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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, December 14, 2018

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

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.229

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 November 2018: $513,531,000,000


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Thursday, December 13, 2018

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 8, 2018

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on December 8, 2018:

Predicted: 228,000
Actual: 206,000

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): 233,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 224,750
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Import and Export Price Indexes for November 2018

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

Import Prices
Predicted: -0.1%
Actual: -1.6%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +0.7%

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Export Prices
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.9%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +1.8%

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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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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November 2018

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

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Predicted: Unchanged
Actual: Unchanged 

(Change from 12 months previous: +2.2%)

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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: +2.2%)

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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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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 7, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 7, 2018 was released this morning: 

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

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -1,000,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 442,000,000 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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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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

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

Predicted: No change
Actual: +0.1%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.5%

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.3%

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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Monday, December 10, 2018

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

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

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Job Openings

Predicted: 7,000,000
Actual:    7,079,000

  • Previous Month (revised): 6,960,000

  • One Year Previous: 6,059,000

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Hires: 5,892,000

Total Separations: 5,556,000

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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, December 07, 2018

Employment Situation Report for November 2018

The Employment Situation Report for November 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: +155,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 3.7%
Previous Month: 3.7%
12 Months Previous: 4.1%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 7.6%
Previous Month: 7.4%
12 Months Previous: 8.0%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.22% (+$0.06)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +3.2%
Actual: +3.052% (+$0.81)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: -0.071% (-$0.67)


Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +2.753% (+$25.21)

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

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.5 hours
Actual: 34.4 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 November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $27.35
[+0.22%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 81 cents, or [+3.052%]. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.95 [+0.306%] in November.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised down from +250,000 to +237,000, and the change for September was revised up from +118,000 to +119,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 12,000 less 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
170,000 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, December 06, 2018

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 30, 2018

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 30, 2018 was released this morning: 

-- Change from Last Week: -7,300,000 Barrels

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): -4,900,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 443,200,000 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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ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for November 2018

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

Predicted: 59.1%
Actual: 60.7% (+0.4 point month-on-month change)

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Previous month: 60.3%

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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 November for the 106TH 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:

  •    “Relatively stable business conditions. Input costs are corn- and soy-based, so the ongoing trade dispute with China presents challenges and opportunities. The chief dilemmas are: When will the dispute be resolved, and what will the market reaction be?”
     (Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting)

  •     “Commercial construction is strong. Employment is struggling due to lack of qualified talent.”
     (Construction)

  •     “Midway through Q4, and on track for another good year. Conditions are favorable and look to remain so going into 2019.”
     (Finance and Insurance)

  •     “Business is booming. Labor costs are rising.”
     (Information)

  •     “November continues our busy season, at a higher rate than we anticipated. Both internal and supplier resources have had success gaining some ground back on backlog of orders. A large volume of orders is always expected this time of year, but this year, it has been busier than our organization and suppliers anticipated.”
     (Management of Companies and Support Services)

  •     “Business continues to improve internationally, but there is a slowdown in domestics offshore and leveling in domestic onshore, which directly affects our business. There are concerns about domestic trucking and international flat rack availability. There is also discussion of implementation of trucking e-log requirements in Mexico sometime in 2019 or 2020. That could affect our trucking providers’ lead time for delivery-support services in the Mexican region.”
     (Other Services)

  •     “The imposition of and threats to impose tariffs are having a negative effect on several capital-improvement projects in progress. The contractors have submitted change order requests for those items impacted, especially those with a steel component. The increases are not expected or budgeted for.”
     (Public Administration)

  •     “The business is preparing for the later phases of tariffs by slowing down growth and capital investment until the future becomes clearer. We are starting to pull months of inventory in before the next round of tariffs hit, so there is a lot of activity on our logistics side.”
     (Retail Trade)

  •     “We are still experiencing low service levels with transportation.”
     (Wholesale Trade)

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ISM Non-Manufacturing (Services) Index (NMI®) - 12 Month History - November 2018 Update
ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) - 12 Month History - November 2018 Update

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Productivity and Labor Costs Report for Q3 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 third quarter of 2018 (revised):

Nonfarm Productivity
Predicted: +2.3%
Actual: +2.3%

Change from A Year Ago: +1.3%

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Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: +1.1%
Actual: +0.9%

Change from A Year Ago: +0.9%

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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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  • The preliminary productivity report for Q4 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 6, 2019.
 
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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 1, 2018

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on December 1, 2018:

Predicted: 225,000
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): 235,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 228,000
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Monday, December 03, 2018

ISM Manufacturing Index for November 2018

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

Predicted: 57.2%
Actual: 59.3% (+1.6 points month-on-month change)

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Previous month: 57.7%

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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.

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From Today's Report:

"...Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November, and the overall economy grew for the 115th 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:



  •     “Shortages, longer lead times and capacity constraints [particularly in the electronic components marketplace] and tariffs continue to strain the supply chain and disrupt normal business practices and activities.”
     (Computer and Electronic Products)

  •     “Seeing a number [of] areas of slowdown that are concerning: truck market loosening [and] ISO depots full of empty containers, all signs of decreasing business activity.”
     (Chemical Products)

  •     “Production continues at increased levels.”
     (Transportation Equipment)

  •     “Labor shortages in our area are affecting production volumes.”
     (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

  •     “Trade tariffs and commodity increases have greatly affected our ability to remain competitive in the market.”
     (Machinery)

  •     “Business [orders] steady. Many customers [moving] orders up due to price increases [from commodity costs and tariffs].”
     (Furniture and Related Products)

  •     “Business remains strong. Tariffs impact is fully reflected in Q3 results, and initiatives are underway to move work out of China into other low-cost countries.”
     (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

  •     “A lack of experienced workers is having an impact on production, which impacts sourcing due to the skills gap in the manufacturing trades; particularly computer numeric controlled machinists, but also assemblers and welders. The challenge is meeting customer-delivery requirements for new and repaired equipment.”
     (Fabricated Metal Products)

  •     “Steel tariffs continue to put upward pressure on downstream materials (even when sourcing steel domestically). Long-haul trucking market seems to be normalizing after the implementation of the electronic logging requirements. Oil volatility is also beginning to make its way through downstream materials.”
     (Petroleum and Coal Products)

  •     “Continuing to increase imports in order to receive material in by the end of the year to avoid potential 25-percent tariffs.”
     (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)
     
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ISM Manufacturing Index - 12 Month History - November 2018 Update
ISM Manufacturing Index - 12 Month History - November 2018 Update

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