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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of October 12, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on October 12, 2018 was released this morning: 

-- Change from Last Week: +6,500,000 Barrels

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -40,000,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 416,400,000 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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Monday, October 15, 2018

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

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

Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.104% (+$527,000,000)

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 September 2018: $509,041,000,000

-- Change from 12 Months Previous: +4.719% (+$22,938,000,000)

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Chart: Retail Sales - September 2018 Update
Chart: Retail Sales - September 2018 Update


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Friday, October 12, 2018

All 3 Major Stock Market Indices Lost Ground On The Week

Summary of U.S. Markets for the Week Ending October 12, 2018:

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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed @ 25,339.99:

- lost 1,107.06 points (-4.186%) on the week.
- lost 1,488.40  points (-5.548%) since the October 3, 2018 record-high close (26,828.39.)

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S and P 500 Index closed @ 2,767.13:

- lost 118.44 points (-4.105%) on the week.
- lost 163.62 points (-5.583%) since the September 20, 2018 record-high close (2,930.75.)

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NASDAQ Composite Index closed @ 7,496.89:

- lost 291.56 points (-3.743%) on the week.
- lost 612.80 points (-7.556%) since the August 29, 2018 record-high close (8,109.69.)

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- NYMEX Crude Oil for Future Delivery closed @ $71.34 per barrel

- Comex Gold for December 2018 delivery closed @ $1,222.00 per troy ounce

- In New York, a U.S. dollar buys 0.8651 euros

- In New York, a Euro buys 1.1560 U.S. dollars

- The United States Prime Rate is 5.25%

- The Target Range for the Fed Funds Rate is 2.00% - 2.25%

- The yield on the 10-Year Treasury Note is currently @ 3.15%


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Chart: Standard and Poor's 500 Index - October 12, 2018 Update
Chart: Standard and Poor's 500 Index - October 12, 2018 Update

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Closing Currency Cross Rates - October 12, 2018
Closing Currency Cross Rates - October 12, 2018

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Import and Export Price Indexes for September 2018

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

Import Prices
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.5%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +3.5%

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

Change From 12 Months Previous: +2.7%

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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, October 11, 2018

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of October 5, 2018

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

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

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

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 410,000,000 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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of October 6, 2018

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

Predicted: 207,000
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 (unrevised): 207,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 209,500
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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September 2018

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

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Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.3%)

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.2%)

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

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.6%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.5%

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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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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for September 2018

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

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Predicted: 108.0
Actual: 107.9

  • Change from Previous Month: -0.827% (-0.9 point)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +4.757% (+4.9 points)

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The previous month's SBOI reading was 108.8.

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Chart: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - September 2018 Update
Chart: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - September 2018 Update

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Chart: NFIB Small Business Outlook - September 2018 Update
Chart: NFIB Small Business Outlook - September 2018 Update

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From Today's Report (note text in bold):


"...The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index continued its historic 23-month positive trend, with a reading of 107.9 in September, the third highest reading in the survey’s 45-year history. In the small business half of the economy, 2018 has produced 45-year record high measures of job openings, hiring plans, actual job creation, compensation increases (actual and planned), profit growth, and inventory investment.

The September 2018 Survey Showed:

-- Actual capital spending in the past few months rose significantly.

-- Average employment change per firm was solid.

-- Owners bulked up inventories.

-- Compensation increases set a new record.


'This is the longest streak of small business optimism in history, evidence that tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks are paying off for the economy as a whole,' said NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan. 'Our members say that business is booming and prospects continue to look bright.'

Actual investment spending improved as prospects for the economy remain strong. Sixty percent of owners reported capital outlays, up four points from August. Of those making expenditures, 41 percent reported spending on new equipment (up two points), 26 percent acquired vehicles (up four points), and 16 percent improved or expanded facilities (down two points).

Consumer spending temporarily slowed in August, likely producing excess inventories but has picked up again which will reverse the build-up. The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes rose three points to a net 29 percent of owners. Owners reporting inventory increases rose one point to a net five percent (seasonally adjusted). Strong expectations for higher real sales translate into higher expected returns on capital investments as well as a need for more employees.

'The economy continues to deliver a spectacular performance for one so near its record length. Small business owners continue to face labor force challenges but are increasing compensation to keep up,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'With profits and investment remaining strong, our hope is that policymakers will stay the course and not screw around with success.'

A record net 37 percent of owners reported raising overall compensation, as reported in last week’s NFIB monthly jobs report. This surpasses the previous record of a net 35 percent in May 2018. Twenty-four percent plan to increase total compensation at their firm and six percent plan reductions. Sixty-one percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire, with 87 percent of those reporting few or no qualified workers. Thirty-eight percent of owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, unchanged from last month..."

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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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Friday, October 05, 2018

Employment Situation Report for September 2018

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

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +180,000
Actual: +134,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 3.7%
Previous Month: 3.9%
12 Months Previous: 4.2%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 7.5%
Previous Month: 7.4%
12 Months Previous: 8.3%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.295% (+$0.08)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +2.9%
Actual: +2.754% (+$0.73)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: +0.295% (+$2.76)


Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +3.353% (+$30.49)

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.7%
Previous Month: 62.7%
12 Months Previous: 63.0%

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 September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 8 cents to $27.24 [+0.295%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 73 cents, or [+2.754%]. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $22.81 [+0.264%] in September.


The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised up from +147,000 to +165,000, and the change for August was revised up from +201,000 to +270,000. With these revisions,
employment gains in July and August combined were 87,000 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 190,000 per month over the last 3 months..." [Establishment Survey Data]
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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, October 04, 2018

U.S. Factory Orders During August 2018

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

Predicted: +2.1%
Actual: +2.313% (+$11,541,000,000)


  • August 2018 New Orders: $510,466,000,000.

  • July 2018 New Orders (revised): $498,925,000,000 (-0.536% | -$2,687,000,000)

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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.

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U.S. Factory Orders - August 2018 Update
U.S. Factory Orders - August 2018 Update
 
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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of September 29, 2018

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on September 29, 2018:

Predicted: 213,000
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: 207,000
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Wednesday, October 03, 2018

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

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

Predicted: 58.0%
Actual: 61.6% (+3.1 points | +5.3% M/M Change)

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Previous month: 58.5%

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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).

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From today' report:

"...Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in June for the 104TH consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®..."

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Here's a sampling of comments made by survey participants:

  •     '[Additional] logistics costs, both inbound and distribution, caused by increased governmental regulation, and a shortage of class-A drivers is leading to a significant increase in [the] cost of goods [sold].'
     (Accommodation and Food Services)

  •     'New residential construction market is still strong, with a good backlog of orders. Labor shortages and tariffs on materials continue to negatively weigh on earnings.'
     (Construction)

  •     'Economy continues to exhibit strength. New construction, both residential and commercial, abounds. Harvest [is] about over. Overall, results appear promising. Every day is a bit better than the last.'
     (Finance and Insurance)

  •     'Business activity has been slightly higher than normal, though pharmaceutical costs continue to put pressure on profitability.'
     (Health Care and Social Assistance)

  •     'Starting peak holiday season ramp-up, [with] heavy importing. Building inventories of finished goods, replacement parts and supplies. Outlook very positive for [the] holidays and 2019.'
     (Information)

  •     'Business generally remains strong, with new services being implemented.'
     (Management of Companies and Support Services)

  •     'Prices and supply have flattened, and tariff concerns have subsided for our business [at least for the duration of 2018]. Things seems to be stabilizing.'
     (Mining)

  •     'Overall positive outlook in the economy continues, but we are cautious due to limitations in available manpower.'
     (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)

  •     'Business activity is up sharply due to the rush of purchase requests received prior to fiscal year 2018 funds expiring on September 30.'
     (Public Administration)

  •     'Our general state of business is strong, but there is a lot of uncertainty [about] the pending tariffs. This may cause a shift [in] production sites.'
     (Retail Trade)

  •     'Import tariffs on steel, plywood, and [other] lumber are inflating prices, which are difficult to pass along to the end user due to competitive pressures. Labor and trucking shortages are affecting the industry. Low finished goods inventory is inflating home prices and causing buyers to delay purchases.'
     (Wholesale Trade)



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

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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of September 28, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on September 28, 2018 was released this morning: 

-- Change from Last Week: +8,000,000 Barrels

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -61,000,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 404,000,000 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, October 01, 2018

ISM Manufacturing Index for September 2018

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

Predicted: 59.9%
Actual: 59.8% (-1.5 points | -2.45% M/M Change)

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Previous month: 61.3%

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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.

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From Today's Report:

"...Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in June, and the overall economy grew for the 113th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®..."
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The following is a sampling of quotes from a diverse pool of U.S. manufacturers:



  •     'The market is in a state of chaos with the latest round of tariffs. As an electronics original equipment manufacturer, our component prices have been impacted almost across the board. The tariffs have caused a mass rush to buy up inventories of affected products in order to minimize the long-term financial impact. This, in turn, is causing market constraints, which further drive up the cost and increase lead times.'
     (Computer and Electronic Products)

  •     'Tariffs starting to take a bite out of profitability.'
     (Chemical Products)

  •     'Business is strong and relatively stable. Tariffs are putting pressure on Chinese imports. Labor rates are increasing as it is very difficult to find help.'
     (Furniture and Related Products)

  •     'The economy's strength is holding [and] outlook for the industry is positive, although continuing margin compression in consumer packaged goods is restricting general growth momentum from the greater economy.'
     (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

  •     'Still extremely strong through November; starting to see a decline for steel prices for December.'
     (Fabricated Metal Products)

  •     'General available capacity at suppliers continues to decrease, creating supply issues.'
     (Machinery)

  •     'Tariffs are creating a drag on some of our export opportunities.'
     (Plastics and Rubber Products)

  •     'Sourcing hourly workers for remote locations continues to be a challenge for both full-time and part-time opportunities. Have implemented a wide variety of recruiting techniques and suppliers to aid us in sourcing this hard-to-find talent.'
     (Paper Products)

  •     'Orders are coming in, but from a limited number of customers. The future looks very promising.'
     (Primary Metals)

  •     'Suppliers are impacted by China tariffs, [which is] delaying or cancelling manufacturing transfer projects.'
     (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)


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ISM Manufacturing Index History - September 2018 Update
ISM Manufacturing Index History - September 2018 Update

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