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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, August 17, 2018

Leading Economic Index for July 2018

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

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Index for July: 110.7 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.636%

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  • June 2018 Reading: 110.0 (+0.548%)

  • May 2018 Reading: 109.4 (+0.091%)

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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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Chart: Leading Economic Index - July 2018 Update
Chart: Leading Economic Index - July 2018 Update

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From Today's Report:

"...'The U.S. LEI increased in July, suggesting the US economy will continue expanding at a solid pace for the remainder of this year,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. 'The strengths among the components of the leading index were very widespread, with unemployment claims, the financial components, and the ISM® New Orders Index making the largest positive contributions.'..."

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    Thursday, August 16, 2018

    Housing Starts During July 2018

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

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    Housing Starts:
    Predicted: 1,271,000
    Actual: 1,168,000

    Change From Previous Month: +0.9%
    Change From One Year Previous: -1.4%

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    Building Permits:
    Predicted: 1,307,000
    Actual: 1,311,000

    Change From Previous Month: +1.5%
    Change From One Year Previous: +4.2%

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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 - July 2018 Update
    Housing Starts - July 2018 Update

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    New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of August 11, 2018

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on August 11, 2018:

    Predicted: 215,000
    Actual: 212,000

    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): 214,000
    • 4-Week Moving Average: 215,500
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    Wednesday, August 15, 2018

    Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of August 10, 2018

    The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on August 10, 2018 was released this morning:

    -- Change from Last Week: +6,800,000 Barrels

    -- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -52,300,000 Barrels

    -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 414,200,000 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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    Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization During July 2018

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

    Industrial Production:
    Predicted: +0.3%
    Actual: +0.1%

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

    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: 78.2%
    Actual: 78.1

    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 up 0.1 percent in July after rising at an average pace of 0.5 percent over the previous five months. Manufacturing production increased 0.3 percent, the output of utilities moved down 0.5 percent, and, after posting five consecutive months of growth, the index for mining declined 0.3 percent. At 108.0 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.2 percent higher in July than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was unchanged in July at 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average..."



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    Productivity and Labor Costs Report for Q2 2018 (Preliminary)

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

    Nonfarm Productivity
    Predicted: +2.5%
    Actual: +2.9%

    Change from A Year Ago: +1.3%

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    Unit Labor Costs
    Predicted: -0.2%
    Actual: -0.9%

    Change from A Year Ago: +1.9%

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    The yellow-highlighted percentages 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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    U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for July 2018

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

    Predicted: +0.1%
    Actual: +0.5119% (+$2,585,000,000)

    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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    -- Estimated Retail Sales During July 2018: $507,533,000,000

    -- Change from 12 Months Previous: +6.41% (+$30,572,000,000)

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    -- Previous Month (revised): +0.197% (+$993,000,000)

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    Chart: Retail Sales - July 2018 Update
    Chart: Retail Sales - July 2018 Update

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    Tuesday, August 14, 2018

    Import and Export Price Indexes for July 2018

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

    Import Prices
    Predicted: +0.1%
    Actual: Unchanged (0.0%)

    Change From 12 Months Previous: +4.8%

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    Export Prices
    Predicted: +0.2%
    Actual: -0.5%

    Change From 12 Months Previous: +4.3%

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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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    Friday, August 10, 2018

    Consumer Price Index (CPI) for July 2018

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

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    Predicted: +0.2%
    Actual: +0.2%

    (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: +2.4%)

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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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    Chart: Consumer Price Index (CPI) - July 2018 Update
    Chart: Consumer Price Index (CPI) - July 2018 Update

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    Thursday, August 09, 2018

    New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of August 4, 2018

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on August 4, 2018:

    Predicted: 220,000
    Actual: 213,000

    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): 219,000
    • 4-Week Moving Average: 214,250
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    Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for July 2018

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

    Predicted: +0.3%
    Actual: Unchanged (0.0%)

    Change from 12 months previous: +3.3%

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

    Predicted: +0.3%
    Actual: +0.1%

    Change from 12 months previous: +2.7%

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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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    Wednesday, August 08, 2018

    Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of August 3, 2018

    The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on August 3, 2018 was released this morning:

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

    -- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -68,000,000 Barrels

    -- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 407,400,000 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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    Tuesday, August 07, 2018

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

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

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    Job Openings

    Predicted: 6,650,000
    Actual:    6,662,000

    • Previous Month (revised): 6,659,000

    • One Year Previous: 6,125,000

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    Hires: 5,651,000

    Total Separations: 5,502,000

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    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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    Friday, August 03, 2018

    Employment Situation Report for July 2018

    The Employment Situation Report for July 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: +157,000


    U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
    Actual: 3.9%
    Previous Month: 4.0%
    12 Months Previous: 4.3%

    U-6 Unemployment Rate*
    Actual: 7.5%
    Previous Month: 7.8%
    12 Months Previous: 8.5%



    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.


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     * =  The U-6 Unemployment Rate is defined as:

    "Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force."




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    Thursday, August 02, 2018

    New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 28, 2018

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 28, 2018:

    Predicted: 218,000
    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 (unrevised): 217,000
    • 4-Week Moving Average: 214,500
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