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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, October 31, 2019

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of October 26, 2019

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on  October 26, 2019:

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Predicted: 215,000
  • Actual: 218,000
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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): 213,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 214,750
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Chart: Jobless Claims - October 26, 2019 Update
Chart: Jobless Claims - October 26, 2019 Update
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PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for September 2019

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for September 2019:

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Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

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Personal Income
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.3%

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  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars:  +0.3%
  • Disposable Personal Income, 2012 Chained* Dollars +0.3% 

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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: Unchanged
Actual: Unchanged

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.3%
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: Unchanged

  • Change from 12 months previous: +1.7%
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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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Chart: Disposable Personal Income and Real Consumer Spending - September 2019 Update
Chart: Disposable Personal Income and Real Consumer Spending
September 2019 Update

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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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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of October 25, 2019

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on October 25, 2019 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: +5,700,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): +12,800,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 438,900,000 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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Gross Domestic Product (GDP): First Estimate for Q3, 2019

Earlier this morning, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its first estimate for U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2019:

Predicted: +1.7%
Actual: +1.9%

The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the first estimate of the quarter-to-quarter change for Real Gross Domestic Product for the entire United States.


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The GDP is a very broad measure of economic activity for the entire United States, covering all sectors of the economy. The Commerce Department defines real GDP as, "the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States."

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Chart: GDP - Q3 2019 - First Estimate
Chart: GDP - Q3 2019 - First Estimate
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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for October 2019

The Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (October 2019) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

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Predicted: 128.8
  • Actual: 125.9

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Previous Month (revised): 126.3
 
  • Change from Previous Month: -0.317% (-0.4 point)
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The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From Today's Report:

"...'Consumer confidence was relatively flat in October, following a decrease in September,' said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. 'The Present Situation Index improved, but Expectations weakened slightly as consumers expressed some concerns about business conditions and job prospects. However, confidence levels remain high and there are no indications that consumers will curtail their holiday spending.'..."

Every month, The Conference Board sends a questionnaire to 5,000 U.S. households. Survey participants are polled about their feelings regarding the U.S. economy, current and future, and about their own fiscal circumstances. On average, 3,500 participants complete and return the 5-question survey.

  • The baseline "100" score for the CCI is associated with 1985 survey data.

When consumers feel good about the economy, they tend to do more spending, and vice versa.

Based in New York City, The Conference Board is a private, not-for-profit organization with a mission to, "create and disseminate knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society."

The CCI is usually released on the last Tuesday of the month.

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) for September 2019

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released its National Activity Index (CFNAI) for September 2019:

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  • Actual (CFNAI): -0.45

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  • Previous Month (revised): +0.15
  • 3-Month Moving Average (CFNAI-MA3): -0.24
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The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of growth in national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data:

  • Production and income;
  • Employment, unemployment, and hours;
  • Personal consumption and housing; and
  • Sales, orders, and inventories.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the yellow-highlighted figure is what was reported.

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Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index with Business Cycles - September 2019 Update
Chart: Chicago Fed National Activity Index with Business Cycles
September 2019 Update

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From Today's Report 

"...Index Points To Slower Economic Growth In September

Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) fell to –0.45 in September from +0.15 in August. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from August, and all four categories made negative contributions to the index in September. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, decreased to –0.24 in September from –0.06 in August.
.."

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Understanding The CFNAI:

A zero value for the monthly index has been associated with the national economy expanding at its historical trend (average) rate of growth; negative values with below-average growth (in standard deviation units); and positive values with above-average growth.

Periods of economic expansion have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above -0.70 and the CFNAI Diffusion Index above -0.35. Conversely, periods of economic contraction have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 below -0.70 and the CFNAI Diffusion Index below -0.35.

An increasing likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +0.70 more than two years into an economic expansion. Similarly, a substantial likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +1.00 more than two years into an economic expansion.

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Friday, October 25, 2019

Consumer Sentiment: Final Result for October 2019

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) - Final Result for October 2019 was released today:

Predicted: 96.0
Actual: 95.5

  • Change from Previous Month: +2.468% (+2.3 points)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -3.144% (-3.1 points)

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  • Final ICS Reading for September 2019: 93.2

  • Final ICS Reading for October 2018: 98.6

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From today's report:

"...Sentiment was insignificantly below the mid month level, with the small loss spread over most components of the Index. The overall level of consumer confidence has remained quite favorable and largely unchanged during the past few years. The October level was nearly identical to the 2019 average (95.6) and only a few Index-points below the average since the start of 2017 (97.0). The focus of consumers has been on income and job growth, while largely ignoring other news. The most spontaneous references were to the negative impact of tariffs, which fell to 27% in October from last month's 36%; the impeachment inquiry totaled just 2% in October, less than the 5% who mentioned a negative impact from the GM strike. To be sure, the multiple sources of uncertainty will keep consumers focused on potential threats to their prevailing optimism, with the most critical being threats that could significantly diminish their job and income prospects.

The mismatched trends in personal finances and buying conditions have resulted in the lackluster pace of consumer spending throughout the expansion. Earlier in the expansion, dismal growth in household incomes and jobs were matched with record favorable references to prices and interest rates on home and vehicles, while in the later part of the expansion very favorable incomes and job prospects were matched with the fewest favorable references to prices and interest rates in decades-with those lows becoming the expected norm. On the plus side, the mismatch has kept consumer indebtedness (aside from education loans) at manageable levels, and positive finances have recently buoyed spending so as to ensure the continuation of the expansion..."

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The ICS is derived from the following five survey questions:


  1. "We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?"


  2. "Now looking ahead, do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now?"


  3. "Now turning to business conditions in the country as a whole, do you think that during the next twelve months we'll have good times financially, or bad times, or what?"


  4. "Looking ahead, which would you say is more likely: that in the country as a whole we'll have continuous good times during the next five years or so, or that we will have periods of widespread unemployment or depression, or what?"


  5. "About the big things people buy for their homes, such as furniture, a refrigerator, stove, television, and things like that. Generally speaking, do you think now is a good or bad time for people to buy major household items?"

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The ICS uses a 1966 baseline, i.e. for 1966, the ICS = 100. So any number that is below the 1966 baseline of 100 means that the folks who were polled recently aren't as optimistic about the U.S. economy as the sample that was polled back in 1966.

The ICS is similar to the Consumer Confidence Index in that they both measure consumer attitudes and offer valuable insight into consumer spending.

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The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

New Home Sales During September 2019

The September 2019 New Home Sales report was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

Predicted: 698,000
Actual New Home Sales: 701,000

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  • Change from One Month Previous: -0.708%

  • Change from One Year Previous: +15.486%

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Median Price for a New Home
during September 2019: $299,400

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Average Price for a New Home
during September 2019: $362,700 


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Inventory: 321,000 (5.5 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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of October 19, 2019

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on  October 19, 2019:

Predicted: 214,000
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): 218,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 215,000
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Chart: Jobless Claims - October 19, 2019 Update
Chart: Jobless Claims - October 19, 2019 Update

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Durable Goods Orders During September 2019

The Durable Goods Orders report for September 2019 was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

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Predicted: -0.7%
  • Actual: $248,164,000,000 (-$2,837,000,000 [-1.13%])

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  • August 2019 (revised): $251,001,000,000 (+$673,000,000 [+0.269%])
 
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Chart: Durable Goods Orders - September 2019 Update
Chart: Durable Goods Orders - September 2019 Update

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The yellow-highlighted figures represent the dollar amount of new orders for durable or hard goods for immediate or future delivery from U.S. manufacturers, along with both the dollar and month-to-month percentage change.

Examples of durable goods: cars, airplanes, computers, furniture -- items that are built to last at least three years.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of October 18, 2019

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on October 18, 2019 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -1,700,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): +10,400,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 433,200,000 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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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Existing Home Sales - September 2019

The Existing Home Sales report for September 2019 was released by The National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) this morning:

Predicted: 5,440,000
Actual: 5,380,000

  •  Change from Previous Month: -2.182% (-120,000 homes)

  •  Change from One Year Previous: +3.861% (+200,000 homes)
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Inventory: 1,830,000 (4.1 months supply)

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The yellow-highlighted, "actual" figure above represents the preliminary, seasonally adjusted annualized sales count of existing homes, co-ops and condominiums for the indicated month. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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Median Price for A Used Home During September 2019: $272,100

Change from One Year Previous: +5.917% (+$15,200)

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Average Price for A Used Home During September 2019: $308,500

Change from One Year Previous: +4.223% (+$12,500)



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From Today's Report:


"...Existing-home sales receded in September following two consecutive months of increases, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Each of the four major regions witnessed sales drop off last month, with the Midwest absorbing the brunt of those declines.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said that despite historically low mortgage rates, sales have not commensurately increased, in part due to a low level of new housing options. 'We must continue to beat the drum for more inventory,' said Yun, who has called for additional home construction for over a year. 'Home prices are rising too rapidly because of the housing shortage, and this lack of inventory is preventing home sales growth potential.'

'For families on the sidelines thinking about buying a home, current rates are making the climate extremely favorable in markets across the country,' said NAR President
John Smaby, a second-generation Realtor® from Edina, Minnesota, and broker at Edina Realty. 'These traditionally low rates make it that much easier to qualify for a mortgage, and they also open up various housing selections to buyers everywhere.'

'Mortgage rates under 4% are amazingly attractive for homebuyers,' said Yun. 'The rise in foot traffic as evidenced by the open rates of SentriLock key boxes shows growing buyer interest.'.
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Friday, October 18, 2019

Leading Economic Index for September 2019

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for September 2019 this morning:

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Index for September: 111.9 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

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Predicted: +0.2%
  • Actual: -0.089% (-0.1 point)

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  • LEI for August 2019: 112.0
     
  • LEI for July 2019: 112.2

  • LEI for June 2019: 111.8

  • LEI for May 2019: 111.8

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The yellow-highlighted percentage is 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 - September 2019 Update
Chart: Leading Economic Index - September 2019 Update

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From Today's Report:

"...'The US LEI declined in September because of weaknesses in the manufacturing sector and the interest rate spread which were only partially offset by rising stock prices and a positive contribution from the Leading Credit Index,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. 'The LEI reflects uncertainty in the outlook and falling business expectations, brought on by the downturn in the industrial sector and trade disputes. Looking ahead, the LEI is consistent with an economy that is still growing, albeit more slowly, through the end of the year and into 2020.'..."

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    Thursday, October 17, 2019

    Housing Starts During September 2019

    The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released its Housing Starts report for September 2019:

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    Housing Starts:
    Predicted: 1,300,000
    Actual: 1,256,000

    Change From Previous Month: -9.38% (-130,000 units)
    Change From One Year Previous: +1.618% (+20,000 units)

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    Building Permits:
    Predicted: 1,335,000
    Actual: 1,387,000

    Change From Previous Month: -2.667% (-38,000 units)
    Change From One Year Previous: +7.686% (+99,000 units)

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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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    Chart: Housing Starts - September 2019 Update
    Chart: Housing Starts - September 2019 Update

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    Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization During September 2019

    The Industrial Production, Manufacturing and Capacity Utilization numbers for September 2019 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

    Industrial Production:
    Predicted: -0.2%
    Actual: -0.4%

    Manufacturing:
    Predicted: -0.3%
    Actual: -0.5%

    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: 77.8%
    Actual: 77.5

    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 fell back 0.4 percent in September after advancing 0.8 percent in August. For the third quarter, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 1.2 percent following declines of about 2 percent in both the first and the second quarters.

    Manufacturing production decreased 0.5 percent in September, with output reduced by a strike at a major manufacturer of motor vehicles. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, the overall index and the manufacturing index each moved down 0.2 percent. Mining production fell 1.3 percent, while utilities output rose 1.4 percent.

    At 109.5 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 0.1 percent lower in September than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.4 percentage point in September to 77.5 percent, a rate that is 2.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2018) average.
    .."

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    Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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

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

    Predicted: +0.3%
    Actual: -0.252 (-$1,329,000,000)

    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 2019: $525,560,000,000
    • Change From 12 Months Previous: +4.103% (+$20,712,000,000)

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    Chart: Retail Sales - September 2019 Update
    Chart: Retail Sales - September 2019 Update

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    Thursday, October 10, 2019

    New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of October 5, 2019

    Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on  October 5, 2019:

    Predicted: 219,000
    Actual: 210,000

    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): 220,000
    • 4-Week Moving Average: 213,750
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    Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September 2019

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

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    Predicted: +0.0% (unchanged)
    Actual: +0.0% (unchanged)

    • Change From 12 Months Previous: +1.7%

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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: +2.4%

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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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    From Today's Report:

    "...Increases in the indexes for shelter and food were offset by declines in the indexes for energy and used cars and trucks to result in the seasonally adjusted all items index being flat. The energy index fell 1.4 percent as the gasoline index declined 2.4 percent. The food index increased 0.1 percent in September after being unchanged in each of the prior 3 months.

    The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in September after increasing 0.3 percent in each of the last 3 months. Along with the shelter index, the indexes for medical care, household furnishings and operations, and motor vehicle insurance all rose in September. The indexes for used cars and trucks, apparel, new vehicles, and communication all declined..."

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

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    Friday, October 04, 2019

    Employment Situation Report for September 2019

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

    Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +145,000
    Actual: +136,000


    U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
    Actual: 3.5%
    Previous Month: 3.7%
    12 Months Previous: 3.7%

    U-6 Unemployment Rate*
    Actual: 6.9%
    Previous Month: 7.2%
    12 Months Previous: 7.5%

    Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
    Predicted: +0.3%
    Actual: -0.036% (-$0.01)

    Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
    Predicted: +3.2%
    Actual: +2.894% (+$0.79)

    Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
    Actual: -0.035% (-$0.34)


    Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
    Actual: +2.596% (+$24.45)

    Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 63.2%
    Previous Month: 63.2%
    12 Months Previous: 62.7%

    Average Workweek
    Predicted: 34.4 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 September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at $28.09, were little changed (-1 cent [-0.036%]), after rising by 11 cents in August. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by [+2.894%]. In September, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 4 cents [+0.169%] to $23.65.

    The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised up by 7,000 from +159,000 to +166,000, and the change for August was revised up by 38,000 from +130,000 to +168,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 45,000 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
    157,000 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 03, 2019

    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for September 2019

    Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM®) released their Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for September 2019:

    Predicted: 55.5%
    Actual: 52.6% (-3.8 points month-on-month change)

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    Previous month: 56.4%

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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).

    ==========

    From today' report:

    "...Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in September for the 116th 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:

    •    'Tariffs are adding uncertainty to short-term pricing on certain commodities, but suppliers are finding alternate solutions. The bigger impacts appear to be on demand side, which is driving short-term favorability in certain domestic markets.'
       (Accommodation + Food Services)

    •     'Demand has been variable: up one month, down the next. I think customers are watching our input costs and buying ahead on the dips, to the extent that contracts allow.'
       (Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing + Hunting)

    •     'We are very busy right now [and] expect to be so for the next 12 months. We are still very shorthanded with qualified labor.'
       (Construction)

    •     'Gearing up for the fourth quarter of 2019. On track to end the year generally as anticipated, considering interest-rate changes, trade and tariff issues and other economic indicators and trends.'
       (Finance + Insurance)

    •     'We continue with low patient census, which affects our orders and revenue.'
       (Health Care + Social Assistance)

    •     'As employee cost [wages] are increasing in this better economy, it is getting harder to fight price increases on goods and services.'
       (Information)

    •     'Costs are going up, from labor to chemicals to metals.'
       (Management of Companies + Support Services)

    •     'While Chinese tariffs are understandable, they are impacting our supply chain decisions. We are actively pursuing alternate sources for our China-based production. At this point, we have not passed on tariff costs to our customers, but we are evaluating all options.'
       (Other Services)

    •     'Business continues to pick up as we quickly approach Q4. Week by week, we inch closer to a much-anticipated holiday retail season, which requires not only last-minute buys, but a push to fill open positions.'
       (Retail Trade)

     ==========



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    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) - 12 Month History September 2019 Update
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) - 12 Month History
    September 2019 Update

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