Majority of Economic Data found at www.haver.com
Friday, November 10th
The University of Michigan reported that the PRELIMINARY NOVEMBER READING OF CONSUMER SENTIMENT fell to
97.8 from a final October 100.7 as well as from a preliminary October 101.1. The preliminary November expectations component
slipped to 87.6 from a final October 90.5 as well as from a preliminary October 91.3. Lastly, the preliminary November current
conditions component edged down to 113.6 from a final October 116.5 and from a preliminary October 116.4.
Thursday, November 9th
The Commerce Department reported that WHOLESALE INVENTORIES rose 0.3% during September, this after rising 0.8% during
August and by 4.6% y/y. WHOLESALE SALES rose 1.3% during September, by 1.9% during August and by 5.5% y/y. This
relationship between wholesale inventories as compared to sales helped push the INVENTORY-TO-SALES RATIO down to 1.27
months during September as compared to 1.28 months during August and versus 1.32 months one year ago.
INITIAL CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS for the week ended November 4th rose 10,000 to 239,000 from an
unrevised 229,000 one week prior. Initial claims for unemployment benefits have remained below 300,000 for 140 consecutive
weeks, the longest streak since 1970. Meanwhile, the four-week rolling average fell 1,250 to 231,250 from 232,500 one week prior.
Continuing claims for the week ending October 28th rose 17,000 to 1,901,000 as compared to 1,884,000 the prior week while the
continuing claims four-week average fell 750 to 1,895,250 from 1,896,000.
Tuesday, November 7th
The Federal Reserve reported that CONSUMER CREDIT grew by $20.84 billion during September, this after rising $13.13 billion
In August. Over the past year Consumer Credit has risen 5.6%. 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 $14.44 billion during September
and by 5.6% y/y while revolving credit (credit cards) rose $6.40 billion during September and by 5.6% y/y.
Friday, November 3rd
NON-FARM PAYROLLS (approximately 80% of the U.S. workforce) rose a hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria related 261,000
during October, which was below the consensus estimate of 310,000. Payroll gains for the prior two months were revised to 18,000
and 208,000 from a loss of 33,000 and a gain of 169,000 for a net revised gain of 90,000 jobs during September and August,
respectively. The October numbers along with the revisions the prior two months resulted in a three month average of 162,333.
PRIVATE SECTOR companies gained 252,000 jobs as the PUBLIC SECTOR added 9,000. 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 (24,000), construction (11,000), and the
private service producing sectors (219,000). Meanwhile, the UNEMPLOYMENT RATE fell to 4.1% during October as compared
to 4.2% during September marking its lowest levels since February 2001. According to Haver.com, “the dip in the unemployment rate
to 4.1% reflected a 484,000 fall (+1.3% y/y) in employment which was outpaced by a 765,000 shortfall (+0.5% y/y) in the labor force.
This helped push the LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE down to 62.7% during October from 63.0% in September, its
lowest level since May. 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 7.9% in October from 8.3% in September and versus a seasonably-adjusted 9.2% one year prior.
AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS (Table B) fell 0.04% or $0.01 to $26.53 from $26.54 during October but has risen by $0.63
or 2.43% from $25.90 one year ago. This helped push AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS down 0.04% to $912.63 during
October from $912.98 in September. Average Weekly Earnings over the past year have risen by $21.67 or 2.43% to $912.63 from
$890.96. AVERAGE HOURS WORKED held steady at 34.4 hours in October when compared to September and also as compared
to one year ago. Also of note was the fact that the manufacturing week (Table B-7) edged up to 42.0 hours during October from
41.9 hours in September and versus 42.0 hours one year ago. The AVERAGE DURATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT (Table A-12)
fell to 26.0 weeks during October from 26.8 weeks during September while the MEDIAN DURATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT
fell to 9.9 months in October as compared to 10.3 weeks one month prior. The number of LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED
(27 weeks or longer) fell 112,000 or 6.46% to 1.621 million in October from 1.733 million in September.
The U.S. TRADE DEFICIT widened to $43.5 billion during September from $42.8 billion during August. The value of EXPORTS
rose 1.08% to $196.8 billion from $194.7 billion while the value of IMPORTS rose 1.18% to $240.3 billion during September from
$237.5 billion in August. According to Haver Analytics, “the pick-up in September exports mostly reflected a rise in goods exports
(+$2.1 billion, 1.6% m/m, 4.9% y/y), which was dominated by a $1.1 billion increase in crude oil exports. The rise in crude oil
exports comprised 52% of the overall rise in goods exports in September..” Our trade deficit with China widened to $34.6 billion
during September from $32.9 billion one year ago. Over the past year our exports to China have risen 13.6% while imports have
U.S. FACTORY ORDERS rose 1.4% during the month of September, this after rising 1.2% in August. Meanwhile, SHIPMENTS
rose 0.8% during September. The fact that orders rose faster than shipments resulted in a 0.7% rise in INVENTORIES (backlog) and a 0.2% increase in UNFILLED ORDERS.
The Institute for Supply Management’s composite index of non-manufacturing (service) sector activity rose to 60.1% in October
as compared to 59.8% during September. The level recorded during October 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 (62.8% v. 63.0%), Employment (57.5% v. 56.8%),
Business Activity (62.2% v. 61.3%), and Backlog of Orders (53.5% v. 56.0%). The Prices Paid Component rose to 62.7% from
Thursday, November 2nd
THIRD QUARTER PRODUCTIVITY accelerated to an annualized rate of 3.0% from 1.5% during Q2 and as compared to 1.5%
y/y. Meanwhile, HOURLY COMPENSATION rose at an annualized rate of 3.5%, up from a reported 1.8% during Q2 and versus
1.4% 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 an annualized rate of 0.5 during the third quarter, up from 0.3% during Q2 and as compared to a decline of 0.1% y/y.
Wednesday, November 1st
U.S. CONSTRUCTION SPENDING rose 0.3% during September, this after rising 0.1% during August. Over the past year
Construction Spending has risen 2.0%. Private Construction Spending lost 0.4% in September (3.1% y/y), this after falling 0.1%
during August. Private Residential Construction Spending fell 0.0% in September (9.6% y/y). Nonresidential Construction
Spending fell 0.8% (-3.8% y/y) while Public Construction Spending edged up 2.6% in September (-1.6% y/y).
The Institute for Supply Management’s composite index of manufacturing sector activity slipped to 58.7% during October from
60.8% in September. 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 (63.4% v. 64.6%), Production (61.0% v. 62.2%),
Supplier Deliveries (inverse, indicates faster delivery times) (61.4% v. 64.4%), Inventories (48.0% v. 52.5%) and Employment
(59.8% v. 60.3%). The Prices Paid Component pulled back to 68.5% during October as compared to 71.5% during September.
Tuesday, October 31st
The CONFERENCE BOARD’S CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX rose to 125.9 during October (24.9% y/y) as compared
to 120.6 in September and in so doing marked the highest level since December 2000. The present situation index rose to 151.1 in
October from 146.9 in September and by 22.7% y/y while the expectations component edged up to 109.1 during October from 103.0
in September and by 26.9% y/y. Those surveyed saying that jobs are “hard to get” improved to 17.5% of respondents during
October from 18.0% during September while those claiming that jobs are “plentiful” rose to 36.3% of respondents during October
versus 32.7% in September.
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 0.7% during the third quarter, this following an 0.5% increase during Q2-2017. The ECI has risen by 2.5%
y/y. The wages & salaries component (70% of ECI) rose by 0.7% during Q3 vs. 0.5% during Q2-2017 and as compared to 2.5%
y/y. The cost of benefits rose by 0.8% over the past quarter, this after rising 0.6% during Q2-2017 and by 2.5% y/y.
Monday, October 30th
The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that PERSONAL INCOME rose 0.4% during September (3.0% y/y), this after rising
0.2% during August. DISPOSABLE PERSONAL INCOME (personal income less taxes) rose 0.4% (2.9% y/y), this after rising
0.1% during August. The WAGE & SALARY COMPONENT rose 0.4% in September (3.2% y/y). PERSONAL
CONSUMPTION which represents approximately 70% of economic activity rose 1.0% in September, by 0.1% in August and by
4.4% y/y. PERSONAL SAVINGS (Disposable Personal Income Less Outlays) rose at an annualized rate of 3.1% during September,
by 3.6% during August and as compared to 4.5% one year ago. The PCE CHAIN PRICE INDEX one of the Fed’s favorite
measures of inflation rose 0.4% in September (1.6% y/y), while the core PCE Chain Price Index rose 0.1% during September and by
Friday, October 27th
THIRD 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 an annualized rate of 3.0%, this as compared to 3.1% during the second quarter and
as compared to 2.3% y/y. FINAL SALES rose at an annualized pace of 2.26%, as to compared to 2.95% during Q2 and versus 2.2%
y/y. GOVERNMENT SPENDING fell at an annualized rate of 0.1%, an improvement from a drop of 0.2% during Q2 and as
compared to a decline of 0.2% y/y. Meanwhile, the INVENTORY EFFECT added 0.70% go Q3 GDP, up from 0.12% during Q2
and as compared to 0.1% y /y. PERSONAL CONSUMPTION rose at an annualized rate of 2.4%, versus 3.3% during Q2 and as
compared to 2.6% over the last twelve months. BUSINESS FIXED INVESTMENT, a key contributor to recent economic growth,
rose at an annualized pace of 3.9% during the third quarter, down from 6.7% during Q2 and versus 4.4% y/y. The impact from
FOREIGN TRADE added an annualized 0.4% to Q3 GDP, twice the 0.2% recorded during the second quarter and as compared to a
loss of 0.1% y/y. RESIDENTIAL INVESTMENT fell at an annualized rate of 6.0% during the third quarter, a slight improvement
over the 7.3% registered during the second quarter and versus and increase of 0.9% over the past twelve months. Finally, during Q3
the PCE Chained GDP Price Index rose an annualized rate of 2.2% during the third quarter, more than twice the 1.0% increase
during the second quarter and as compared to 1.8% y/y.
Wednesday, October 25th
The Commerce Department reported that SALES OF NEW HOMES rose 107,000 to 667,000 during September from 561,000
During August (17.0 y/y). Sales of New Homes have fallen by 47.85% from the peak in July 2005 of 1,279,000 units. According to
Haver Analytics, “there was a diminished 5.0 month’s supply of homes for sale at the current sales rate. It equaled the lowest level
since July 2016. The median number of months a new home was on the market remained depressed at 3.2 months.” The median
price of a new home surged $15,900 or 5.23% during September to $319,700 from $303,800 in August. Over the past year the
median price of a new home has risen 1.60%.
ORDERS FOR DURABLE GOODS (those expected to last at least three years) rose 2.2% during September, this after rising 2.0%
during August. Smoothing out the m/m volatility, over the past year Orders for Durable Goods have risen 8.3%. Transportation
Orders rose 5.1% (10.0% y/y) while Orders for NonDefense Capital Goods, Excluding Aircraft rose 1.3% (7.8% y/y) in
September. Orders for nondefense capital goods rose 6.1% during September (14.6% y/y).
Friday, October 20th
SALES OF EXISTING HOMES rose 40,000 during the month of September to 5.390 million from 5.350 million one month prior.
Over the past year Sales of Existing Homes have fallen 1.5%. 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 rose 1.6% (-6.4% y/y) to
1.900 million. There was a 4.2 months’ supply of those homes available for sale which has been steady for five months, but up from
a January low of 3.5 months.” The median existing-home sales price fell 3.16% (4.2% y/y) or $8,000 to $245,100 in September
from $253,100 during August.
Thursday, October 19th
The Conference Board reported that its INDEX OF LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS fell 0.2% during September (4.0%
y/y), this after rising 0.4% in August. Six of the ten components that comprise the LEI increased including, in order of impact were
the ISM New Orders Index, the interest rate spread, the Leading Credit Index (inverted), stock prices, average consumer expectations
for business conditions, and manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials. The negative contributors beginning with the largest negative contributor were initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted).building permits, average weekly
manufacturing hours and manufacturers’ new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft. According to Ataman
Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at the Conference Board, “the US LEI declined slightly in September
for the first time in twelve months, partly a result of the temporary impact of the recent hurricanes….Despite September’s decline, the
trend in the US LEI remains consistent with continuing solid growth in the US economy for the second half of the year.”
Wednesday, October 18th
HOUSING STARTS fell 4.73% or 56,000 to 1,127,000 during September, as compared to 1,183,000 in August. Over the past year
Housing Starts have risen 6.1%. 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 fell 4.60% or 40,000 to
829,000 from 869,000. Multi-family housing starts fell 16,000 or 5.10% to 298,000 in September from 314,000 during August.
BUILDING PERMITS, a preview of future housing starts fell 4.48% to 1,215,000 during September from 1,272,000 one month
Tuesday, October 17th
U.S. Import Prices rose 0.6% during September, this after falling 0.7% in August. Over the past year U.S. Import Prices have risen
2.7%. Petroleum prices rose 4.5% during September (20.1% y/y). Export prices rose 0.8% during September (2.9%y/y).
Agricultural export prices fell 0.7% in September (2.2% y/y), this after rising 0.1% in August. Non-Agricultural Export Prices
rose 1.0% (3.0% y/y).
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, a measure of strength of the manufacturing, factory and utility sectors, rose 0.3% during September,
this after falling 0.7% during August, respectively (1.6% y/y). CAPACITY UTILIZATION rose to 76.0% during September from
75.8% in August and as compared to 75.6% y/y. Finally, MANUFACTURING CAPACITY remained at 75.1% in September as
compared to August and 74.9% one year ago 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.
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.
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.