Majority of Economic Data found at www.haver.com
Friday, October 13th
The CONSUMER PRICE INDEX rose 0.5% during September (2.2% y/y), this follows a gain of 0.4% in August. A key component
of the CPI, energy prices rose 6.1% (10.1% y/y) during September, this after rising 2.8% during August. Food and beverage prices
rose 0.1% in September (1.2% y/y). Ex-food and energy, the core CPI rose 0.1% in September (1.7% y/y) and by 0.2% during
RETAIL SALES rose 1.6% during September, this after falling 0.1% during August (4.1% y/y). Spending on MOTOR VEHICLE
& PARTS rose 3.6% (4.1% y/y) while RETAIL SALES EXCLUDING AUTOS rose 1.0% (4.0% y/y). NON-AUTOS LESS
GASOLINE, Retail Sales rose 0.6% during September (3.2% y/y). Two key components of this report, RETAIL SALES AT
GASOLINE STATIONS rose 5.8% during September (10.7%y/y) while FOOD SERVICE AND DRINKING PLACE SALES
rose 0.8% during September (3.3% y/y).
The Commerce Department reported that BUSINESS INVENTORIES rose 0.7% during August (3.6% y/y), this after rising 0.3%
during July, while BUSINESS SALES rose 0.7% in August (5.5% y/y). This relationship between business inventories as compared
to sales helped keep the INVENTORY-TO-SALES RATIO at 1.38 months during August versus July, and as compared to 1.40
months one year ago. The manufacturing inventory-to-sales ratio remained as 1.38 months in August as compared to July and versus
1.41 months one year ago.
The University of Michigan reported that the PRELIMINARY OCTOBER READING OF CONSUMER SENTIMENT rose to
101.1 from a final September 95.1 as well as from a preliminary September 95.3. The preliminary October expectations component
rebounded to 91.3 from a final September 84.4 as well as from a preliminary September 83.4. Lastly, the preliminary October
current conditions component jumped to 116.4 from a final September 111.7 and from a preliminary September 113.9.
Thursday, October 12th
The PRODUCER PRICE INDEX rose 0.4% during September, this after rising 0.2% during August. Over the past year the PPI has
risen 2.6%. Energy prices jumped 3.4% in September (10.6% y/y), this after rising 3.3% in August. Finished food prices rose 0.0%
during September (1.2% y/y). Excluding food and energy, the so-called core PPI rose 0.4% in September (2.2% y/y). Prices for
INTERMEDIATE GOODS rose 0.5% (4.3% y/y) during September, this following a gain of 0.4% in August.
INITIAL CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS for the week ended October 7th fell 15,000 to 243,000 from a revised
258,000 one week prior. Initial claims for unemployment benefits have remained below 300,000 for 136 consecutive weeks, the
longest streak since 1970. Meanwhile, the four-week rolling average fell 9,500 to 257,500 from 267,000 one week prior.
.Continuing claims for the week ending September 30th rose 32,000 to 1,889,000 as compared to 1,921,000 the prior week while the
continuing claims four-week average fell 11,500 to 1,925,000 from 1,936,500.
Friday, October 6th
The Commerce Department reported that WHOLESALE INVENTORIES rose 0.9% during August, this after rising 0.6% during
July and by 4.5% y/y. WHOLESALE SALES rose 1.7% during August, by 0.0% during July and by 4.5% y/y. This relationship
between wholesale inventories as compared to sales helped push the INVENTORY-TO-SALES RATIO down to 1.28 months
during August as compared to 1.29 months during July and versus 1.32 months one year ago.
NON-FARM PAYROLLS (approximately 80% of the U.S. workforce) fell a hurricanes Harvey & Irma related 33,000 during
September, which was well below the consensus estimate. Payroll gains for the prior two months were revised to 169,000 and
138,000 from 156,000 and 189,000 for a net revised loss of 38,000 jobs during August and July, respectively. The September
numbers along with the revisions the prior two months resulted in a three month average of 91,000. PRIVATE SECTOR companies
lost 40,000 jobs as the PUBLIC SECTOR added 7,000. Payrolls for the month ending May, 2014 showed total nonfarm payrolls set
an all-time high, eclipsing the prior peak set back in January 2008. That 76 month stretch was the longest since the Great Depression.
Payroll data was influenced by the manufacturing (-1,000), construction (8,000), and the private service producing sectors (-49,000).
Meanwhile, the UNEMPLOYMENT RATE fell to 4.2% during September as compared to 4.4% during August marking its lowest
levels since February 2001. According to Haver.com, “employment rose 0.6% (1.6% y/y). The size of the labor force increased 0.4%
(0.8% y/y) versus a 0.1% gain (0.6% y/y) in the size of the population. This helped push the LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION
RATE up to 63.1% during September from 62.9% in August, its highest level in four years. The average for this ratio was 67.1%
from 1997 to 2000. The UNDEREMPLOYMENT RATE, which includes the unemployed as well as those who were either
marginally attached to the labor force or were involuntarily working part-time (Table A-15) fell to 8.3% in September from 8.6% in
August and versus a seasonably adjusted 9.3% one year prior. AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS (Table B) rose 0.45% or $0.12
to $26.55 from $26.43 during September and by $0.62 or 2.40% from $25.81 one year ago. This helped push AVERAGE
WEEKLY EARNINGS up 0.45% to $913.32 during September from $909.19 in August. Average Weekly Earnings over the past
year have risen by $25.46 or 2.87% to $913.32 from $887.86. AVERAGE HOURS WORKED held steady at 34.4 hours in
September when compared to August and also as compared to one year ago. Also of note was the fact that the manufacturing week
(Table B-7) slipped to 41.8 hours during September from 42.0 hours in August and versus 41.8 hours one year ago. The AVERAGE
DURATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT (Table A-12) jumped to 26.8 weeks during September from 24.4 weeks during August while
the MEDIAN DURATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT fell to 10.3 months in September as compared to 10.5 weeks one month prior.
The number of LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED (27 weeks or longer) fell 7,000 or 0.40% to 1.733 million in September from 1.740
million in August.
The Federal Reserve reported that CONSUMER CREDIT grew by $13.07 billion during August, this after rising $17.71 billion in
July. Over the past year Consumer Credit has risen 5.5%. The calendar year 2016 increase of 6.4% follows gains of 6.9% during
2015, 7.0% during 2014 as well as gains of 7.2% and 6.1% during 2013 and 2012, respectively. According to Haver Analytics,
“annualized, credit growth averaged 8% during the fifteen years ended 2007. Over an even longer time period that increase does not
loom particularly large. However, against an average of 5% growth in disposable income during those years, it precipitated a rise in
the ratio to disposable income to 24% from a longer term norm of 17%.” Non-revolving Credit (automobiles, consumer durables
and student loans), which accounts for nearly two-thirds of total consumer credit, rose by $7.31 billion during August and by 5.5% y/y
while revolving credit (credit cards) rose $5.76 billion during August and by 5.4% y/y.
Thursday, October 5th
The U.S. TRADE DEFICIT narrowed to $42.4 billion during August from $43.6 billion during July. The value of EXPORTS rose
0.41% to $195.3 billion from $194.5 billion while the value of IMPORTS fell 0.17% to $237.7 billion during August from $238.1
billion in July. According to Haver Analytics, petroleum rose 4.9% during August (7.6% y/y). Moreover, “the cost of petroleum rose
2.1% (12.0% y/y) to $44.11 per barrel, but prices have been little changed since December.” Our trade deficit with China widened
to $34.9 billion during August from $33.9 billion one year ago. Over the past year our exports to China have risen 16.6% while
imports have gained 6.0%.
U.S. FACTORY ORDERS rose 1.2% during the month of August, this after falling 3.3% in July. Meanwhile, SHIPMENTS rose
0.5% during August. The fact that orders rose faster than shipments resulted in a 0.4% rise in INVENTORIES (backlog) and
a 0.0% increase in UNFILLED ORDERS.
Wednesday, October 4th
The Institute for Supply Management’s composite index of non-manufacturing (service) sector activity rose to 59.8% in
September as compared to 55.3% during August. The level recorded during September is far above the 37.2 recorded during
Q4-2008 in a sector that employs 80% of the U.S. workforce. Of note were New Orders (63.0% v. 57.1%), Employment (56.8%
- 56.2%), Business Activity (61.3% v. 57.5%), and Backlog of Orders (56.0% v. 53.5%). The Prices Paid Component rose to
66.3% from 57.9%.
Monday, October 2nd
U.S. CONSTRUCTION SPENDING rose 0.5% during August, this after falling 1.2% during July. Over the past year Construction
Spending has risen 2.5%. Private Construction Spending rose 0.4% in August (4.7% y/y), this after falling 0.5% during July.
Private Residential Construction Spending rose 0.4% in August (11.6% y/y). Nonresidential Construction Spending rose 0.5%
(-2.5% y/y) while Public Construction Spending edged up 0.7% in August (-5.1% y/y).
The Institute for Supply Management’s composite index of manufacturing sector activity rose to 60.8% during September from
58.8% in August. Generally speaking, “a reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is expanding; below50%
indicates that it is generally contracting.” Of note were the changes in New Orders (64.6% v. 60.3%), Production (62.2% v. 61.0%),
Supplier Deliveries (inverse, indicates faster delivery times) (64.4% v. 57.1%), Inventories (52.5% v. 55.5%) and Employment
(60.3% v. 59.9%). The Prices Paid Component surged to 71.5% during September as compared to 62.0% during August.
Friday, September 29th
The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that PERSONAL INCOME rose 0.2% during August (2.8% y/y), this after rising 0.3%
during July. DISPOSABLE PERSONAL INCOME (personal income less taxes) rose 0.1% (2.7% y/y), this after rising 0.2%
during July. The WAGE & SALARY COMPONENT rose 0.0% in August (2.7% y/y). PERSONAL CONSUMPTION which
represents approximately 70% of economic activity rose 0.1% in August, by 0.3% in July and by 3.9% y/y. PERSONAL SAVINGS
(Disposable Personal Income Less Outlays) rose at an annualized rate of 3.6% during August, by 3.6% during July and as compared
to 4.9% one year ago. The PCE CHAIN PRICE INDEX one of the Fed’s favorite measures of inflation rose 0.2% in August (1.4%
y/y), while the core PCE Chain Price Index rose 0.1% during August and by 1.3% y/y.
Thursday, September 28th
SECOND QUARTER GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT, as reported by the Commerce Department, a tally of the output of all
goods and services in the United States, rose at a revised annualized rate of 3.1%, this as compared to the prior two estimates of 3.0%
and 2.6%, up from 1.2% during the first quarter and as compared to 2.2% y/y. FINAL SALES rose at a revised annualized pace of
2.95%, as compared to the prior two estimates of 3.0% and 2.6%, up from 2.7% during Q1 and as compared to 2.2% over the past
twelve months. GOVERNMENT SPENDING fell at a revised annualized rate of 0.2%, an improvement from the two prior
estimates of 0.3% and an increase of 0.7%, but up from a decline of 0.6% during Q1 and versus -0.0% y/y. Meanwhile, the
INVENTORY EFFECT added 0.12% go Q2 GDP, up from the prior two estimates of 0.00%, up from a 1.5% drawdown recorded
during Q1 and versus -0.1% y /y. PERSONAL CONSUMPTION rose at an unrevised 3.3% during Q2, this as compared to an
initial reading of 2.8%, up from 1.9% during Q1 and versus a growth rate of 2.7% y/y. BUSINESS FIXED INVESTMENT, a key
contributor to recent economic growth, rose at a revised annualized pace of 6.7%, down from the prior estimate of 6.9%, up from an
initial 5.2%, but down from an annualized 7.1% rate of growth recorded during Q1 and versus 4.3% y/y. The impact from FOREIGN
TRADE added an unrevised 0.2% to Q2 GDP, unchanged from Q1 and better than the loss of 0.1% y /y. RESIDENTIAL
INVESTMENT fell at a revised annualized rate of 7.3%, slightly greater than the prior two estimates for Q2 of declines of 6.5% and
6.8%, also a sharp decline from the 11.1% increase recorded during Q1 and as compared to a 1.3% increase over the past twelve
months. Finally, during Q2 the PCE Chained GDP Price Index rose an annualized rate of 1.0%, unrevised from the initial two
estimates, down from 2.0% during the first quarter and as compared to 1.6% y/y.
Wednesday, September 27th
ORDERS FOR DURABLE GOODS (those expected to last at least three years) rose 1.7% during August, this after falling 6.8%
during July. Smoothing out the m/m volatility, over the past year Orders for Durable Goods have risen 5.1%. Transportation
Orders rose 4.9% (3.2% y/y) while Orders for NonDefense Capital Goods, Excluding Aircraft rose 0.9% (3.6% y/y) in August.
Orders for nondefense capital goods rose 4.7% during August (8.1% y/y).
Tuesday, September 26th
The Commerce Department reported that SALES OF NEW HOMES fell 20,000 to 560,000 during August from 580,000 during
July (-1.2 y/y). Sales of New Homes have fallen by 56.21% from the peak in July 2005 of 1,279,000 units. According to Haver
Analytics, “there was a 6.1 month’s supply for sale at the current sales rate. It was the highest since July 2014. The median number
of months a new home was on the market rose slightly to 3.1.” The median price of a new home plunged $19,700 or 6.16% during
August to $300,200 from $319,900 in July. Over the past year the median price of a new home has risen 0.40%.
The CONFERENCE BOARD’S CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX fell to 119.8 during September (15.7% y/y) as compared
to 120.4 in August. The present situation index fell to 146.4 in September from 148.4 in August and by 14.2% y/y while the
expectations component edged up to 102.2 during September from 101.7 in August and by 17.2% y/y. Those surveyed saying that
jobs are “hard to get” improved to 18.1% of respondents during September from 18.4% during August while those claiming that
jobs are “plentiful” fell to 32.6% of respondents during September versus 34.4% in August.
Thursday, September 21st
The Conference Board reported that its INDEX OF LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS rose 0.4% during August (4.4% y/y),
this after rising 0.3% in July. Seven of the ten components that comprise the LEI increased including, in order of impact were
building permits, the interest rate spread, average consumer expectations for business conditions, the ISM new orders index, the
Leading Credit Index (inverted), average weekly manufacturing hours and manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and
materials, and materials. The only negative contributor was average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted).
Manufacturers’ new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft as well as stock prices remained unchanged during August.
According to Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at the Conference Board, “the August gain is consistent with continuing growth in the U.S. economy for the second half of the year, which may even see a moderate pick up. While the economic impact of the recent hurricanes is not fully reflected in the leading indicators yet, the underlying trends suggest that the current solid pace of growth should continue in the near term.”
Wednesday, September 20th
SALES OF EXISTING HOMES fell 90,000 during the month of August to 5.350 million from 5.440 million one month prior.
Over the past year Sales of Existing Homes have risen 0.2%. During calendar year 2016 there were 5.452 million sales of existing
homes, the highest level since 2006. According to Haver Analytics “the number of homes on the market declined 2.1% (-6.5% y/y)
to 1.88 million. There was a 4.2 months’ supply of those homes available for sale, up from a recent low of 3.5 months in January.”
The median existing-home sales price fell 1.78% (5.6% y/y) or $4,600 to $253,500 in August from $268,100 during July.
Tuesday, September 19th
HOUSING STARTS fell 0.85% or 10,000 to 1,180,000 during August, as compared to 1,190,000 in July. Over the past year
Housing Starts have risen 0.5%. Calendar year 2016 starts rose by 1,116,000, the highest since August 2007 and more than double
- Of note is the fact that there must be approximately 100,000 housing starts per year just to replace those lost to natural causes,
man-induced causes or by the growing U.S. population. During August, Single-family housing starts rose 1.55% or 13,000 to
851,000 from 838,000. Multi-family housing starts fell 23,000 or 6.35% to 329,000 in August from 353,000 during July.
BUILDING PERMITS, a preview of future housing starts rose 5.69% to 1,300,000 during August from 1,230,000 one month prior.
U.S. Import Prices rose 0.6% during August, , this after falling 0.1% in July. Over the past year U.S. Import Prices have risen 2.1%.
Petroleum prices rose 4.8% during August (15.8% y/y). Export prices rose 0.6% during August (2.3%y/y). Agricultural export
prices rose 0.1% in August (2.4% y/y), this after rising 1.4% in July. Non-Agricultural Export Prices rose 0.7% (2.4% y/y).
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, a measure of strength of the manufacturing, factory and utility sectors, fell 0.9% during August,
this after rising 0.4% during July, respectively (1.6% y/y). CAPACITY UTILIZATION remained fell to 76.1% during August from
76.9% in July and as compared to 75.8% y/y. Finally, MANUFACTURING CAPACITY slipped to 75.3% in August from 75.6%
during July (74.7% y/y) and as compared to a recession low 65.4%. On a side note, the nation’s mines, factories and utilities operated
at an average of 80.4% of capacity from 1972 to 2009.
Thursday, June 1st
SECOND QUARTER PRODUCTIVITY was revised to an annualized rate of 1.5% from an initially reported 0.9%, up from an
increase of 0.1% recorded during Q1 and 1.3% y/y. Meanwhile, HOURLY COMPENSATION rose at a revised annualized rate of
1.8%, this as compared to an initial 1.6%, 4.9% during Q1 and 1.1% y/y. UNIT LABOR COSTS (defined as output per hour of
work and can be determined by dividing total labor costs by output) rose at a revised annualized rate of 0.2%, down from an initially
reported 0.6% during Q2 as compared to the 4.8% increase during Q4 and versus a drop of 0.2% y/y.
Friday, July 28th
According to the Department of Labor, the EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX, a “measure of quarterly changes in compensation costs,
which include wages, salaries, and employer costs for employee benefits for civilian workers (non-farm private and state and local
government)” rose by 0.5% during the second quarter, this following an 0.8% increase during Q1-2017. The ECI has risen by 2.4%
y/y. The wages & salaries component (70% of ECI) rose by 0.5% during Q2 vs. 0.8% during Q1-2017 and as compared to 2.3%
y/y. The cost of benefits rose by 0.6% over the past quarter, this after rising 0.7% during Q1-2017 and by 2.4% y/y.