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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 15, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 15, 2018 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -5,900,000 Barrels

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -82,600,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 426,500,000 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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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Housing Starts During May 2018

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

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

Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,320,000
Actual: 1,350,000

Change From Previous Month: +5.0%
Change From One Year Previous: +20.3%

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

Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,350,000
Actual: 1,301,000

Change From Previous Month: -4.6%
Change From One Year Previous: +8.0%

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Housing Starts: The top, yellow-highlighted figure is a measure of initial construction of single and multi-family residential units in the United States for the indicated month.  Seasonally adjusted annual rate.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

If you're wondering about the demand for new homes in the United States, or about the American 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.


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Housing Starts - May 2018 - USA
Housing Starts - May 2018 - USA
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Friday, June 15, 2018

Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization During May 2018

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

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.1%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.7%

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: 78.0%
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 edged down 0.1 percent in May after rising 0.9 percent in April. Manufacturing production fell 0.7 percent in May, largely because truck assemblies were disrupted by a major fire at a parts supplier. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, factory output moved down 0.2 percent. The index for mining rose 1.8 percent, its fourth consecutive month of growth; the output of utilities moved up 1.1 percent. At 107.3 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.5 percent higher in May than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.2 percentage point in May to 77.9 percent, a rate that is 1.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average..."



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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Import and Export Price Indexes for May 2018

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

Import Prices
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.6%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +4.3%

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

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

Change From 12 Months Previous: +4.9%

===============
 
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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of June 9, 2018

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on June 9, 2018:

Predicted: 225,000
Actual: 218,000

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): 222,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 224,250
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U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for May 2018

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

Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.823% (+$4,000,000,000)

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): +0.4%

-- Estimated Retail Sales During May 2018: $502,000,000,000

-- Change from 12 Months Previous: +5.9%

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

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


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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 8, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 8, 2018 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -4,100,000 Barrels

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -79,100,000 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).



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

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

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.5%

Change from 12 months previous: +3.1%

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

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.4%

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

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

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

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

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



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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Cleveland Fed's Latest Estimate of 10-Year Expected Inflation Is 2.04%

From the Cleveland Fed website:

Latest Inflation Expectations Model Release (June 12, 2018)

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland reports that its latest estimate of 10-year expected inflation is 2.04 percent. In other words, the public currently expects the inflation rate to be above 2 percent on average over the next decade.

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Latest Estimate of 10-Year Expected Inflation
Latest Estimate of 10-Year Expected Inflation

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NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for May 2018

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

=========

Predicted: 105.2
Actual: 107.8

  • Change from Previous Month: +2.863% (+3.0 points)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +3.158% (+3.3 points)

=========

The previous month's SBOI reading was 104.8.

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NFIB - Small Business Optimism Index - May 2018
NFIB - Small Business Optimism Index - May 2018

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NFIB - Small Business Outlook - May 2018
NFIB - Small Business Outlook - May 2018

=========

From today's report (note text in bold):


"...The Small Business Optimism Index increased in May to the second highest level in the NFIB survey’s 45-year history. The index rose to 107.8, a three-point gain, with small businesses reporting high numbers in several key areas including compensation, profits, and sales trends.

'Main Street optimism is on a stratospheric trajectory thanks to recent tax cuts and regulatory changes. For years, owners have continuously signaled that when taxes and regulations ease, earnings and employee compensation increase,' said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan.

The May report hit several records:
 -- Compensation increases hit a 45-year high at a record net 35 percent.
 -- Positive earnings trends reached a survey high at a net three percent.

 -- Positive sales trends are at the highest level since 1995.

 -- Expansion plans are the most robust in survey history.

In another interesting marker, a net 19 percent of small business owners are planning price increases, the highest since 2008 and a signal of a strong economy. A net three percent reported positive profit trends, up four points and the best reading in the survey’s history. In addition, a net 15 percent reported higher nominal sales in the past three months, up an astonishing seven points and the sixth consecutive strong month for sales.

'Small business owners are continuing an 18-month streak of unprecedented optimism which is leading to more hiring and raising wages,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'While they continue to face challenges in hiring qualified workers, they now have more resources to commit to attracting candidates.'

Small business owners continue to hire with a seasonally-adjusted net 18 percent planning to create new jobs. Twenty-nine percent of owners have job openings for skilled workers, the third highest reading since 2000. Twelve percent have job openings for unskilled workers, with the strongest demand in the transportation, travel, communications, and utilities sector. To compete in the job market, 35 percent of owners reported increases in labor compensation to attract job applicants.

The percentage of owners reporting capital outlays moved up one point to 62 percent, with 47 percent reporting spending on new equipment, 24 percent acquiring vehicles, and 16 percent improving expanded facilities. Thirty percent plan capital outlays in the next few months.

Access to credit continues as a non-issue with 37 percent of owners reporting all credit needs were satisfied and 43 percent saying they were not interested in a loan, down seven points from last month and the lowest reading since 2007. Only one percent reported that financing was their top business problem. Owners planning to build inventories rose three points to a net four percent, the nineteenth positive reading in the past 20 months.

As reported in NFIB’s May jobs report, 23 percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem, followed by taxes at 17 percent and regulations at 13 percent. Fifty-eight percent reported hiring or trying to hire, up one point from last month but 83 percent of those reported few or no qualified workers..."

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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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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May 2018

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

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.8%)

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

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.2%)

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

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.)

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

Consumer Price Index (CPI) - May 2018
Consumer Price Index (CPI) - May 2018
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    Thursday, June 07, 2018

    New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of June 2, 2018

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on June 2, 2018:

    Predicted: 225,000
    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 (revised): 223,000
    • 4-Week Moving Average: 225,500
    ========

    From today's report:


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

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    Wednesday, June 06, 2018

    Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 1, 2018

    The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 1, 2018 was released this morning:

    -- Change from Last Week: +2,100,000 Barrels

    -- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -76,600,000 Barrels

    -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 436,600,000 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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    Productivity and Labor Costs Report for Q1 2018 (Revised)

    The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this morning released its quarterly report on Productivity and Unit Labor Costs for the first quarter of 2018 (revised):

    Nonfarm Productivity
    Predicted: +0.7%
    Actual: +0.4%

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

    Unit Labor Costs
    Predicted: +2.8%
    Actual: +2.9%

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

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


    For non-farm productivity, a positive number represents an improvement in the efficiency of producing domestic goods and services in the U.S., and therefore can signify a favorable inflationary outlook, and vice versa.

    The Unit Labor Costs report measures the costs related to producing each unit of output. A positive number can be a harbinger of rising inflation, and vice versa.

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




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    Tuesday, June 05, 2018

    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for May 2018

    Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM®) released their Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for May 2018:

    Predicted: 58.0%
    Actual: 58.6%

    ==========

    Previous month: 56.8%

    ==========

    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 May for the 100th 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:

    •     “Since the last report, our foil lid supplier stated that the tariff on aluminum has caused supply interruptions and higher costs. A price increase was instituted by the supplier.”
       (Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting)

    •     “Material prices have been difficult to predict this year, and suppliers have struggled to hold prices for any extended period on quotes, specifically on lumber and lumber-related products. The instability has proven frustrating, but a larger problem is that we are starting to see longer lead times in many of the same areas that could start impacting timelines if they continue to get worse as we get into the main building season.”
       (Construction)

    •     “After a challenging 2017 that ended strong, 2018 is off to a good start. Volume from existing clients as well as new sales are up, although the growth is marginal. May is showing a continuation of the monthly growth when measured over [the] previous year, leading to optimism for the rest of 2018.”
       (Management of Companies and Support Services)

    •     “The trade discussions with NAFTA, Korea and the European Union will have critical impacts on our spend relating to steel products. Also, the potential of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal could push crude prices higher.”
       (Mining)

    •     “Business is starting to increase. We have spent two years reducing our inventories to a level to support the current business climate. Now the uptick is faster than anticipated and supply is out of alignment with demand, which is causing many stockouts and shortages, and the need to expedite inventory. In shipping, we still [are] experiencing a shortage of domestic trucking resources (especially flat beds) and international shortage of flat racks. We [are] working to minimize the impact of the tariff on steel and aluminum.”
       (Other Services)

    •     “Oil price stabilization in the (US) $60 to $70 per barrel [is] having a positive impact on hiring, both contract labor and direct employees, in the oil and gas industry and supporting industries.”
       (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)

    •     “Shortage of qualified labor and services personnel.”
       (Public Administration)

    •     “Sales over the last month have been very strong. We are still struggling with the fluctuation in commodity costs and the weakening U.S. dollar.”
       (Retail Trade)

    •     “The supply chain is shuttering because of a lack of drivers and equipment causing delays in multiple modes of transportation. The activity to adjust to this is not causing stockouts yet, and we are increasing inventory levels in anticipation of worsening conditions.”
       (Wholesale Trade)


    ==========

    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) History - May 2018
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) History - May 2018

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

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

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

    Job Openings

    Predicted: 6,543,000
    Actual:    6,698,000 (All-Time Record High*)

    • Previous Month (revised): 6,633,000

    • One Year Previous: 6,108,000

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

    Hires: 5,578,000

    Total Separations: 5,408,000

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

    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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    Monday, June 04, 2018

    U.S. Factory Orders During April 2018

    The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders -- also known as Factory Orders -- for April 2018:

    Predicted: -0.4%
    Actual: -0.8%


    ========


    • April 2018 New Orders: $494,400,000,000.

    • Previous Month (revised): +1.7% ($498,400,000,000.)

    ========

    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.

    ======== 

    U.S. Factory Orders - April 2018
    U.S. Factory Orders - April 2018
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    Friday, June 01, 2018

    ISM Manufacturing Index for May 2018

    Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) released their Manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI®) for May 2018:

    Predicted: 58.5%
    Actual: 58.7%

    =========

    Previous month: 57.3%

    =========

    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 May, and the overall economy grew for the 109th 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:



    •         “We are currently overselling our forecast and don’t see an end to the upswing in business. We are very concerned, however, about the tariffs proposed in Section 301 and are focusing on alternatives to Chinese sourcing.”
      (Transportation Equipment)

    •     “Very difficult to hire skilled and unskilled labor.”
      (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

    •     “We are concerned about the strong dollar affecting our export orders as well as the steel tariffs, which are causing domestic steel prices to rise.”
      (Fabricated Metal Products)

    •     “Strong demand from (agricultural) business; solid demand in all other business segments.”
      (Chemical Products)

    •     “Sales remain strong. Lead times and direct material costs are soaring.”
      (Machinery)

    •     “Suppliers are seeing price increases and trying to pass them on.”
      (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

    •     “Continued talk around steel tariffs has resulted in price increases for domestic line pipe, while HRC seems to be moving sideways. Temporary exemptions for allies and an agreement with South Korea have not calmed the market.”
      (Petroleum and Coal Products)

    •     “Growth seems to be coming in the construction industry, but at a slower pace than expected with delays due to weather in the U.S. Business in (Latin America) is way up, and Canada is off to a decent start.”
      (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)

    •     “Industry demand is causing price increases. Fuel prices are also on the rise, and there have been (price) increases associated with that.”
      (Primary Metals)

    •     “Severe allocation, long lead times and upward price pressure, particularly in the electronic components market, continue to hamper our ability to meet customer demand and our shipping schedule.”
      (Computer and Electronic Products)

    =========

    ISM Manufacturing Index History - May 2018
    ISM Manufacturing Index History - May 2018

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    Construction Spending During April 2018

    Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the Commerce Department -- released its Construction Spending report for April 2018:

    Predicted: +0.8%
    Actual: +1.834% (+$23,600,000)

    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.

    • Estimated construction spending during April: $1,310,400,000.

    • March (revised): $1,286,800,000.
       
    • Change from 12 months previous: +7.613% (+$92,700,000.)

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

    Construction Spending - April 2018 Update
    Construction Spending - April 2018 Update

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    Employment Situation Report for May 2018

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

    Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +190,000
    Actual: +223,000


    U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
    Actual: 3.8%
    Previous Month: 3.9%
    12 Months Previous: 4.3%

    U-6 Unemployment Rate*
    Actual: 7.6%
    Previous Month: 7.8%
    12 Months Previous: 8.4%

    Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +0.2%
    Actual: +0.298% (+$0.08)

    Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
    Predicted: +2.7%
    Actual: +2.709% (+$0.71)

    Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
    Actual: +3.008% (+$27.12)

    Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.7%
    Previous Month: 62.8%
    12 Months Previous: 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 May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 8 cents to $26.92 [+0.298%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents, or [2.709%]. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.59 [+0.311%] in May.

    The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised up from +135,000 to +155,000, and the change for April was revised down from +164,000 to +159,000. With these revisions, employment gains in March and April combined were 15,000 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
    179,000 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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