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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, December 12, 2019

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

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

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: Unchanged

Change from 12 months previous:  +1.1%

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

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: Unchanged

Change from 12 months previous:  +1.3%

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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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of December 7, 2019

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on December 7, 2019:

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Predicted: 213,000
  • Actual: 252,000
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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 (unrevised): 203,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 224,000
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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of December 6, 2019

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on December 6, 2019 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: +800,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): +6,000,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 447,900,000 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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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November 2019

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

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Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%

  • Change From 12 Months Previous: +2.1%

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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: +2.3%

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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 shelter and energy indexes were major factors in the seasonally adjusted monthly increase of the all items index. Increases in the indexes for medical care, for recreation, and for food also contributed to the overall increase. The gasoline index rose 1.1 percent in November and the other major energy component indexes also increased. The food index rose 0.1 percent, with the indexes for both food at home and food away from home increasing over the month.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in November, the same increase as in October. Along with the indexes for shelter, for medical care, and for recreation, the indexes for used cars and trucks and for apparel also rose in November. The new vehicles index fell in November, as did the index for airline fares..."

 
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Chart: Consumer Price Index (CPI) - November 2019 Update
Chart: Consumer Price Index (CPI) - November 2019 Update
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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for November 2019

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

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Predicted: 102.9
Actual: 104.7

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  • Change from Previous Month: +2.246% (+2.3 points)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -0.095% (-0.1 point)

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  • The October 2019 SBOI reading was 102.4

  • The November 2018 SBOI reading was 104.8

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

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From Today's Report:


"...Small Business Optimism Sees Major Spike in November

Small business optimism posted the largest month-over-month gain since May 2018, rising 2.3 points to 104.7 in November. The exceptional Optimism Index reading was bolstered by seven of the 10 Index components advancing, led by a 10-point improvement in earnings. Owners reporting it is a good time to expand increased by 6 points and those expecting better business conditions increased by 3 points. The NFIB Uncertainty Index fell 6 points in November to 72, adding to the 4-point drop in October and the lowest reading since May 2018.

'This historic run may defy the expectations of many, but it comes as no surprise to small business owners who understand what a supportive tax and regulatory environment can do for their companies,' said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. 'As the two-year anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s passage approaches this month, small businesses, the world’s third largest economy, are using those savings to power the American economy.'

Earnings, or the frequency that owners report positive profit trends, rose 10 points, 1 point below the record set in May 2018, to a net 2 percent reporting quarter on quarter profit improvements. Stronger profits negated some cost pressures (especially labor) limiting the need to raise prices. A net 12 percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reported higher nominal sales in the past three months, up 8 points and the highest level since May 2018.

'Owners are aggressively moving forward with their business plans, proving that when they’re given relief from the government, they put their money where their mouth is, and they invest, hire, and increase wages,' said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. 'Owners are most closely focused on issues that directly impact their business, including the real, significant tax relief they were given two years ago, and they’re anxious to see that relief made permanent.'

As reported last week in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, a net 30 percent of small business owners, seasonally adjusted, reported raising compensation (unchanged) and 26 percent plan to do so in the coming months, up 4 points and the highest level since December 1989. Job creation jumped in November, with an average addition of 0.29 workers per firm, the highest level since May. Finding qualified workers though remains the top issue for 26 percent reporting this as their number one problem, 1 point below August’s record high.

Owners raising average selling prices rose 2 points to a net 12 percent, seasonally adjusted. Price hikes were most frequent in the retail trades (7 percent lower, 24 higher) and construction (6 percent lower, 23 higher). On balance, inflationary pressures are weak on Main Street as confirmed by government inflation reports.

November reflects a stark departure from previous months of clatter months about a possible recession that dampened owners’ economic outlook. But the current focus and noise in Washington, D.C. around impeachment is proving to have little, if any, impact on small business owners, no different than during the impeachment proceedings of President Bill Clinton.
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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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Productivity and Labor Costs Report for Q3 2019 (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 2019 (revised):

Nonfarm Productivity
Predicted: -0.1%
Actual: -0.2%

  • Change from A Year Ago: +1.5%

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Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: +3.4%
Actual: +2.5%

  • Change from A Year Ago: +2.2%

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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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Chart: Labor Productivity | Q1 2015 Through Q3 2019 (Revised)
Chart: Labor Productivity | Q1 2015 Through Q3 2019 (Revised)

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Chart: Unit Labor Costs | Q1 2015 Through Q3 2019 (Revised)
Chart: Unit Labor Costs | Q1 2015 Through Q3 2019 (Revised)

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  • The preliminary productivity report for Q4 2019 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 6, 2020.
 
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Saturday, December 07, 2019

Employment Situation Report for November 2019

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

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +180,000
Actual: +266,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 3.5%
Previous Month: 3.6%
12 Months Previous: 3.7%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 6.9%
Previous Month: 7.0%
12 Months Previous: 7.6%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.295% (+$0.07)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +3.0%
Actual: +3.654% (+$0.84)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: +0.295% (+$2.35)


Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +3.04% (+$23.55)

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 63.2%
Previous Month: 63.3%
12 Months Previous: 62.9%

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:

"...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up by 13,000 from +180,000 to +193,000, and the change for October was revised up by 28,000 from +128,000 to +156,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 41,000 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 205,000 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 05, 2019

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of November 30, 2019

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on  November 30, 2019:

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Predicted: 218,000
  • Actual: 203,000
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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 (unrevised): 213,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 217,750
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Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of November 29, 2019

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on November 29, 2019 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -4,900,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): +3,900,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 447,100,000 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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ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for November 2019

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

Predicted: 54.5%
  • Actual: 53.9% (-0.8 point month-on-month change)

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Previous month: 54.7%

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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 118th 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:

  •     “Generally sluggish demand in the past month; back to summertime levels.”
     (Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing + Hunting)

  •     “Activity is still up in all areas, but primarily in commercial construction.”
     (Construction)

  •     “No significant changes in business conditions. Closing out current projects and initiatives. Preparing for year-end and the beginning of 2020.”
     (Finance + Insurance)

  •     “Lower reimbursement rates will continue to affect funding levels.”
     (Health Care
    + Social Assistance)

  •     “Tariffs are impacting prices for a broad array of products used in the delivery of services and completion of projects for our clients. Upward pressure is impacting suppliers and their pricing to customers. We are seeing no relief from our customers, so we’re being negatively impacted by tariff-driven price increases. Numerous suppliers report looking for alternative manufacturing/supply locations outside of China, but with limited or no success so far.”
     (Management of Companies
    + Support Services)

  •     “Tariffs on steel and aluminum are still having a negative impact on costs. Oil and gas business is increasing, which is favorably impacting our orders.”
     (Other Services)

  •     “We’re optimistic [because the] economy appears to be on autopilot, despite all the political distractions. Stock market seems invincible, [and the] trade war with China appears to be in a stalemate. Job growth appears to be reaching an equilibrium point. Final economic demand appears strong, with positive spend forecast for the holidays.”
     (Professional, Scientific
    + Technical Services)

  •     “Business activity is lower after the end of the 2019 fiscal year. The federal government is under a continuing resolution appropriations bill. This means we have not received a full annual budget, and all spending is restricted to past operational budgets for only necessary items.”
     (Public Administration)

  •     “Fourth-quarter seasonal retail volume increase is affecting labor hours, temporary labor demand and availability of short-term rental trailers to compensate for overflow.”
     (Transportation
    + Warehousing)


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

November 2019 Update

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Monday, December 02, 2019

ISM Manufacturing Index for November 2019

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

Predicted: 49.4%
  • Actual: 48.1% (-0.2 point month-on-month change)

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Previous month: 48.3%

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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 contracted in November, and the overall economy grew for the 127th 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:


  •     “Business level is similar to October.”
     (Computer & Electronic Products)

  •     “Chemical industry has been slow globally, but the curve seems to be flattening.”
     (Chemical Products)

  •     “Economic uncertainty continues. Our outlook on future business is cautious, yet positive.”
     (Transportation Equipment)

  •     “Economy is holding up. Business is staying constant. The same challenges persist — foreign exchange, trade uncertainty and trend changes [for example, sugar reduction].”
     (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)

  •     “Slowdown in business has us revising our 2020-21 capital spend.”
     (Petroleum & Coal Products)

  •     “The order book continues to shrink below our forecast levels. We’re unsure at this point how much of the slowdown is tied to certain events [like the General Motors strike], year-end inventory reductions by customers, or a worsening economy. We don't expect clarity on this until early 2020, when we expect to either see restocking orders [a good sign] or not [a bad sign].”
     (Fabricated Metal Products)

  •     “Demand has stabilized for the last half of [the fourth quarter], and production will be stable for the rest of this year.”
     (Machinery)

  •     “Heading into the holiday season, we are seeing the backlog decrease as new orders for 2020 seem lighter than in past years.”
     (Plastics & Rubber Products)

  •     “Markets have downshifted further. The continued confusion surrounding China trade has kept export markets on edge. Profits are elusive. Cash-flow planning is paramount. The general economy is slowing down.”
     (Wood Products)

  •     “Incoming orders and production have ticked back up. Tariffs are still a question.”
     (Furniture & Related Products)

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

November 2019 Update

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