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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of March 15, 2019

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on  March 15, 2019 was released this morning: 

-- Change from Last Week: -9,600,000

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): +11,200,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 439,500,000 Barrels

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

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


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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of March 8, 2019

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on  March 8, 2019 was released this morning: 

-- Change from Last Week: -3,900,000

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): +18,100,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 449,100,000 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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Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for February 2019

The Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for February 2019 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

Change from 12 months previous:  +1.9%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

Change from 12 months previous:  +2.3%

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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, March 12, 2019

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February 2019

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February 2019:

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Predicted: +0.2
Actual: +0.2% 

(Change from 12 months previous: +1.5%)

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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: +2.1%)

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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) - February 2019 Update
Chart: Consumer Price Index (CPI) - February 2019 Update

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Monday, March 11, 2019

U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for January 2019

The Commerce Department this morning released advance estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for January 2019:

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.212% (+1,060,000,000)

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 January 2019: $504,440,000,000

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.284% (+$11,263,000,000)

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Friday, March 08, 2019

Employment Situation Report for February 2019

The Employment Situation Report for February 2019 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +175,000
Actual: +20,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 3.8%
Previous Month: 4.0%
12 Months Previous: 4.1%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 7.3%
Previous Month: 8.1%
12 Months Previous: 8.2%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.399% (+$0.11)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +3.3%
Actual: +3.402% (+$0.91)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: +0.107% (+$1.02)


Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +3.101% (+$28.62)

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 63.2%
Previous Month: 63.2%
12 Months Previous: 63.0%

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 February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 11 cents to $27.66
[+0.399%], following a 2-cent gain in January. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by [$0.91, or +3.402%]. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 8 cents to $23.18 [+0.346%] in February.


The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised up from +222,000 to +227,000, and the change for January was revised up from +304,000 to +311,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January combined were 12,000 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
186,000 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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Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of March 1, 2019

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on  March 1, 2019 was released this morning: 

-- Change from Last Week: +7,100,000

-- Change from Last Year (Y/Y): +27,000,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 452,900,000 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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Tuesday, March 05, 2019

New Home Sales During December 2018

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

Predicted: 590,000
Actual New Home Sales: 621,000

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Change from One Month Previous: +3.7%

Change from One Year Previous: -2.4%

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Median Price for a New Home during December 2018: $318,600

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Average Price for a New Home during December 2018: $377,000


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Inventory: 344,000 (6.6 months supply at current sales rate.)

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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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Friday, March 01, 2019

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

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

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Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)
Predicted: -0.3%
Actual: -0.5%

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Personal Income
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +1.0%

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  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars:  +1.1%
  • Disposable Personal Income, 2012 Chained* Dollars +1.0% 

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The above 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: No change
Actual: +0.1%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.7%
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

  • 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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