from 13.2 percent to 13.9 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement declined, from 21.8 percent to 21.3 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease rose from 7.9 percent to 8.2 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.


      Labels: , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Monday, May 28, 2018

      2018 Atlantic Ocean Hurricane Forecast

      The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its forecast for the 2018 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season:

      • Odds On A Near- or Above-Normal Hurricane Season: 75%

      • Odds On An Above-Normal Hurricane Season: 35%

      • Odds On A Below-Normal Hurricane Season: 25%

      • Predicted Number of Named Storms: 10 to 16

      • Predicted Number of Hurricanes: 5 to 9

      • Predicted Number of Major Hurricanes: 1 to 4

      -- The Atlantic Ocean hurricane season  runs from June 1 to November 30.

      -- In early August, the NOAA will update the 2018 Atlantic Ocean hurricane forecast just prior to the peak of the season.


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



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

      Labels: , , , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Friday, May 25, 2018

      Consumer Sentiment: Final Result for May 2018

      The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) - Final Result for May 2018 was released today:

      Predicted: 99.0
      Actual: 98.0

      • Change from Previous Month: -0.8097% (-0.8 point)
      • Change from 12 Months Previous: +0.9269% (+0.9 point)

      =========

      Previous Month's Final ICS Reading: 98.8.

      ========= 

      From today's report:


      "...Consumer sentiment slipped by less than an Index-point from last month. Since Trump's election, the Sentiment Index has meandered in a tight eight-point range from 93.4 to 101.4, with the small month-to-month variations indicating no emerging trend. Consumers have remained focused on expected gains in jobs and incomes as well as anticipated increases in interest rates and inflation during the year ahead. As past expansions have shown, rising interest rates do not suppress spending gains as long as they are accompanied by more substantial increases in incomes. The May survey, however, found that consumers anticipated smaller income gains than a month or year ago, even though they anticipate the unemployment rate to stabilize at its current eighteen year low. Importantly, references to discounted prices for durables, vehicles, and homes fell to decade lows. Coupled with higher interest rates, it is likely that the pace of growth in personal consumption will remain at about 2.6% during the year ahead.

      When asked to explain how their personal finances had changed, the proportion that spontaneously cited higher prices worsening their financial situation has shown a close correspondence with actual trends in the year-over-year change in the CPI-see the chart. That close relationship ended about a decade ago, and in the past year or so, as the CPI has risen, complaints about inflation have fallen. While the reasons underlying the current divergence are unclear, it nonetheless signals a change in how consumers judge the impact of inflation on their personal finances. It may also suggest a change in their behavioral reaction to inflation..."

      =========

      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?"

      =========


      =========

      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.

      =========

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

      =========



      Labels: , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Durable Goods Orders During April 2018

      The Durable Goods Orders report for April 2018 was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

      Predicted: -1.2%
      Actual: -1.655%

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

      • Previous month (revised): +2.698%

      • Change from 12 months previous: +7.724%
      ================

      Durable Goods Orders - April 2018
      Durable Goods Orders - April 2018
      ================

      The yellow-highlighted figure represents the month-to-month change in new 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.




      Labels: , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Thursday, May 24, 2018

      New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 19, 2018

      Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on May 19, 2018:

      Predicted: 220,000
      Actual: 234,000

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

      • Previous Week (unrevised): 223,000
      • 4-Week Moving Average: 219,750
      ========

      From today's report:

      "...Claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal..."

      ========


       

      Labels: , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Existing Home Sales During April 2018

      The Existing Home Sales report for April 2018 was released by The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) this morning:

      Predicted: 5,600,000
      Actual: 5,460,000

      •  Change from Previous Month: -2.5%

      •  Change from One Year Previous: -1.4%
      ==========

      Inventory: 1,800,000 (4.0 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 April: $257,900

      Change from One Year Previous: +5.3%

      ---------

      Average Price for A Used Home During April: $297,300

      Change from One Year Previous: +3.3%

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



      ==========

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

      ========
       
      From today's report:

      "...After moving upward for two straight months, existing-home sales retreated in April on both a monthly and annualized basis, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All four major regions saw no gain in sales activity last month.

      Total existing-home sales, https://www.nar.realtor/existing-home-sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 2.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in April from 5.60 million in March. With last month’s decline, sales are now 1.4 percent below a year ago and have fallen year-over-year for two straight months.

      See and share an infographic about home buyer and seller trends.

      Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says this spring’s staggeringly low inventory levels caused existing sales to slump in April. 'The root cause of the underperforming sales activity in much of the country so far this year continues to be the utter lack of available listings on the market to meet the strong demand for buying a home,' he said. 'Realtors® say the healthy economy and job market are keeping buyers in the market for now even as they face rising mortgage rates. However, inventory shortages are even worse than in recent years, and home prices keep climbing above what many home shoppers are able to afford.'

      The median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $257,900, up 5.3 percent from April 2017 ($245,000). March’s price increase marks the 74th straight month of year-over-year gains.

      Total housing inventory3 at the end of April increased 9.8 percent to 1.80 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 6.3 percent lower than a year ago (1.92 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 35 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.0-month supply at the current sales pace (4.2 months a year ago).

      Properties typically stayed on the market for 26 days in April, which is down from 30 days in February and 29 days a year ago. Fifty-seven percent of homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month.

      'What is available for sale is going under contract at a rapid pace,' said Yun. 'Since NAR began tracking this data in May 2011, the median days a listing was on the market was at an all-time low in April, and the share of homes sold in less than a month was at an all-time high.'

      Realtor.com®’s Market Hotness Index, measuring time-on-the-market data and listings views per property, revealed that the hottest metro areas in April were Midland, Texas; Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; and Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.

      According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate (link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage increased for the seventh straight month to 4.47 percent in April (highest since 4.49 percent in September 2013) from 4.44 percent in March. The average commitment rate for all of 2017 was 3.99 percent.

      'With mortgage rates and home prices continuing to climb, an increase in housing supply is absolutely crucial to keeping affordability conditions from further deterioration,' said Yun. 'The current pace of price appreciation far above incomes is not sustainable in the long run.'

      First-time buyers were 33 percent of sales in April (highest since last July), which is up from 30 percent last month but down from 34 percent a year ago. NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 20175 – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 34 percent.

      'Especially with mortgage rates going up in recent weeks, prospective buyers should visit with more than one lender to ensure they are getting the lowest rate possible,' NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. 'Receiving a rate quote from multiple lenders could lead to considerable savings over the life of the loan. Ask a Realtor® for a few recommendations of lenders to contact to get a quote.'

      All-cash sales were 21 percent of transactions in April, which is up from 20 percent in March and unchanged from a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 15 percent of homes in April (unchanged from last month and a year ago).

      Distressed sales5 – foreclosures and short sales – were 3.5 percent of sales in April (lowest since NAR began tracking in October 2008), down from 4 percent last month and 5 percent a year ago. Three percent of April sales were foreclosures and 0.5 percent were short sales..."

      ========



      ========


      Labels: , , , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Wednesday, May 23, 2018

      Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 18, 2018

      The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 18, 2018 was released this morning:

      -- Change from Last Week: +5,800,000 Barrels

      -- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -78,200,000 Barrels

      -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 438,100,000 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).

      Labels: , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      New Home Sales During April 2018

      The April 2018 New Home Sales report was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

      Predicted: 677,000
      Actual New Home Sales: 662,000

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

      Change from One Month Previous: -1.5%

      Change from One Year Previous: +11.6%

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

      Median Price for a New Home during April 2018: $312,400

      ========

      Average Price for a New Home during April 2018: $407,300


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


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

      New Home Sales - April 2018
      New Home Sales - April 2018
       ================================


      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.

      Labels: , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Monday, May 21, 2018

      Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) for April 2018

      The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released its National Activity Index (CFNAI) for April  2018:

      Predicted: +0.25
      Actual (CFNAI): +0.34

      The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of growth in national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data:

      • Production and income;
      • Employment, unemployment, and hours;
      • Personal consumption and housing; and
      • Sales, orders, and inventories.

      The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the yellow-highlighted figure is what was reported.

      ========

      • Previous Month (revised): +0.32
      • 3-Month Moving Average (CFNAI-MA3): +0.46
      ========

      Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for April 2018
      Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for April 2018

      ========

      From Today's Report

      "...Index points to little change in economic growth in April

      The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) ticked up to +0.34 in April from +0.32 in March. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from March, and three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in April. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to +0.46 in April from +0.23 in March.

      The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, moved up to +0.23 in April from +0.11 in March. Fifty of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in April, while 35 made negative contributions. Thirty-five indicators improved from March to April, while 50 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, eight made negative contributions..."
      ========

      Understanding The CFNAI:

      A zero value for the monthly index has been associated with the national economy expanding at its historical trend (average) rate of growth; negative values with below-average growth (in standard deviation units); and positive values with above-average growth.

      Periods of economic expansion have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above -0.70 and the CFNAI Diffusion Index above -0.35. Conversely, periods of economic contraction have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 below -0.70 and the CFNAI Diffusion Index below -0.35.

      An increasing likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +0.70 more than two years into an economic expansion. Similarly, a substantial likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +1.00 more than two years into an economic expansion.

      ========

      Labels: , , , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Friday, May 18, 2018

      All 3 Major Stock Market Indexes Declined On The Week

      Summary of U.S. Markets for the Week Ending May 18, 2018:

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

      Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed @ 24,715.09:

      - lost 116.08 points (-0.467%) on the week.
      - lost 1,901.62 points (-7.144%) since the January 26, 2018 record-high close (26,616.71.)

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

      S and P 500 Index closed @ 2,712.97:

      - lost 14.75 points (-0.541%) on the week.
      - lost 159.90 points (-5.566%) since the January 26, 2018 record-high close (2,872.87.)

      --------------------------- 

      NASDAQ Composite Index closed @ 7,354.34:

      - lost 48.54 points (-0.656%) on the week.
      - lost 233.98 points (-3.083%) since the March 12, 2018 record-high close (7,588.32.)

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

      - NYMEX Crude Oil for Future Delivery closed @ $71.28 per barrel

      - Comex Gold for June delivery closed @ $1,291.30 per ounce

      - In New York, the U.S. dollar buys 0.84962 euros

      - In New York, the euro buys 1.1770 U.S. dollars

      - The United States Prime Rate is 4.75%

      - The Target Range for the Fed Funds Rate is 1.50% - 1.75%

      - The yield on the 10-Year Treasury Note is currently @ 3.06%


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

      Standard and Poor's 500 Index Chart Through May 18, 2018
      Standard and Poor's 500 Index Chart Through May 18, 2018

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

      Closing Currency Cross Rates - May 18, 2018
      Closing Currency Cross Rates - May 18, 2018

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


      Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Thursday, May 17, 2018

      Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for May 2018

      Earlier today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released its diffuse index of current manufacturing conditions for this month (May 2018):

      Predicted: +21.0
      Actual: +34.4

      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, while a figure above zero implies expansion.

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

      Philadelphia Fed: Current and Future General Activities Indexes - May 2018
      Philadelphia Fed: Current and Future General Activities Indexes - May 2018

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


      Click here to view the full Philadelphia Fed report.

      • Last month, the actual figure was +23.2.

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



      Labels: , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Leading Economic Index for April 2018

      The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for April 2018 this morning:

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

      Index for April: 109.4 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

      Predicted: +0.4%
      Actual: +0.367%

      • March 2018 Reading: 109.0 (+0.368%)

      • February 2018 Reading: 108.6 (+0.742%)

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

      The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change for the index.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

      The LEI is a composite of 10 of the nation's economic data releases that's put together by The Conference Board. Statistically, the components listed below have shown a significant increase or decrease before national economic upturns or downturns:

      1. The Standard + Poor's 500 Index

      2. Average weekly claims for unemployment insurance

      3. Building permits for new private housing

      4. The interest rate spread between the yield on the benchmark 10-Year Treasury Note and Federal Funds

      5. ISM® Index of New Orders

      6. Manufacturer's new orders for consumer goods or materials

      7. Manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders

      8. Average weekly manufacturing hours

      9. Average consumer expectations for business conditions

      10. Leading Credit Index™

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

      Leading Economic Index for April 2018
      Leading Economic Index for April 2018

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

      From Today's Report:

      "...'April’s increase and continued uptrend in the U.S. LEI suggest solid growth should continue in the second half of 2018. However, the LEI’s six-month growth rate has recently moderated somewhat, suggesting growth is unlikely to strongly accelerate,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. 'In April, stock prices and housing permits were the only negative contributors, whereas the labor market components, which made negative contributions in March, improved.'..."

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



      Labels: , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 12, 2018

      Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on May 12, 2018:

      Predicted: 215,000
      Actual: 222,000

      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): 211,000
      • 4-Week Moving Average: 213,250
      ========

      From today's report:

       "...The 4-week moving average was 213,250, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 216,000. This is the lowest level for this average since December 13, 1969 when it was 210,750..."

      "...Claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal..."

      ========


       

      Labels: , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Wednesday, May 16, 2018

      Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization During April 2018

      The Industrial Production, Manufacturing and Capacity Utilization numbers for April 2018 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

      Industrial Production:
      Predicted: +0.6%
      Actual: +0.7%

      Manufacturing:
      Predicted: +0.3%
      Actual: +0.5%

      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: 78.3%
      Actual: 78.0

      The Capacity Utilization Rate represents the use of available resources at mining operations, utility plants and factories for the entire United States last month.

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

      From today's report:

      "...Industrial production rose 0.7 percent in April for its third consecutive monthly increase. The rates of change for industrial production for previous months were revised downward, on net; for the first quarter, output is now reported to have advanced 2.3 percent at an annual rate. After being unchanged in March, manufacturing output rose 0.5 percent in April. The indexes for mining and utilities moved up 1.1 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. At 107.3 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in April was 3.5 percent higher than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector climbed 0.4 percentage point in April to 78.0 percent, a rate that is 1.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average..."


      Labels: , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Housing Starts During April 2018

      The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released its Housing Starts report for April 2018:

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

      Housing Starts:
      Predicted: 1,324,000
      Actual: 1,287,000

      Change From Previous Month: -3.7%
      Change From One Year Previous: +10.5%

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

      Building Permits:
      Predicted: 1,350,000
      Actual: 1,352,000

      Change From Previous Month: -1.8%
      Change From One Year Previous: +7.7%

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

      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 residential 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.


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

      Housing Starts - April 2018
      Housing Starts - April 2018

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


      Labels: , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 11, 2018

      The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 11, 2018 was released this morning:

      -- Change from Last Week: -1,400,000 Barrels

      -- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -88,400,000 Barrels

      -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 432,400,000 Barrels

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

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


      Labels: , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Tuesday, May 15, 2018

      U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for April 2018

      The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for April 2018:

      Predicted: +0.3%
      Actual: +0.3%

      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): +0.8%

      -- Estimated Retail Sales During April 2018: $497,600,000,000

      -- Change from 12 Months Previous: +4.7%

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

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

      Labels: , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Friday, May 11, 2018

      Import and Export Price Indexes for April 2018

      The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for April 2018:

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

      Change From 12 Months Previous: +3.3%

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

      Export Prices
      Predicted: +0.3%
      Actual: +0.6%

      Change From 12 Months Previous: +3.8%

      ===============
       
      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.



      Labels: , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Thursday, May 10, 2018

      Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April 2018

      Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April 2018:

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

      Predicted: +0.3%
      Actual: +0.2%

      (Change from 12 months previous: +2.5%)

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

      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: +2.1%)

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

      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.)


      Labels: , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 5, 2018

      Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on May 5, 2018:

      Predicted: 220,000
      Actual: 211,000

      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): 211,000
      • 4-Week Moving Average: 216,000
      ========

      From today's report:

       "...This is the lowest level for this average since December 20, 1969 when it was 214,500..."

      "...Claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal..."

      ========


       

      Labels: , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Wednesday, May 09, 2018

      Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 4, 2018

      The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 4, 2018 was released this morning:

      -- Change from Last Week: -2,200,000 Barrels

      -- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -88,800,000 Barrels

      -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 433,800,000 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).


      Labels: , , , ,


      >  SITEMAP  <

      Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for April 2018

      The Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for April 2018 was released this morning:

      Predicted: +0.3%
      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: +0.2%

      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.




        Labels: , , , , , ,


        >  SITEMAP  <

        Tuesday, May 08, 2018

        Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for March 2018

        The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for March 2018 was released by the Labor Department this morning:

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

        Job Openings

        Predicted: 6,100,000
        Actual:    6,550,000 (All-Time Record High*)

        • Previous Month (revised): 6,078,000

        • One Year Previous: 5,607,000

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

        Hires: 5,425,000

        Total Separations: 5,291,000

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

        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."

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


        Labels: , , , , , , ,


        >  SITEMAP  <

        NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for April 2018

        The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index (SBOI) for April 2018:

        =========

        Predicted: 104.9
        Actual: 104.8

        • Change from Previous Month: +0.0955% (+0.1 point)
        • Change from 12 Months Previous: +0.287% (+0.3 point)

        =========

        The previous month's SBOI reading was 104.7.

        =========

        NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - April 2018
        NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - April 2018

        =========


        Small Business Outlook - April 2018
        Small Business Outlook - April 2018

        =========

        From today's report:


        "...The Small Business Optimism Index sustained record-high levels increasing to 104.8 in April, driven by reports of improved profits, the highest in the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey’s 45-year history. Additionally, the number of small businesses reporting poor sales fell to a near record low. April is the 17th consecutive month of historically high readings, according to the survey that was released today.

        'Never in the history of this survey have we seen profit trends so high', said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. 'The optimism small businesses owners have about the economy is turning into new job creation, increased wages and benefits, and investment.'

        The frequency of positive profit trends went up three points in April due to gains in operating productivity and stronger sales as well as the newly implemented tax law.

        Reports of capital outlays rose three points this month to 61 percent, indicating that small businesses are confident and strong enough to make investments. Of those businesses making expenditures, 43 percent are spending on new equipment (up four points), while 27 percent are acquiring vehicles (up three points).

        In addition, more small businesses are planning capital outlays in the next few months, increasing three points to 29 percent. As the difficulty of finding qualified workers continues to be a major obstacle for small businesses, with 22 percent citing it as their single most important business problem (up one point), more of this planned spending is expected to go toward training and labor-saving technology.

        'There is no question that small business is booming,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'Consumer spending, the new tax law, and lower regulatory barriers are all supporting the surge in optimism across all small business industry sectors.'

        Small businesses are also confident in future sales growth, with a net 21 percent of owners expecting higher sales volumes (up one point). These numbers are particularly high in the construction and manufacturing industries.

        As reported in Thursday’s NFIB jobs report, the share of small business owners who are hiring or trying to hire rose four points to 57 percent, and new job creation remains at historically strong levels, with a net 16 percent of owners planning to create new jobs. Significantly more new businesses are opening than closing, providing a major boost to new employment.

        Worker compensation remains at the highest level since 2000, with net 33 percent reporting increasing compensation. The average family saw wages and salaries grow last year. Gains are likely to increase for many families this year due to tax cuts..."

         =========

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


        Labels: , , , , ,


        >  SITEMAP  <

        Friday, May 04, 2018

        Employment Situation Report for April 2018

        The Employment Situation Report for April 2018 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

        Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
        Predicted: +191,000
        Actual: +164,000


        U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
        Actual: 3.9%
        Previous Month: 4.1%
        12 Months Previous: 4.4%

        U-6 Unemployment Rate*
        Actual: 7.8%
        Previous Month: 8.0%
        12 Months Previous: 8.6%

        Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
        Predicted: +0.2%
        Actual: +0.1493% (+$0.04)

        Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
        Predicted: +2.7%
        Actual: +2.5602% (+$0.67)

        Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
        Actual: +2.8581% (+$25.73)

        Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.8%
        Previous Month: 62.9%
        12 Months Previous: 62.9%

        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 April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $26.84 [+0.1493%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 67 cents, or  [2.5602%]. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $22.51 [+0.2226%] in April.

        The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised down from +326,000 to +324,000, and the change for March was revised up from +103,000 to +135,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 30,000 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 208,000 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."


        Labels: , , , , , ,


        >  SITEMAP  <

        www.FedPrimeRate.com
        Entire Website © 2018 FedPrimeRate.comSM


        This website is neither affiliated nor associated with The United States Federal Reserve in any way.
        Information in this website is provided for educational purposes only. The owners of this website
        make no warranties with respect to any and all content contained within this website. Consult a
        financial professional before making important decisions related to any investment or loan
        product, including, but not limited to, business loans, personal loans, education loans, first
        or second mortgages, credit cards, car loans or any type of insurance.