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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, February 25, 2022

PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for January 2022

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for January 2022:

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Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)

Predicted: +1.8%

  • Actual: +2.1%
  • Actual (2012 Chained* Dollars): +1.5%
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Personal Income

Predicted: Flat
  • Actual: FLAT
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  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars: +0.1%
  • Disposable Personal Income (2012 Chained* Dollars): -0.5%

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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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BEA Video: Personal Income

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Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.6% 

  • Change from 12 months previous: +6.1%
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.5%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +5.2%
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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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Consumer Sentiment: Final Results for February 2022

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) -  Final Results for February 2022 was released today:

Predicted: 70.0
  • Actual: 62.8
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  • Change from Previous Month: -6.55% (-4.4 points)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -18.23% (-14.0 points)

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  • Final ICS Reading for January 2022: 67.2

  • Final ICS Reading for February 2021: 76.8

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From today's report:

"...Although Consumer Sentiment posted a slight increase in the last half of February, it still remained at its lowest level in the past decade, and the loss was still entirely due to a 12.9% decline among households with incomes of $100,000 or more. The February descent resulted from inflationary declines in personal finances, a near universal awareness of rising interest rates, falling confidence in the government's economic policies, and the most negative long term prospects for the economy in the past decade (see the chart).

Virtually all interviews were conducted prior to the Russian invasion so its impact is yet to be felt by consumers. The most likely linkage to the domestic economy is through rising energy prices, with the size and length of the potential increases subject to substantial uncertainty. This will complicate the Fed's policy actions, tilting their objectives to focus more on inflation at the cost of slower growth and higher unemployment. The financial harm and growing angst among consumers about
rising inflation have pushed nearly nine-in-ten consumers to anticipate interest rate hikes. The Fed's clinging to the transient hypothesis meant missed opportunities to nip inflation at its earliest stages; aggressive actions are now needed to avoid the potential establishment of an inflationary psychology that acts to form a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The imposition of sanctions against Russia is likely to generate counter measures that could harm the domestic economy, requiring the Fed to give special consideration to any associated economic slowdown and rising unemployment. Presumably, economic sanctions would be lifted only if Ukraine's sovereignty is maintained, but not if Russia prevails. Consumers may double-down on precautionary behaviors if the greater cyber risks associated with the conflict are now borne by domestic households.
.."

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Consumer Sentiment | Long Term Prospects for The Economy - February 2022 Update
Consumer Sentiment
Long Term Prospects for The Economy
February 2022 Update
 
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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 those 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, February 24, 2022

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of February 18, 2022

Crude Oil Inventories
Crude Oil Inventories


The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on February 18, 2022 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: +4,500,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): -47,000,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 416,000,000 Barrels

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

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

 

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 19, 2022

Jobless Claims
Jobless Claims

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on February 19, 2022:

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Predicted: 240,000

  • Actual: 232,000
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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): 249,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 236,250

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From Today's Report

"...The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending February 12 was 1,476,000, a decrease of 112,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since March 14, 1970 when it was 1,456,000. The previous week's level was revised down by 5,000 from 1,593,000 to 1,588,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,576,000, a decrease of 49,000 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since June 30, 1973 when it was 1,570,000. The previous week's average was revised down by 1,250 from 1,626,250 to 1,625,000..."


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New Home Sales During January 2022

The January 2022 New Home Sales report was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

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Predicted: 805,000
  • Actual New Home Sales: 801,000

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  • Change from One Month Previous: -38,000 units (-4.529%)

  • Change from One Year Previous: -192,000 units (-19.335%)


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Median Price for a New Home
during January 2022: $423,300
 

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Average Price for a New Home
during January 2022: $496,900 (New Record High)

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Inventory: 406,000 (6.1 months supply at current sales rate; seasonally‐adjusted estimate.)

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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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Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for February 2022

The Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (February 2022) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

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Predicted: 109.0
  • Actual: 110.5

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Previous Month (revised): 111.1

  • Change from Previous Month: -0.54% (-0.6 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:

"...'Concerns about inflation rose again in February, after posting back-to-back declines. Despite this reversal, consumers remain relatively confident about short-term growth prospects. While they do not expect the economy to pick up steam in the near future, they also do not foresee conditions worsening. Nevertheless, confidence and consumer spending will continue to face headwinds from rising prices in the coming months.'..."

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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Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) - February 2022 Update

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)
February 2022 Update

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Monday, February 21, 2022

Housing Starts During January 2022

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released its Housing Starts report for January 2022:

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,700,000
Actual: 1,638,000

Change From Previous Month: -4.098% (-70,000 New Units)
Change From One Year Previous: +0.8% (+13,000 New Units)

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,800,000
Actual: 1,899,000

Change From Previous Month: +0.743% (+14,000 New Permits)
Change From One Year Previous: +0.85%  (+16,000 New Permits)

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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 - January 2022 Update

CHART: Housing Starts
January 2022 Update
 
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Friday, February 18, 2022

Existing Home Sales During January 2022

The Existing Home Sales report for January 2022 was released by The National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) this morning:

Predicted: 6,250,000
Actual: 6,500,000

  •  Change from Previous Month: +6.732% (+410,000 homes)

  •  Change from One Year Previous: -2.256% (-150,000 homes)
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Inventory: 860,000 (1.6 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 January 2022: $350,300

Change from One Year Previous: +15.382% (+$46,700)

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Average Price for A Used Home During January 2022: $368,700

Change from One Year Previous: +9.147% (+$30,900)

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From Today's Report:


"...'Buyers were likely anticipating further rate increases and locking-in at the low rates, and investors added to overall demand with all-cash offers,' said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. 'Consequently, housing prices continue to move solidly higher.'

'The inventory of homes on the market remains woefully depleted, and in fact is currently at an all-time low,' Yun said.

Yun explained that the forthcoming increase in mortgage rates will be problematic for at least two market segments.

'First, some moderate-income buyers who barely qualified for a mortgage when interest rates were lower will now be unable to afford a mortgage,' he said. 'Second, consumers in expensive markets, such as California and the New York City metro area, will feel the sting of nearly an additional $500 to $1000 in monthly payments due to rising rates.'
..."

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Leading Economic Index for January 2022

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for January 2022 this morning:

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Index for January 2022: 119.6 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

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Predicted: FLAT
  • Actual: -0.333% (-0.4 point)

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  • LEI for December 2021: 120.0

  • LEI for November 2021: 119.2

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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 - 6-Month Growth - January 2022 Update

 CHART: Leading Economic Index
 6-Month Growth
January 2022 Update
 
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CHART: Leading Economic Index - January 2022 Update

 CHART: Leading Economic Index
January 2022 Update
 
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From Today's Report:

"...'The U.S. LEI posted a small decline in January, as the Omicron wave, rising prices, and supply chain disruptions took their toll,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. 'Initial claims for unemployment insurance, consumers’ outlook and declines in stock prices, and the average work week in manufacturing all contributed to the decline -- the first since February 2021.

'Despite this month’s decline and a deceleration in the LEI’s six-month growth rate, widespread strengths among the leading indicators still point to continued, albeit slower, economic growth into the spring. However, labor shortages, inflation, and the potential of new COVID-19 variants pose risks to growth in the near term. The Conference Board forecasts GDP growth for Q1 to slow somewhat from the very rapid pace of Q4 2021. Still, the US economy is projected to expand by a robust 3.5 percent year-over-year in 2022—well above the pre-pandemic growth rate, which averaged around 2 percent.'
..."

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 12, 2022

Jobless Claims
Jobless Claims

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on February 12, 2022:

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Predicted: 240,000

  • Actual: 248,000
====================

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): 225,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 243,250

====================

From Today's Report

"...The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending January 29 were in Alaska (2.7), California (2.7), New Jersey (2.6), Minnesota (2.5), Rhode Island (2.4), Massachusetts (2.3), New York (2.3), and Illinois (2.2).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending February 5 were in Michigan (+2,884), New Jersey (+406), Kansas (+309), Delaware (+235), and Maryland (+148), while the largest decreases were in California (-4,247), Kentucky (-3,962), Tennessee (-2,916), Illinois (-2,303), and Indiana (-1,760)..."


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Thursday, February 17, 2022

Import and Export Price Indexes for January 2022

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for January 2022:

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Import Prices
Predicted: +1.5%
Actual: +2.0%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +10.8%

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Export Prices
Predicted: +2.0%
Actual: +2.9%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +15.1%

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The above percentages, highlighted in yellow, represent the month-to-month change in prices for:

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the United States.
  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the USA and sold in other countries.


Together, these indexes offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

===============


From Today's Report:

"...U.S. import prices advanced 2.0 percent in January resuming the upward trend recorded over most of 2021 following a 0.4-percent decline in December. The January increase was the largest monthly rise since April 2011. Prices for U.S. imports advanced 10.8 percent over the past year, led by higher fuel and nonfuel prices..."

"...Prices for U.S. exports increased 2.9 percent in January following a 1.6-percent decline the previous month. The January advance was the largest 1-month rise since monthly percent changes were first published in January 1989. Higher prices for both agricultural and nonagricultural exports in January contributed to the overall increase in U.S. export prices. The price index for U.S. exports advanced 15.1 percent from January 2021 to January 2022..."

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Wednesday, February 16, 2022

U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for January 2022

The Commerce Department this morning released advance estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for January 2022:

Predicted: +3.0%
  • Actual: +3.75% (+23,487,000,000)

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 January 2022: $649,776,000,000
  • Change From 12 Months Previous: +12.96% (+$74,531,000,000)

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CHART: Retail Sales - January 2022 Update

CHART: Retail Sales - January 2022 Update

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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for January 2022

The Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for January 2022 was released this morning:

Predicted: +0.8%
Actual: +1.0%

Change from 12 months previous:  +9.7%

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

Predicted: +0.7%
Actual: +0.9%

Change from 12 months previous:  +6.9%

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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 - January 2022 Update

CHART: Producer Price Index
Final Demand (PPI-FD)
12 Month Percent Changes
January 2022 Update

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Saturday, February 12, 2022

Consumer Sentiment: Preliminary Results for February 2022

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) -  Preliminary Results for February 2022 was released today:

Predicted: 70.0
  • Actual: 61.7
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  • Change from Previous Month: -8.18% (-5.5 points)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -19.661% (-15.1 points)

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  • Final ICS Reading for January 2022: 67.2

  • Final ICS Reading for February 2021: 76.8

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From today's report:

"...Sentiment continued its downward descent, reaching its worst level in a decade, falling a stunning 8.2% from last month and 19.7% from last February. The recent declines have been driven by weakening personal financial prospects, largely due to rising inflation, less confidence in the government's economic policies, and the least favorable long term economic outlook in a decade. Importantly, the entire February decline was among households with incomes of $100,000 or more; their Sentiment Index fell by 16.1% from last month, and 27.5% from last year. The impact of higher inflation on personal finances was spontaneously cited by one-third of all consumers, with nearly half of all consumers expecting declines in their inflation adjusted incomes during the year ahead. In addition, fewer households cited rising net household wealth since the pandemic low in May 2020, largely due to the falling likelihood of stock price increases in 2022.

The recent declines have meant that the Sentiment Index now signals the onset of a sustained downturn in consumer spending (see the chart). The depth of the slump, however, is subject to several caveats that have not been present in prior downturns: the impact of unspent stimulus funds, the partisan distortion of expectations, and the pandemic's disruption of spending and work patterns. Households have amassed substantial savings and reserve funds from the stimmies as well as due to more limited consumption choices, especially services. There may be a lessened need for additional precautionary savings and a greater desire to engage in discretionary spending.
.."

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 CHART: Consumer Sentiment | Preliminary - February 2022 Update

CHART: Consumer Sentiment | Preliminary
February 2022 Update
 
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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 those 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.

=========

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

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Thursday, February 10, 2022

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 5, 2022

Jobless Claims
Jobless Claims

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on February 5, 2022:

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Predicted: 235,000

  • Actual: 223,000
====================

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): 239,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 253,250

====================

From Today's Report

"...The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending January 22 were in Alaska (2.9), California (2.7), Illinois (2.5), Minnesota (2.5), New Jersey (2.5), Rhode Island (2.5), Virgin Islands (2.5), New York (2.4), Massachusetts (2.3) and Puerto Rico (2.1).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending January 29 were in Pennsylvania (+2,735), Georgia (+1,551), Michigan (+1,238), Indiana (+939), and Texas (+785), while the largest decreases were in Ohio (-4,847), California (-2,595), Kentucky (-2,318), Utah (-1,870), and Alabama (-1,343)..."


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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January 2022

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January 2022:


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CPI During January 2022: 281.149

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Predicted: +0.6%
Actual: +0.842% (+2.347 points)

  • Change From 12 Months Previous: +7.48% (+19.567points)

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The above, yellow-highlighted figures represent month-to-month change (not seasonally adjusted) 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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CPI During January 2021: 261.582

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CHART: Consumer Price Index (CPI) - January 2022 Update

CHART: Consumer Price Index (CPI)
January 2022 Update

 
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Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of February 4, 2022

Crude Oil Inventories
Crude Oil Inventories


The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on February 4, 2022 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -4,800,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): -58,600,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 410,400,000 Barrels

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

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


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Tuesday, February 08, 2022

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for January 2022

The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index for January 2022:

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Predicted: 97.0
Actual: 97.1

  • Change from Previous Month: -1.82% (-1.8 points.)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +2.211% (+2.1 points.)


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CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - January 2022 Update

CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
January 2022 Update

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From Today's Report:

"...'More small business owners started the New Year raising prices in an attempt to pass on higher inventory, supplies, and labor costs,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'In addition to inflation issues, owners are also raising compensation at record high rates to attract qualified employees to their open positions.'

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The Optimism Index decreased slightly in January by 1.8 points to 97.1. One of the 10 Index components improved, seven declined and two were unchanged. Twenty-two percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months increased 2 points to a net negative 33 percent. Forty-seven percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, decrease of 2 points from December. Inventory accumulation plans fell 5 percentage points. A 48-year record high percent of owners reported raising worker compensation. The net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased 4 points to a net 61 percent seasonally adjusted, the highest reading since Q4 1974.


Key Findings Include:

-- One of the Index components improved, seven declined, and two were unchanged.

-- Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months increased two points to a net negative 33%. Small business owners remain pessimistic about future economic conditions as this indicator has declined 13 points over the past six months.

-- Forty-seven percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, a decrease of two points from December.

-- Inventory accumulation plans fell five percentage points..."

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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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The previous month's Small Business Optimism Index was 98.9.

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Saturday, February 05, 2022

Employment Situation Report for January 2022

The Employment Situation Report for January 2022 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Actual: +467,000
Predicted: +200,000
Previous Month (Revised): 510,000
One Year Previous: 520,000

U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 4.0%
Previous Month: 3.9%
12 Months Previous: 6.4%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 7.1%
Previous Month: 7.3%
12 Months Previous: 11.1%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.732% (+$0.23)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +3.5%
Actual: +5.68% (+$1.70)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: +0.152% (+$1.66)


Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +4.171% (+$43.69)

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.2%
Previous Month: 61.9%
12 Months Previous: 61.4%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.8 hours
Actual: 34.5 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:

"...In January, the share of employed persons who teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic. increased to 15.4 percent. These data refer to employed persons who teleworked or worked at home for pay at some point in the 4 weeks preceding the survey specifically because of the pandemic.

In January, 6.0 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 4 weeks preceding the survey due to the pandemic. This measure is considerably higher than the level of 3.1 million in December. Among those who reported in January that they were unable to work because of pandemic-related closures or lost business, 23.7 percent received at least some pay from their employer for the hours not worked, up from the prior month.

Among those not in the labor force in January, 1.8 million persons were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic, up from 1.1 million in the prior month. (To be counted as unemployed, by definition, individuals must be either actively looking for work or on temporary layoff.)
..."
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CHART: Nonfarm Payroll Employment - January 2022  Update

CHART: Nonfarm Payroll Employment
January 2022 Update

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CHART: U-3 (Headline) Unemployment Rate - January 2022 Update

CHART: U-3 (Headline) Unemployment Rate
January 2022 Update

   ===================

 * =  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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Friday, February 04, 2022

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for January 2022

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM®) released their Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for January 2022:

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Predicted: 60.0%
  • Actual: 59.9%  (-2.4 points month-on-month change)

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Previous month (revised): 62.3%

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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 services sector grew in January for the 20th month in a row, with the Services PMI® registering 59.9%, say the nation's purchasing and supply executives in the latest Services ISM® Report On Business®..."

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Here's a sampling of comments made by survey participants:

  • "Supply constraints and outages persist. With mechanical component parts, the problems are severe. We are finding widespread depletion of field service part inventories to sustain factory production of new product orders. The inability to satisfy replacement part demand creates tremendous operational risk."
     [Accommodation & Food Services]

 

  • "Challenging operating conditions remain the same to start the new year. Our biggest service providers seem to be rebounding from labor shortages or are managing their way through them. We will be forced to upgrade some equipment that is less reliant on labor."
     [Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting]

 

  • "Costs have escalated to what we believe are unsustainable levels. Available labor is nonexistent, so we have cut staffing and are taking on fewer projects temporarily in an attempt to reduce cost. Outsourcing where possible. We are not optimistic at this time."
     [Construction]

 

  • "Business activity is increasing, but professional labor continues to be in short supply. Virtual work is preferred by clients."
     [Finance & Insurance]

 

  • "COVID-19 inpatient stays have surged in the past 30 days; however, this past week, the numbers have trended slightly down. Supply chain disruptions continue. Hiring of clinical and nonclinical staff continues to be very difficult due to high demand. Some staff are still working remotely."
     [Health Care & Social Assistance]

 

  • "January has been tough, as product quantities intended for holiday sales are just now coming in, inventories of seasonal products are (very) high and now dormant for nine months, cash flow is down, and new orders are delayed. Omicron is keeping between 20 and 25 percent of our workforce out daily. Inflation is a concern."
     [Information]

 

  • "Downturn in business in the last month due to outbreak in COVID-19 cases."
     [Other Services]

 

  • "Blood shortages are causing issues in the emergency rooms."
     [Professional, Scientific & Technical Services]

 

  • "Business outlook remains cautiously optimistic, although uncertainty remains concerning the impact of omicron, inflation and the lack of major improvements to supply chain issues."
     [Retail Trade]

 

  • "Business activity is very high, and we have maintained a consistent amount of back orders. Labor constraints are presenting problems throughout all areas of the business."
     [Utilities]

 

  • "Constrained supplies of many key product groups continue. Inflation worsening; however, sales and profitability continue to be strong."
     [Wholesale Trade]

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CHART: ISM Non-Manufacturing (Services) Index (NMI®) 12 Month History - January 2022 Update

CHART: ISM Non-Manufacturing (Services) Index (NMI®)
12 Month History - January 2022 Update

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