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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for July 2018

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

Predicted: 127.0
Actual: 127.4

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Previous Month (revised): 127.1.
 
  •  Change from Previous Month: +0.236% (+0.3 point)
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The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From Today's Report:

"...'Consumer confidence gained marginal ground in July, after a modest decline in June,' said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions improved, suggesting that economic growth is still strong. However, while expectations continue to reflect optimism in the short-term economic outlook, back-to-back declines suggest consumers do not foresee growth accelerating.'

Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved further in July. Those stating business conditions are 'good' increased from 37.2 percent to 38.0 percent, while those saying business conditions are 'bad' declined from 11.5 percent to 10.1 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more favorable. Those claiming jobs are 'plentiful' increased from 40.4 percent to 43.1 percent, while those claiming jobs are 'hard to get' was virtually unchanged at 15.0 percent.

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook waned again in July. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 20.7 percent to 23.1 percent, but those expecting business conditions will worsen also rose, from 9.3 percent to 10.8 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 20.0 percent to 22.5 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs also increased, from 13.1 percent to 15.7 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement rose from 19.7 percent to 20.8 percent, but the proportion expecting a decrease also rose, from 7.9 percent to 9.2 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.


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Employment Cost Index for Q2, 2018

The Employment Cost Index (ECI) for the second quarter of 2018 was released by The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Predicted: +0.7%
Actual: +0.6%


  • Reading from previous quarter: +0.8%
     
  • Change from 12 months previous (Y/Y): +2.8%


The yellow-highlighter figure represents the seasonally adjusted, quarter-to-quarter change for the ECI, which is the Labor Department's broadest measure of employee-compensation costs, and includes wages, salaries and benefits.

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  • Wages and Salaries: +0.5%

  • Change from 12 months previous (Y/Y): +2.8% 

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  • Benefits: +0.9%

  • Change from 12 months previous (Y/Y): +2.9% 

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From the Labor Department website:


"...The Employment Cost Index (ECI) measures the change in the cost of labor, free from the influence of employment shifts among occupations and industries..."

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Employment Cost Index - Q2, 2018 Update
Employment Cost Index - Q2, 2018 Update

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  • The ECI report for September 2018 will be released on October 31, 2018.



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

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

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

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

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  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars:  +0.4%
  • Disposable Personal Income, 2012 Chained* Dollars +0.3% 

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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.


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Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.2%
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.9%
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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.

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


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*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 2012 as the base year.


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Friday, July 27, 2018

Consumer Sentiment: Final Result for July 2018

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

Predicted: 97.1
Actual: 97.9

  • Change from Previous Month: -0.305% (-0.3 point)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +4.818% (+4.5 points)

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Previous Month's Final ICS Reading: 98.2

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From today's report:


"...Consumer sentiment posted a trivial 0.3 point one-month decline, remaining a half of an Index-point or less from the average in the prior twelve months (97.7) or since the start of 2017 (97.4). Despite the expectation of higher inflation and higher interest rates during the year ahead, consumers have kept their confidence at high levels due to favorable job and income prospects. This mix of positive and negative expectations is similar to past expansions, and, as in the past, it will prevail as long as increases in inflation and interest rate hikes remain modest. What is unique about the current situation is the potential impact of tariffs on the domestic economy.

Concerns about tariffs greatly accelerated in the July survey. Across all households, 35% spontaneously mentioned that the tariffs would have a negative economic impact in July, up from 21% in June and 15% in May. Consumers who had negative concerns about the tariffs voiced a much more pessimistic economic outlook, had inflation expectations that were 0.6 percentage points higher than those who hadn't mentioned tariffs, and were more likely to anticipate that the unemployment rate would rise during the year ahead. Of course, these negative economic expectations could quickly disappear if the trade issues with Europe are promptly settled and immediately followed by agreements with China, Canada, and Mexico. Resolution is critical to forestall decreases in consumer discretionary spending as a precaution against a worsening economy..."

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The ICS is derived from the following five survey questions:

  1. "We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?"


  2. "Now looking ahead, do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now?"


  3. "Now turning to business conditions in the country as a whole, do you think that during the next twelve months we'll have good times financially, or bad times, or what?"


  4. "Looking ahead, which would you say is more likely: that in the country as a whole we'll have continuous good times during the next five years or so, or that we will have periods of widespread unemployment or depression, or what?"


  5. "About the big things people buy for their homes, such as furniture, a refrigerator, stove, television, and things like that. Generally speaking, do you think now is a good or bad time for people to buy major household items?"

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The ICS uses a 1966 baseline, i.e. for 1966, the ICS = 100. So any number that is below the 1966 baseline of 100 means that the folks who were polled recently aren't as optimistic about the U.S. economy as the sample that was polled back in 1966.

The ICS is similar to the Consumer Confidence Index in that they both measure consumer attitudes and offer valuable insight into consumer spending.

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

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Gross Domestic Product (GDP): First Estimate for Q2, 2018

The U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Advance" (first estimate) report for the second quarter of 2018 was released this morning by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA):

Predicted: +4.2%
Actual: +4.1%

The yellow-highlighted figure represents the quarter-to-quarter change in real gross domestic product for the entire United States.

The GDP is the broadest measure of economic activity in the entire United States, covering all sectors of the economy.

The "advance" estimate is based on data that are subject to future revision.

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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - Q2 2018 - First Estimate
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - Q2 2018 - First Estimate

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  • On August 29, 2018, the Commerce Department will release a "preliminary" GDP report for Q2 2018, which will contain a second estimate (more accurate data.)

  • On September 27, 2018, a "final" GDP report will be released by the BEA, which will contain the government's third and best estimate for Q2 2018.

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Durable Goods Orders During June 2018

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

Predicted: +3.2%
Actual: $251,884,000,000 (+$2,482,000,000 [+0.995%])

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  • May 2018: $249,402,000,000 (-$700,000,000 [-0.283%])
 
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Durable Goods Orders - June 2018 Update
Durable Goods Orders - June 2018 Update

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The yellow-highlighted figures represent the dollar amount of new orders for durable or hard goods for immediate or future delivery from U.S. manufacturers, along with both the dollar and month-to-month percentage change.

Examples of durable goods: cars, airplanes, computers, furniture -- items that are built to last at least three years.





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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 21, 2018

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 21, 2018:

Predicted: 219,000
Actual: 217,000

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): 208,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 218,000
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

New Home Sales During June 2018

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

Predicted: 668,000
Actual New Home Sales: 631,000

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Change from One Month Previous: -5.3%

Change from One Year Previous: +2.4%

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Median Price for a New Home during June 2018: $302,100

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Average Price for a New Home during June 2018: $363,300


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New Home Sales - June 2018 Update
New Home Sales - June 2018 Update

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Compiled jointly by the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the yellow-highlighted figure above is the seasonally adjusted and annualized number of newly-built homes with committed buyers for the indicated month.

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

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



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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 20, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 20, 2018 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -6,100,000 Barrels

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -78,500,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 404,900,000 Barrels

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

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


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Monday, July 23, 2018

Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) for June 2018

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

Predicted: +0.23
Actual (CFNAI): +0.43

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.

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  • Previous Month (revised): -0.45
  • 3-Month Moving Average (CFNAI-MA3): +0.16
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Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index with Business Cycles - June 2018 Update
Chicago Fed National Activity Index with Business Cycles - June 2018 Update

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From Today's Report

"...Index Points To A Rebound In Economic Growth In June

Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) rebounded to +0.43 in June from –0.45 in May. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from May, and three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in June. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, edged up to +0.16 in June from +0.10 in May..."
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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.

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Existing Home Sales During June 2018

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

Predicted: 5,440,000
Actual: 5,380,000

  •  Change from Previous Month: -0.6%

  •  Change from One Year Previous: -2.2%
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Inventory: 1,950,000 (4.3 months supply)

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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.

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Median Price for A Used Home During June: $276,900 (All-Time Record High.)

Change from One Year Previous: +5.2%

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Average Price for A Used Home During June: $314,900 (All-Time Record High Match with The June 2017 Figure.)

Change from One Year Previous: +3.8%

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

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Leading Economic Index for June 2018

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

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Index for June: 109.8 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.457%

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  • May 2018 Reading: 109.3 (No Change)

  • April 2018 Reading: 109.3 (+0.367%)

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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™

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Leading Economic Index - June 2018 Update
Leading Economic Index - June 2018 Update

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From Today's Report:

"...'The U.S. LEI increased in June, pointing to continuing solid growth in the U.S. economy,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. 'The widespread growth in leading indicators, with the exception of housing permits which declined once again, does not suggest any considerable growth slowdown in the short-term.'..."
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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 14, 2018

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 14, 2018:

Predicted: 220,000
Actual: 207,000

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): 215,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 220,500
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From today's report:

"...the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 207,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since December 6, 1969 when it was 202,000..."

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 13, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 13, 2018 was released this morning:

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

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -79,500,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 411,100,000 Barrels

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

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



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Housing Starts During June 2018

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

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,320,000
Actual: 1,173,000

Change From Previous Month: -12.3%
Change From One Year Previous: -4.2%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,329,000
Actual: 1,273,000

Change From Previous Month: -2.2%
Change From One Year Previous: -3.0%

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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 - June 2018 - USA
Housing Starts - June 2018 - USA

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization During June 2018

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

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

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.8%
Actual: +0.8%

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 0.6 percent in June after declining 0.5 percent in May. For the second quarter as a whole, industrial production advanced at an annual rate of 6.0 percent, its third consecutive quarterly increase. Manufacturing output moved up 0.8 percent in June. The production of motor vehicles and parts rebounded last month after truck assemblies fell sharply in May because of a disruption at a parts supplier. Factory output, aside from motor vehicles and parts, increased 0.3 percent in June. The index for mining rose 1.2 percent and surpassed the level of its previous historical peak (December 2014); the output of utilities moved down 1.5 percent. At 107.7 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.8 percent higher in June than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.3 percentage point in June to 78.0 percent, a rate that is 1.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average..."



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Monday, July 16, 2018

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

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

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.485% (+$2,447,000,000)

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.

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-- Previous Month (revised): +1.319%

-- Estimated Retail Sales During June 2018: $506,787,000,000

-- Change from 12 Months Previous: +6.6% (+$31,372,000,000)

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

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Import and Export Price Indexes for June 2018

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

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

Change From 12 Months Previous: +4.3%

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

Change From 12 Months Previous: +5.3%

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The above percentages, highlighted in yellow, represent the month-to-month change in prices for:

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the United States.
  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the USA and sold in other countries.

Together, these indexes offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.



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Thursday, July 12, 2018

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 7, 2018

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 7, 2018:

Predicted: 225,000
Actual: 214,000

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): 232,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 223,000
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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June 2018

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

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Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.9%)

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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: +2.3%)

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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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Consumer Price Index (CPI) - June 2018
Consumer Price Index (CPI) - June 2018
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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 6, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 6, 2018 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -12,600,000 Barrels

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -90,100,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 405,200,000 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 June 2018

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%

Change from 12 months previous: +3.4%

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

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.3%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.8%

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

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

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

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




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Friday, July 06, 2018

Employment Situation Report for June 2018

The Employment Situation Report for June 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: +213,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 4.0%
Previous Month: 3.8%
12 Months Previous: 4.3%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 7.8%
Previous Month: 7.6%
12 Months Previous: 8.5%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.1857% (+$0.05)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +2.8%
Actual: +2.742% (+$0.72)

Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +3.041% (+$27.47)

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.9%
Previous Month: 62.7%
12 Months Previous: 62.8%

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 June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents to $26.98 [+0.1857%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 72 cents, or [+2.742%]. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $22.62 [+0.1771%] in June.


The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised up from +159,000 to +175,000, and the change for May was revised up from +223,000 to +244,000. With these revisions, employment gains in April and May combined were 37,000 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
211,000 per month 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, July 05, 2018

    Monthly U.S. Treasury Yield Curve - June 2018

    The Monthly U.S. Treasury Yield Curve for June 2018:

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

    Monthly U.S. Treasury Yield Curve - June 2018
    Monthly U.S. Treasury Yield Curve - June 2018

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

    • 1 MONTH: 1.81%
    • 3 MONTH: 1.94%
    • 6 MONTH: 2.11%
    • 1 YEAR: 2.33%
    • 2 YEAR: 2.53%
    • 3 YEAR: 2.65%
    • 5 YEAR: 2.78%
    • 7 YEAR: 2.87%
    • 10 YEAR: 2.91%
    • 20 YEAR: 2.98%
    • 30 YEAR: 3.05%

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



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    Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 29, 2018

    The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 29, 2018 was released this morning:

    -- Change from Last Week: +1,200,000 Barrels

    -- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -85,000,000 Barrels

    -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 417,900,000 Barrels

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

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


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

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

    Predicted: 58.4%
    Actual: 59.1%

    ==========

    Previous month: 58.6%

    ==========

    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 June for the 101st 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:

    •         'Tariffs, freight [issues] and labor shortages continue to have an inflationary influence on costs.'
      (Construction)

    •     'Positive outlook — business activity on the uptick.'
      (Finance and Insurance)

    •     'Shortage of IV solutions and drugs continues to be an issue.'
      (Health Care and Social Assistance)

    •     'Crude prices are causing concern, as it is a driver in newsprint inks. Tariffs on paper and aluminum are causing apprehension about future pricing. Suppliers are posturing and threatening price increases, and we are doing our best to reject increases.'
      (Information)

    •     'Trade tariffs are creating price uncertainty.'
      (Management of Companies and Support Services)

    •     'Domestically, we are still experiencing a shortage of transportation providers that is getting worse each month when retiring drivers or drivers moving into other opportunities are not being replaced. Internationally, there is a shortage of flat racks [that] has caused late shipments. The tariffs on steel and aluminum have also had some negative effects on our supply of material, but we have applied for exemptions.'
      (Other Services)

    •     'Oil price stabilization has led to increased hiring in some sectors of the industry, as well as a small increase in major capital projects for offshore drilling companies. Oil-field services hiring continues to be strong, as does hiring and capital spending in the petrochemical and downstream sectors of the industry.'
      (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)

    •     'Commodity prices [are] increasing due to demand and transportation costs.'
      (Public Administration)

    •     'Sales have remained strong and are continuing to increase. Currently, we are on pace for a top-line record. The bottom line is more flat, as we have been fighting commodity cost increases and exchange-rate variances throughout the first half of 2018.'
      (Retail Trade)

    •     'Wire sales improve as contractors ramp up with the rise in copper. We’re seeing ongoing price increases in nearly all commodities due to higher freight expenses by manufacturers and shortage of truck drivers.'
      (Wholesale Trade)


    ==========

    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) History - June 2018 Update
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) History - June 2018 Update


    ==========



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    New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of June 30, 2018

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on June 30, 2018:

    Predicted: 223,000
    Actual: 231,000

    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): 228,000
    • 4-Week Moving Average: 224,500
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    Tuesday, July 03, 2018

    U.S. Factory Orders During May 2018

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

    Predicted: 0.0%
    Actual: +0.356%


    ========


    • May 2018 New Orders: $498,174,000,000.

    • April 2018 New Orders (revised): -0.408% ($496,409,000,000.)

    ========

    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 - May 2018 Update
    U.S. Factory Orders - May 2018 Update


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    Monday, July 02, 2018

    Construction Spending During May 2018

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

    Predicted: +0.6%
    Actual: +0.383% (+$5,000,000,000)

    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 May 2018: $1,309,500,000,000.

    • April 2018 (revised): $1,304,500,000,000.
       
    • Change from 12 months previous: +4.459% (+$55,900,000,000.)

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

    Construction Spending - May 2018 Update
    Construction Spending - May 2018 Update

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




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    United States Treasury Yield Curve, Monthly: June 2017 / January 2018 / June 2018.

    United States Treasury yield curve, monthly: June 2017 / January 2018 / June 2018.

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


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

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    ISM Manufacturing Index for June 2018

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

    Predicted: 58.5%
    Actual: 60.2%

    =========

    Previous month: 58.7%

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    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 June, and the overall economy grew for the 110th 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:



    •       “Business is strong in all regions. Materials are tight. Trucking continues to be a major challenge.”
       (Chemical Products)

    •     “Strong economic growth continues to put pressure/strain on capacity, lead time, availability and pricing across a broadening array of commodities and components.”
       (Computer and Electronic Products)

    •     “U.S. tariff policy and lack of predictability, along with [the] threat of trade wars, [is a] causing general business instability and [is] drag on growth for investments.”
        (Electrical Equipment, Appliances and Components)

    •     “Electronic component supply issues continue to disrupt production.”
       (Transportation Equipment)

    •     “We export to more than 100 countries. We are preparing to shift some customer responsibilities among manufacturing plants and business units due to trade issues (for example, we’ll shift production for China market from the U.S. to our Canadian plant to avoid higher tariffs). Within our company, there is a sense of uncertainty due to potential trade wars.”
       (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

    •     “The Section 232 steel tariffs are now impacting domestic steel prices and capacity. Base steel prices have already increased 20 percent since March.”
       (Fabricated Metal Products)

    •     “Transportation costs are going through the roof right now, which definitely impacts the decisions we’re making with regard to quantities we’re bringing in versus truckload and LTL.”
       (Furniture and Related Products)

    •     “The economy and product demand still continue to be strong. Having trouble finding people [to fill] blue collar positions. Lead times for parts and materials are moving out, and we are seeing commodity cost pressures increases with the threat of tariffs. Additionally, suppliers are asking for more price increases.”
       (Machinery)

    •     “The uncertainty of U.S. tariffs and the Canada/Mexico/E.U. retaliatory tariffs continues to cloud strategic planning efforts. Contingency planning (for tariffs) is consuming large amounts of manpower that could be used for more productive projects. The tariffs are improving margins in our raw material businesses; however, our businesses which are further up the supply chain are seeing significant inflation.”
       (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

    •     "The steel tariffs continue to drive uncertainty. Projects and services using steel have limited days that prices are good for. Trucking is tight, requiring advanced planning and increasing costs.”
       (Paper Products)


     =========


    ISM Manufacturing Index History - June 2018
    ISM Manufacturing Index History - June 2018

    =========



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