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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for April 2024

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

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Predicted: 99.0
  • Actual: 97.0

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Previous Month (revised): 103.1

  • Change from Previous Month: -5.92% (-6.1 points)
================

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

From Today's Report:

"...'Confidence retreated further in April, reaching its lowest level since July 2022 as consumers became less positive about the current labor market situation, and more concerned about future business conditions, job availability, and income,' said Dana M. Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board. 'Despite April’s dip in the overall index, since mid-2022, optimism about the present situation continues to more than offset concerns about the future."

'In the month, confidence declined among consumers of all age groups and almost all 
income groups except for the $25,000 to $49,999 bracket. Nonetheless, consumers under 35 continued to express greater confidence than those over 35. In April, households with incomes below $25,000 and those with incomes above $75,000 reported the largest deteriorations in confidence. However, over a six-month basis, confidence for consumers earning less than $50,000 has been stable, but confidence among consumers earning more has weakened.'

Peterson added: 'According to April’s write-in responses, elevated price levels, especially for food and gas, dominated consumer’s concerns, with politics and global conflicts as distant runners-up. Average 12-month 
inflation expectations remained stable at 5.3% despite concerns about food and energy prices.
Consumers ’ Perceived Likelihood of a U.S. Recession over the Next 12 Months rose slightly in April but is still well below the May 2023 peak.'..."

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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CHART: Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) - April 2024 Update
CHART: Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)
April 2024 Update

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CHART: Reducing Spending to Save Money: Where Consumers Are Planning to Cut Back
CHART: Reducing Spending to Save Money:
Where Consumers Are Planning to Cut Back

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Sunday, April 28, 2024

PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for March 2024

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for March 2024:

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Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)

Previous Reading (unrevised): +0.8%
  • Actual: +0.8%
  • Actual: (2017 Chained* Dollars): +0.5%
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Personal Income

Previous Reading: (unrevised) +0.3%
  • Actual: +0.5%
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  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars: +0.5%
  • Disposable Personal Income (2017 Chained* Dollars): +0.2%

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The above highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending (aka Personal Consumption Expenditures), Personal Income and Disposable Personal Income for the entire United States.

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Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Previous Reading: +0.3%
Actual: +0.3% 

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.7%
=====================

Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Previous Reading: +0.3%
Actual: +0.3%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.8%
=====================

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.

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

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

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CHART: Disposable Personal Income,
Outlays + Savings - March 2024 Update


   =====================

*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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Friday, April 26, 2024

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 20, 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 
April 20, 2024:

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Predicted: 210,000

  • Actual: 207,000
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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): 212,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 213,250

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 19, 2024

Crude Oil Inventories
Crude Oil Inventories


The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 19, 2024 was released this morning:

-- Change from Last Week: -6,400,000 Barrels

-- Change from A Year Ago (Y/Y): -7,300,000 Barrels

-- Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 453,600,000 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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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Leading Economic Index for March 2024

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

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Index for March 2024: 102.4 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

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Predicted: -0.1%

  • Actual: -0.29% (-0.3 point M/M)

  • Change from 12 Months Ago: -5.45% (-5.9 points)

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  • LEI for February 2024: 102.7
     
  • LEI for January 2024: 102.5

  • LEI for December 2023: 103.0

  • LEI for November 2023: 103.2

  • LEI for October 2023: 103.8

  • 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 - March 2024 UPDATE
CHART: Leading Economic Index
6-Month Growth Rate
with Warning + Recession Signals
March 2024 UPDATE

==============
 
From Today's Report:

"...'February’s uptick in the U.S. LEI proved to be ephemeral as the Index posted a decline in March,' said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board. 'Negative contributions from the yield spread, new building permits, consumers’ outlook on business conditions, new orders, and initial unemployment insurance claims drove March’s decline.

The LEI’s six-month and annual growth rates remain negative, but the pace of contraction has slowed. Overall, the Index points to a fragile -- even if not recessionary -- outlook for the U.S. economy. Indeed, rising consumer debt, elevated interest rates, and persistent inflation pressures continue to pose risks to economic activity in 2024.

The Conference Board forecasts GDP growth to cool after the rapid expansion in the second half of 2023. As consumer spending slows, US GDP growth is expected to moderate over Q2 and Q3 of this year.'..
."
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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) March 2024

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

Previous Month: +0.6%
Actual: +0.2%

Change from 12 months previous:  +2.1%

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

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

Previous Month (revised): +0.3%
Actual: +0.2%

Change from 12 months previous:  +2.8%

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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.


 ==============

CHART: Producer Price Index   Final Demand (PPI-FD) 12-Month Percent Change - March 2024 Update
CHART: Producer Price Index
  Final Demand (PPI-FD)
12-Month Percent Change
March 2024 Update
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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2024

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2024:


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

CPI During March 2024: 312.332

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

Consumer Price Index, Headline

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.65% (+2.006 points)

  • Change From 12 Months Ago: +3.48% (+10.496 points)


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

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

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.53% (+1.669 points)

Change From 12 Months Ago: +3.8% (+11.612 points)


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

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.)

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

CPI During March 2023: 301.836

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

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

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

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

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Friday, April 05, 2024

Employment Situation Report for March 2024

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

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Actual: +303,000
Previous Month (Revised): 270,000
One Year Previous: 146,000

U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 3.8%
Previous Month: 3.9%
12 Months Previous: 3.5%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 7.3%
Previous Month: 7.3%
12 Months Previous: 6.7%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.35% (+$0.12)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +4.1%
Actual: +4.14% (+$1.38)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: +0.64% (+$7.59)


Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +4.14% (+$47.48)

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.7%
Previous Month: 62.5%
12 Months Previous: 62.6%

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.

===================
 
CHART: Persons Not In The Labor Force Who Want A Job, Seasonally Adjusted - March 2004 thru March 2024

CHART: Persons NOT In The Labor Force
Who Want A Job, Seasonally Adjusted
March 2004 thru March 2024

   ===================

 * =  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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