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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, October 15, 2021

U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for September 2021

The Commerce Department this morning released advance estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for September 2021:

Predicted: Unchanged
Actual: +0.735% (+$4,566,000,000)

The yellow-highlighted percentage above 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 2021: $625,416,000,000
  • Change From 12 Months Previous: +13.95% (+$76,560,000,000)

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CHART: Retail Sales - September 2021 Update

CHART: Retail Sales - September 2021 Update

  
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Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for September 2021

The Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for September 2021 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.5%

Change from 12 months previous:  +8.6%

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

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.1%

Change from 12 months previous:  +5.9%

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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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CHART: Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) 12 Month Percent Changes September 2021 Update


CHART: Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD)
12 Month Percent Changes
September 2021 Update

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Thursday, October 14, 2021

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of October 9, 2021

Jobless Claims
Jobless Claims

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on October 9, 2021:

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Predicted: 300,000

  • Actual: 293,000
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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): 329,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 334,250

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From Today's Report

"...In the week ending October 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 293,000, a decrease of 36,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 [the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA] when it was 256,000..."


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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September 2021

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September 2021:


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CPI During September 2021: 274.310

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Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.272% (+0.743 point)

  • Change From 12 Months Previous: +5.39% (+14.03 points)

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The above, yellow-highlighted figures represent the seasonally unadjusted, 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) 12 Month Percentage Change September 2021 Update
CHART: Consumer Price Index (CPI)
12 Month Percentage Change
September 2021 Update

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CPI During August 2021: 273.567

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for August 2021

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS*) for August 2021 was released by the Labor Department this morning:

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Job Openings

Predicted: 10,400,000
Actual:    10,439,000

  • Previous Month (revised): 11,098,000

  • One Year Previous: 6,451,000

  • Change from one year previous: +61.82% (+3,988,000)


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Hires: 6,322,000 

Quits: 4,270,000 (New Record High)

Total Separations §: 6,003,000 

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From Today's Release:


"...Job Openings

On the last business day of August, the number and rate of job openings decreased to 10.4 million (-659,000) and 6.6 percent, respectively. Job openings decreased in several industries with the largest decreases in health care and social assistance (-224,000); accommodation and food services (-178,000); and state and local government education (-124,000). Job openings increased in federal government (+22,000). The number of job openings decreased in the Northeast and Midwest regions.

Hires
In August, the number and rate of hires decreased to 6.3 million (-439,000) and 4.3 percent, respectively. Hires decreased in accommodation and food services (-240,000) and in state and local government education (-160,000). The number of hires decreased in the Midwest region.

 
Separations
Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. 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.
 
In August, the number and rate of total separations were little changed at 6.0 million and 4.1 percent, respectively. The total separations level increased in accommodation and food services (+203,000) and in state and local government education (+57,000). The total separations level decreased in other services (-68,000) and in state and local government, excluding education (-26,000). Total separations were little changed in all four regions.
 
The number of quits increased in August to [a record high] 4.3 million (+242,000). The quits rate increased to a series high of 2.9 percent. Quits increased in accommodation and food services (+157,000); wholesale trade (+26,000); and state and local government education (+25,000). Quits decreased in real estate and rental and leasing (-23,000). The number of quits increased in the South and Midwest regions.
 
In August, the number and rate of layoffs and discharges were little changed at 1.3 million and 0.9 percent, respectively. Layoffs and discharges decreased in other services (-61,000) and in state and local government, excluding education (-22,000). Layoffs and discharges increased in state and local government education (+19,000). Layoffs and discharges were little changed in all four regions.

The number of other separations edged up in August to 390,000 (+49,000). Other separations increased in several industries with the largest increases in state and local government education (+13,000); information (+11,000); and durable goods manufacturing (+8,000). The other separations level increased in the West region..."

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CHART: Hires and Total Separations Rates August 2021 Update

CHART: Hires and Total Separations Rates
August 2021 Update

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§ = 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, October 08, 2021

Employment Situation Report for September 2021

The Employment Situation Report for September 2021 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +200,000
Actual: +194,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 4.8%
Previous Month: 5.2%
12 Months Previous: 7.8%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 8.5%
Previous Month: 8.8%
12 Months Previous: 12.8%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.62% (+$0.19)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +3.5%
Actual: +4.576% (+$1.35)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: +1.2% (+$12.74)


Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +4.576% (+$46.98)

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 61.6%
Previous Month: 61.7%
12 Months Previous: 61.4%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.8 hours
Actual: 34.8 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.

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From Today's Report:

 "...The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 6.0 million in September, little changed over the month but up by 959,000 since February 2020. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the last 4 weeks or were unavailable to take a job.

In September, 5.0 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the
pandemic -- that is, they did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the last 4 weeks due to the pandemic. This measure is down from 5.6 million in August. Among those who reported in September that they were unable to work because of pandemic-related closures or lost business, 15.5 percent received at least some pay from their employer for the hours not worked, little changed from the prior month.

Among those not in the labor force in September, 1.6 million persons were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic, little changed from August. (To be counted as unemployed, by definition, individuals must be either actively looking for work or on temporary layoff.)

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 194,000 in September. Thus far this year, monthly job growth has averaged 561,000. Nonfarm employment has increased by 17.4 million since a recent trough in April 2020 but is down by 5.0 million, or 3.3 percent, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. In September, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, in retail trade, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in public education declined over the month.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised up by 38,000, from +1,053,000 to +1,091,000, and the change for August was revised up by 131,000, from +235,000 to +366,000. With these revisions, employment in July and August combined is 169,000 higher than previously reported..."

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CHART: Nonfarm Payroll Employment September 2021 Update

CHART: Nonfarm Payroll Employment
September 2021 Update

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CHART: U-3 (Headline) Unemployment Rate September 2021 Update

CHART: U-3 (Headline) Unemployment Rate
September 2021 Update

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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 07, 2021

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of October 1, 2021

Crude Oil Inventories
Crude Oil Inventories

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on October 1, 2021 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: +2,300,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): -72,000,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 420,900,000 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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Friday, October 01, 2021

PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for August 2021

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for August 2021:

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Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)

Predicted: +0.5%

  • Actual: +0.8%
  • Actual (2012 Chained* Dollars): +0.4%
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Personal Income

Predicted: +0.5%
  • Actual: +0.2%
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  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars: +0.1%
  • 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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CHART: Month-on-Month Change in Personal Income - August 2021 Update
CHART: Month-on-Month Change in Personal Income
August 2021 Update

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Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: 0.4% 

  • Change from 12 months previous: +4.3%
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: 0.3%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +3.6%
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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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