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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

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%

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

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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Friday, March 29, 2024

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

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

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

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)

Previous Reading (unrevised): +0.2%
  • Actual: +0.8%
  • Actual: (2017 Chained* Dollars): +0.4%
=============

Personal Income

Previous Reading: (unrevised) +1.0%
  • Actual: +0.3%
=============

  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars: +0.2%
  • Disposable Personal Income (2017 Chained* Dollars): -0.1%

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

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.

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

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Previous Reading: +0.4%
Actual: +0.3% 

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.5%
=====================

Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Previous Reading: +0.5%
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.

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

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

CHART: Disposable Personal Income,
Outlays + Savings - February 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, March 22, 2024

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of March 16, 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 March 16, 2024:

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

Predicted: 210,000

  • Actual: 210,000
====================

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): 212,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 211,250

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

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Leading Economic Index for February 2024

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

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

Index for February 2024: 102.8 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2016 data.)

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

Predicted: -0.4%

  • Actual: +0.097% (+0.1 point M/M)

  • Change from 12 Months Ago: -6.2% (-6.8 points)

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

  • LEI for January 2024: 102.7

  • LEI for December 2023: 103.1

  • LEI for November 2023: 103.3

  • 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

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

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™

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

"...The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased by 0.1% in February 2024 to 102.8 (2016=100), following a 0.4% decline in January. Over the six-month period between August 2023 and February 2024, the LEI contracted by 2.6% -- a smaller decrease than the 3.8% decline over the previous six months.

'The U.S. LEI rose in February 2024 for the first time since February 2022,' said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board. 'Strength in weekly hours worked in manufacturing, stock prices, the Leading Credit Index™, and residential construction drove the LEI’s first monthly increase in two years.

However, consumers’ expectations and the ISM® Index of New Orders have yet to recover, and the six- and twelve-month growth rates of the LEI remain negative. Despite February’s increase, the Index still suggests some headwinds to growth going forward.

The Conference Board expects annualized US GDP growth to slow over the Q2 to Q3 2024 period, as rising consumer debt and elevated interest rates weigh on consumer spending.'

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.S. rose by 0.2% in February 2024 to 112.3 (2016 = 100), after a 0.1% increase in January. The CEI rose 1.1% over the six-month period ending February 2024, up from 0.8% 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. All four components of the index were positive last month, with personal income less transfer payments and payroll employment having the strongest contributions to the Index..."
==============
 

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Saturday, March 16, 2024

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

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

Previous Month: +0.3%
Actual: +0.6%

Change from 12 months previous:  +1.6%

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

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

Previous Month: +0.6%
Actual: +0.4%

Change from 12 months previous:  +2.8%

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

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

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February 2024

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


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

CPI During February 2024: 310.326

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

Consumer Price Index, Headline

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.62% (+1.909 points)

  • Change From 12 Months Ago: +3.15% (+9.486 points)


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

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

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: +0.57% (+1.796 points)

Change From 12 Months Ago: +3.75% (+11.408 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 February 2023: 300.840

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

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

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

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

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Saturday, March 09, 2024

Employment Situation Report for February 2024

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

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Actual: +275,000
Previous Month (Revised): 229,000
One Year Previous: 287,000

U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 3.9%
Previous Month: 3.7%
12 Months Previous: 3.6%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 7.3%
Previous Month: 7.2%
12 Months Previous: 6.8%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.145% (+$0.05)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change) 
Predicted: +4.3%
Actual: +4.28% (+$1.42)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: +0.44% (+$5.17)


Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +3.68% (+$42.07)

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

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.3 hours
Actual: 34.3 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: Month-to-Month Change In Nonfarm Payroll Employment - February 2022 thru February 2024

CHART: Month-to-Month Change
In Nonfarm Payroll Employment
February 2022 thru February 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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Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for January 2024

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS*) for January 2024 was released by the Labor Department this morning:

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

Job Openings

Predicted: 8,800,000
  • Actual:   8,863,000
-------------------------
  • Previous Month (revised): 8,889,000

  • One Year Previous: 10,425,000

  • Change from one year previous: -15.0% (-1,562,000)


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

HIRES: 5,687,000

HIRES vs. 12 Months Previous: -10.78% (-687,000)

-----------

QUITS: 3,385,000

QUITS vs. 12 Months Previous: -12.8% (-497,000)


-----------

LAYOFFS + DISCHARGES: 1,572,000 

LAYOFFS + DISCHARGES vs. 12 Months Previous: -15.85% (-296,000)

-----------

TOTAL SEPARATIONS §: 5,341,000

TOTAL SEPARATIONS vs. 12 Months Previous: -11.23% (-676,000)

=============
 

§ = 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."


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

CHART: Number of Jobless People per Job Opening - JANUARY 2024 UPDATE
CHART: Number of Jobless People
per Job Opening
JANUARY 2024 UPDATE

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


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

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Thursday, February 29, 2024

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

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

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

Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)

Previous Reading (unrevised): +0.7%
  • Actual: +0.2%
  • Actual: (2017 Chained* Dollars): -0.1%
=============

Personal Income

Previous Reading: (unrevised) +0.3%
  • Actual: +1.0%
=============

  • Disposable Personal Income, Current Dollars: +0.3%
  • Disposable Personal Income (2017 Chained* Dollars): FLAT

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

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.

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

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Previous Reading: +0.1%
Actual: +0.3% 

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.4%
=====================

Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Previous Reading: +0.1%
Actual: +0.4%

  • 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.

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

CHART: Disposable Personal Income, Outlays + Savings - January 2024 Update
CHART: Disposable Personal Income,
Outlays + Savings - January 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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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for February 2024

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

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

Predicted: 112.0
  • Actual: 106.7

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

Previous Month (revised): 110.9

  • Change from Previous Month: -3.79% (-4.2 points)
================

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

From Today's Report:

"...The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® fell in February to 106.7 (1985 = 100), down from a revised 110.9 in January. February’s decline in the Index occurred after three consecutive months of gains. However, as January was revised downward from the preliminary reading of 114.8, the data now suggest that there was not a material breakout to the upside in confidence at the start of 2024.

The Present Situation Index -- based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions
-- fell back to 147.2 (1985 = 100) in February from 154.9 in January. The Expectations Index -- based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions -- slipped to 79.8 (1985 = 100), down from a revised 81.5 in January. An Expectations Index reading below 80 often signals recession ahead.

'The decline in consumer confidence in February interrupted a three-month rise, reflecting persistent uncertainty about the US economy,' said Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board. 'The drop in confidence was broad-based, affecting all income groups except households earning less than $15,000 and those earning more than $125,000. Confidence deteriorated for consumers under the age of 35 and those 55 and over, whereas it improved slightly for those aged 35 to 54.'

Peterson added: 'February’s write-in responses revealed that while overall inflation remained the main preoccupation of consumers, they are now a bit less concerned about food and gas prices, which have eased in recent months. But they are more concerned about the labor market situation and the US political environment.'

Assessments of the present situation weakened in February, as consumers’ views of both business conditions and the employment situation became less favorable. Furthermore, consumers’ assessments of their personal financial situation (a measure not included in calculating the Present Situation Index) also weakened.

Consumer expectations for the next six months deteriorated in February, driven by renewed pessimism regarding future business and labor market conditions. Consumers were also a bit less optimistic about their family financial situation over the next six months (a measure not included in calculating the Expectations Index). Additionally, consumers’ Perceived Likelihood of a US Recession over the Next 12 Months picked back up after falling over the previous three months.

On a six-month basis, buying plans for autos, homes, and big-ticket appliances dipped slightly. The share of consumers planning a vacation over the next six months also declined. Expectations that interest rates will rise over the year ahead picked up slightly to 42.7%, which may have influenced buying plans. Meanwhile, consumers remained upbeat about stock prices over the year ahead.

Average 12-month inflation expectations ticked down further to 5.2% in February. After peaking at 7.9% in mid-2022, expected
inflation has now fallen to its lowest level since March 2020, when it stood at 4.5%. This aligns with continued slowing in consumer price inflation in government reports and fewer complaints about food and energy prices in our survey.

Present Situation

Consumers’ assessment of current business conditions fell slightly in February.

    21.2% of consumers said business conditions were 'good,' down slightly from 21.3% in January.
    17.1% said business conditions were 'bad,' up from 15.3%.

Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also less positive in February.

    41.3% of consumers said jobs were 'plentiful,' down from 42.7% in January.

    13.5% of consumers said jobs were 'hard to get,' up from 11.0%.

Expectations Six Months Hence          

Consumers were, on balance, more pessimistic about the short-term business conditions outlook in February.

    14.8% of consumers expect business conditions to improve, down from 16.7% in January.
    15.5% expect business conditions to worsen, down from 16.0%.

Consumers’ assessment of the short-term labor market outlook was more pessimistic in February.

    14.7% of consumers expect more jobs to be available, down from 15.6% in January.
    17.3% anticipate fewer jobs, up from 16.7%.

Consumers’ assessment of their short-term income prospects was, on balance, more optimistic in February.

    16.9% of consumers expect their incomes to increase, down from 17.1% in January.
    11.3% expect their incomes to decrease, down from 12.5%.

Assessment of Family Finances and Recession Risk

    Consumers’ assessment of their Family’s Current Financial Situation was less positive in February.

    Consumers were a bit less optimistic about their Family’s Financial Situation going forward.

    Consumers’ Perceived Likelihood of a US Recession over the Next 12 Months ticked up in February.

    Consumers’ assessment of their Family’s Current Financial Situation was less positive in February.

    Consumers were a bit less optimistic about their Family’s Financial Situation going forward.

    Consumers’ Perceived Likelihood of a US Recession over the Next 12 Months ticked up in February.
.."

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.

================   

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

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

CHART: Perceived Likelihood of A Recession Over The Next 12 Months - FEBRUARY 2024 UPDATE

CHART: Perceived Likelihood of A Recession
Over The Next 12 Months
 FEBRUARY 2024 UPDATE

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

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

New Home Sales During January, 2024

The January, 2024 New Home Sales report was released by the Commerce Department this morning:

------------------------------------------------------

Previous Month (revised): 651,000

  • Actual New Home Sales: 661,000

------------------------------------------------------

  • Change from 1 Month Previous: +10,000 units (+1.54%)

  • Change from 1 Year Previous: +12,000 units (+1.85%)


------------------------------------------------------

Median Price for a New Home
During January, 2024: $420,700
 

***************************

Average Price for a New Home
During January, 2024: $534,300

------------------------------------------------------

Inventory: 456,000 (8.3 months supply at current sales rate; seasonally‐adjusted estimate.)

------------------------------------------------------

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

CHART: New Home Sales - January, 2024 Update
CHART: New Home Sales
January, 2024 Update

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


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


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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Friday, February 23, 2024

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 17, 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 17, 2024:

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Predicted: 215,000

  • Actual: 201,000
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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): 213,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 215,250

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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
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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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