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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Leading Economic Index for January 2024

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for January 2024 this morning:

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Index for January 2024: 102.7 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

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Predicted: -0.4%

  • Actual: -0.39% (-0.4 point M/M)

  • Change from 12 Months Ago: -6.8% (-7.5 points)

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  • LEI for December 2023: 103.1

  • LEI for November 2023: 103.3

  • LEI for October 2023: 103.7

  • LEI for September 2023: 104.7

  • LEI for August 2023: 105.5

  • LEI for July 2023: 105.9

  • LEI for June 2023: 106.1

  • LEI for May 2023: 106.7

  • LEI for April 2023: 107.4

  • LEI for March 2023: 108.3

  • LEI for February 2023: 109.6

  • LEI for January 2023: 110.2

  • LEI for December 2022: 110.7

  • LEI for November 2022: 111.5

  • LEI for October 2022: 112.5

  • LEI for September 2022: 113.5

  • LEI for August 2022: 116.4

  • LEI for July 2022: 116.4

  • LEI for June 2022: 117.1

  • LEI for May 2022: 117.9

  • LEI for April 2022: 118.7

  • LEI for March 2022: 119.3

  • LEI for February 2022: 119.4

  • LEI for January 2022: 118.5

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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, non-defense 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 Rate with Warning + Recession Signals - January 2024 UPDATE
CHART: Leading Economic Index
6-Month Growth Rate
with Warning + Recession Signals
January 2024 UPDATE
==============
 
From Today's Report:

"...The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. fell by 0.4% in January 2024 to 102.7 (2016 = 100), following a 0.2% decline in December 2023. The LEI contracted by 3.0% over the six-month period between July 2023 and January 2024, a smaller decrease than the 4.1 percent decline over the previous six months.

'The U.S. LEI fell further in January, as weekly hours worked in manufacturing continued to decline and the yield spread remained negative,' said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board. 'While the declining LEI continues to signal headwinds to economic activity, for the first time in the past two years, six out of its ten components were positive contributors over the past six-month period (ending in January 2024.) As a result, the leading index currently does not signal recession ahead. While no longer forecasting a recession in 2024, we do expect real GDP growth to slow to near zero percent over Q2 and Q3.'

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. rose by 0.2% in January 2024 to 112.1 (2016 = 100), after a 0.2% increase in December 2023. The CEI expanded by 1.0% in the six-month period ending January 2024, down from a 0.8% growth rate over the previous six months. The CEI’s component indicators -- payroll employment, personal income less transfer payments, manufacturing and trade sales, and industrial production -- are included among the data used to determine recessions in the US. Three out of four components of the index were positive in January, with payroll employment and personal income less transfer payments having the strongest contributions, followed by a much smaller positive contribution from manufacturing and trade sales.

The Conference Board Lagging Economic Index® (LAG) for the U.S. rose by 0.4% in January 2024 to 118.6 (2016 = 100), reversing a decline of 0.4% in December 2023. The LAG is up by 0.9% over the six-month period from July to January 2024, following a decline of 0.1% over the previous six months.

The LEI still declined in January 2024 but at the slowest pace since March 2023..
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Saturday, February 17, 2024

Consumer Sentiment: Preliminary Results for February 2024

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) - Preliminary Results for February 2024 was released today:

Predicted: 80.0
  • Actual: 79.6
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  • Change from Previous Month: +0.76% (+0.6 point)

  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +19.0% (+12.7 points)

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  • Final ICS Reading for January 2024: 79.0

  • Final ICS Reading for February 2023: 66.9

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From Today's Report:

"...Consumer sentiment was essentially unchanged from January, rising 0.6 index point this month and solidifying the large gains from the past two months. The fact that sentiment lost no ground this month suggests that consumers continue to feel more assured about the economy, confirming the considerable improvements in December and January across various aspects of the economy.

Consumers continued to express confidence that the slowdown in inflation and strength in labor markets would continue. Five-year expectations for business conditions rose 5% to its highest reading since December 2020. Sentiment is currently about 30% above November 2023 and about 6% below its historical average since monthly data collection began in 1978.

Year-ahead inflation inched up from 2.9 in January to 3.0% in February. For the second consecutive month, short-run
inflation expectations have fallen within the 2.3-3.0% range seen in the two years prior to the pandemic. Long-run inflation expectations remained at 2.9% for the third straight month, staying within the narrow 2.9-3.1% range for 28 of the last 31 months. Long-run inflation expectations were elevated relative to the 2.2-2.6% range seen in the two years pre-pandemic..."
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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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Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for January 2024

The Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for January 2024 was released this morning:

Previous Month: -0.1%
Actual: +0.3%

Change from 12 months previous:  +0.9%

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

Previous Month: +0.2%
Actual: +0.6%

Change from 12 months previous:  +2.6%

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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 Change - January 2024 Update

CHART: Producer Price Index
  Final Demand (PPI-FD)
12-Month Percent Change
January 2024 Update

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Friday, February 16, 2024

U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for January 2024

The Commerce Department this morning released advance estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for January 2024:

Previous Month: +0.4%
  • Actual:  -0.83%(-$5,889,000)

The yellow-highlighted percentage above represents the month-to-month , seasonally adjusted 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 2024: $700,291,000,000
  • Change From A Year Ago: +0.65% (+$4,515,000,000)

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CHART: Retail Sales - Monthly January 2021 Thru December 2024 Seasonally Adjusted
CHART: Retail Sales - Monthly
January 2021 Thru December 2024
Seasonally Adjusted

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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Import and Export Price Indexes for January 2024

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for January 2024:

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Import Prices
Previous Reading: -0.7% (revised)
Actual: +0.8%

Change From 12 Months Previous: -1.3%

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Export Prices
Previous Reading: -0.7% (revised)
Actual: +0.8%

Change From 12 Months Previous: -2.4%

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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.

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 CHART: Import Price Index - January 2024 Update

CHART: Import Price Index
January 2024 Update

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CHART: Export Price Index - January 2024 Update

CHART: Export Price Index
 January 2024 Update

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Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January 2024

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December 2023:


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CPI During January 2024: 308.417

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Consumer Price Index, Headline

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.545% (+1.671 points)

  • Change From 12 Months Ago: +3.09% (+9.247 points)


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Consumer Price Index, Minus Food + Energy (Core CPI)

Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.55% (+1.716 point)

Change From 12 Months Ago: +3.86% (+11.661 points)


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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 2023: 299.170

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 CHART: Consumer Price Index
12-Month Percentage Change
January 2024 Update

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Thursday, February 08, 2024

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 3, 2024

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 3, 2024:

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Predicted: 220,000

  • 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): 227,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 212,250

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Saturday, February 03, 2024

Employment Situation Report for January 2024

Employment Situation Report for January 2024 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Actual: +353,000
Previous Month (Revised): 333,000
One Year Previous: 482,000

U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 3.7%
Previous Month: 3.7%
12 Months Previous: 3.4%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 7.2%
Previous Month: 7.1%
12 Months Previous: 6.7%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.553% (+$0.19)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +4.3%
Actual: +4.48% (+$1.48)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: -0.03% (-$0.39)


Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +2.97% (+$33.94)

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.5%
Previous Month: 62.5%
12 Months Previous: 62.4%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.4 hours
Actual: 34.1 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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CHART: Unemployment Rate - January 2024 UPDATE

CHART: Unemployment Rate
 January 2024 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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