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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, July 12, 2019

Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for June 2019

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%

Change from 12 months previous:  +1.7%

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual:  Unchanged

Change from 12 months previous:  +2.1%

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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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Thursday, July 11, 2019

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 6, 2019

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 6, 2019:

Predicted: 220,000
Actual: 209,000

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): 222,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 219,250
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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June 2019

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

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Predicted: +0.0%
Actual: +0.1% 

(Change from 12 months previous: +1.6%)

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%

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

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 5, 2019

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 5, 2019 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -9,500,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): +53,700,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 459,000,000 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, July 09, 2019

    Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for May 2019

    The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for May 2019 was released by the Labor Department this morning:

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    Job Openings

    Predicted: 7,400,000
    Actual:    7,323,000

    • Previous Month (revised): 7,372,000

    • One Year Previous: 7,126,000

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    Hires: 5,725,000

    Total Separations: 5,495,000

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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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    Chart: Job Openings, Hires and Separations - May 2019 Update
    Chart: Job Openings, Hires and Separations - May 2019 Update

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    NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for June 2019

    The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index (SBOI) for June 2019:

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    Predicted: 104.0
    Actual: 103.3

    • Change from Previous Month: -1.619% (-1.7 points)
    • Change from 12 Months Previous: -3.638% (-3.9 points)

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    • The previous month's SBOI reading was 105.0

    • The June 2018 SBOI reading was 107.2

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    Chart: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - June 2019 Update
    Chart: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - June 2019 Update

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    From Today's Report:


    "...America’s small business owners’ optimism took a modest downturn in June, according to the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, slipping 1.7 points to 103.3. While optimism remains at historically high levels, the June figure reverses the gain posted in May, with six components falling, three improving, and one unchanged. The Uncertainty Index rose substantially, increasing seven points to the highest level since March 2017.

    'Last month, small business owners curbed spending, sales expectations and profits both fell, and the outlook for expansion dampened. When you add difficulty finding qualified workers and harmful state level laws and regulations, you’re left with a volatile mix where uncertainty has increased to levels not seen in more than two years,' said NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan.

    Both capital spending plans and reports of actual spending fell in June, reversing last month’s gains. The inventory component strengthened in June with owners saying existing inventory stocks were lean and planning to add to them. Sales and earnings trends softened, while expected credit conditions remained favorable.  More owners expect credit conditions to tighten rather than ease by a two-to-one margin, with most expecting no change.

    'As expectations for sales gains and the general business environment faded, uncertainty levels increased,' said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. 'Still, job openings and plans to create jobs remain historically very strong, and while it’s not as ‘hot’ as May, Main Street is still running strong.'

    Twenty-six percent of owners plan capital outlays in the next few months, down four points, and an indication there is more reluctance to make major spending commitments when the future becomes less certain. Fifty-four percent reported capital outlays, down 10 points. Of those making expenditures, 40 percent reported spending on new equipment (down four points), 22 percent acquired vehicles (down seven points), and 12 percent improved or expanded facilities (down seven points).

    The net percent of owners reporting inventory increases fell two points to a net zero percent, indicating no further building in inventory stocks in June. The net percent of owners viewing current inventory stocks as 'too low' rose four points to a net zero percent, overall balance.  Major imbalances reported in May have been resolved in most industries with the exception of manufacturing (18 percent too large, five percent too low) and agriculture (eight percent too large, 14 percent too low). The net percent of owners planning to expand inventory holdings did increase one point to a net three percent, a solid number.

    A net seven percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reported higher nominal sales in the past three months, down two percentage points but a very solid reading. The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes fell six points to a net 17 percent of owners. Excluding the government shutdown earlier this year, this is the weakest reading since September 2017.

    'Contextually, owners expecting higher real sales volumes averaged a net negative three percent in the 12 months leading up to November 2016, making the current reading look relatively good, but not as good as the 31 percent reading in May of last year,' said Dunkelberg. 'The economy is still advancing at a solid pace, but it is expected to be a slower pace than the first quarter.'

    The frequency of reports of positive profit trends slipped six points to a net negative seven percent reporting quarter on quarter profit improvements. Twenty-seven percent of those reporting weaker profits blamed sales (down three points), 12 percent blamed labor costs (up five points), 11 percent cited materials costs, and nine percent cited lower selling prices (down two points).

    Three percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, unchanged and historically very low.  Twenty-nine percent reported all credit needs met (down five points) and 55 percent said they were not interested in a loan, up one point.  A record low two percent reported their last loan was harder to get than the previous one. Two percent reported that financing was their top business problem (unchanged) compared to 21 percent citing the availability of qualified labor, 18 percent citing taxes, 13 percent regulations and red tape.

    As reported in the June NFIB Jobs Report, small business owners added a net addition of 0.21 workers per firm, with 21 percent citing the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem. Fifty-eight percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire employees, down four points from last month, but 50 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill..."

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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, July 05, 2019

    Employment Situation Report for June 2019

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

    Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +165,000
    Actual: +224,000


    U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
    Actual: 3.7%
    Previous Month: 3.6%
    12 Months Previous: 4.0%

    U-6 Unemployment Rate*
    Actual: 7.2%
    Previous Month: 7.1%
    12 Months Previous: 7.8%

    Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +0.3%
    Actual: +0.216% (+$0.06)

    Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
    Predicted: +3.2%
    Actual: +3.142% (+$0.85)

    Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
    Actual: +0.215% (+$2.06)


    Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
    Actual: +2.843% (+$26.53)

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

    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 June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents [+0.216%] to $27.90, following a 9-cent gain in May. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by [+3.142%]. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents [+0.171%] to $23.43 in June.

    The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised down from +224,000 to +216,000, and the change for May was revised down from +75,000 to +72,000. With these revisions, employment gains in April and May combined were 11,000 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
    171,000 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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    Monday, July 01, 2019

    ISM Manufacturing Index for June 2019

    Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) released their Manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI®) for June 2019:

    Predicted: 51.1%
    Actual: 51.7% (-0.4 point month-on-month change)

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    Previous month: 52.1%

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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 122ND 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:



    •     'China tariffs and pending Mexico tariffs are wreaking havoc with supply chains and costs. The situation is crazy, driving a huge amount of work [and] costs, as well as potential supply disruptions.'
       (Computer + Electronic Products)
         
       
    •     'Tariffs are causing an increase in cost of goods, meaning U.S. consumers are paying more for products.'
       (Chemical Products)

    •     'Demand for the remainder of 2019 has softened significantly, due to issues in the aerospace industry. The 2020 outlook is looking stronger. Overall, state and local economies remain strong. Recruiting for open positions still requires time to find the right candidates.'
       (Transportation Equipment)

    •     'Global demand remains very strong. [We] shifted shipments to China from our U.S. plants to our Canadian and European plants because of tariffs.'
       (Food, Beverage + Tobacco Products)

    •     'Tariffs continue to be a challenge. We are concerned about the implementation of Mexican tariffs and the cost pressures it will have on our Latin American business.'
       (Petroleum + Coal Products)

    •     'Tariffs continue to adversely impact decisions and forecasting. Our increasing fear is that current trends will weaken the global economy, influencing our ability to grow in 2020 and beyond.'     (Fabricated Metal Products)

    •     'A late planting season has caused a slowdown in our agricultural business. Seeing higher prices due to tariffs and tariff-related supply chain issues.'
       (Machinery)

    •     'Business is still strong. Pricing on raw materials has stabilized.'
       (Plastics + Rubber Products)

    •     'Business has slowed in the last 30 to 60 days. The last 30 days have tracked 4 percent below plan, but still 6 to 8 percent above the previous year to date.'
       (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

    •     'Weather in various markets across the country has improved month over month, which has positively affected our daily output. If the trend continues, we will have to replenish [at] an increased month-over-month rate.'
       (Wood Products)

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    ISM Manufacturing Index - 12 Month History - June 2019 Update
    ISM Manufacturing Index - 12 Month History - June 2019 Update

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