March 22, 2019

PMI Composite (March 2019)

- Composite  54.3. Previous was 55.8 
- Manufacturing 52.5. Previous was 53.7 
- Services  54.8. Previous was 56.2

 

Existing Home Sales  (February 2019)

- Existing Home Sales seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 5,510,000. Previous was 4,930,000
- Existing Home Sales month/month 11.8%. Previous was -1.4%
- Existing Home Sales year/year -1.8 %. Previous was -8.5%

Part of the large month/month gain is about weather. 

 

Wholesale Trade (January 2019)

- Inventories month/month 1.2%. Previous was 1.1%

This is a component of 1stQ2019 GDP.



March 21, 2019

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 3/16/2019)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 221,000. Previous was 230,000
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 194,098 a decrease of 15,264 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 225,000. Previous was 224,000

 

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Business Outlook Survey (March 2019)

- General Business Conditions Index  13.7. Previous was -4.1

Some of this may have been about the increase in sales of Bryce Harper jerseys.

 

Leading Economic Indicators  (February 2019)

- Leading Indicators month/month +0.2%. Previous were +0.1% and +0.4%

This is calculated from 10 indicators which in the past have indicated economic growth or the lack thereof.

 

Quarterly Services Survey  (4thQ2018)

- Information Revenue quarter/quarter 1.2%. Previous was 1.9%
- Information Revenue year/year 7.9%. Previous was 8.2%

March 20, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 3/15/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week +0.3%. Previous weeks were +4.0%, -3.0%, +6.0%, +1.7%, -6.0%, -5.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, +9.0%, +17.0%. -8.2%, -7.0%, and +3.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +4.0%. Previous weeks were -0.2%, -2.0%, +5.0%, +6.4%, -0.1%, +0.3%, -6.0%, -5.0%, +19.0%, +35.0%, -12.3%, -2.0%, and +2.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week +1.6%. Previous weeks were +2.3%, -2.5%, +5.3%, +3.6%, -3.7%, -2.5%, -3.0%, -2.7%, +13.5%, +23.5%, -8.5%, -5.8%, and +1.6%

If anyone sees a pattern to this data I'd surely like to know what it is.

The FOMC announcement is at 11:00 PDT.

March 19, 2019

Factory Orders (January 2019)

- Factory Orders month/month  +0.1%. Previous was +0.1%.

Tiny gains in December and January after 2 months of losses.  There is weakness in the blue collar sector.  This is another sign of slow GDP growth,.

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 3/16/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 4.9%. Previous was 4.4%

An FOMC meeting starts today.  No one expects a change in the overnight rate.  What will be examined is the language in tomorrow's Fed statement .

March 18, 2019

Housing Market Index (March 2019)

- Housing Market Index 62. Previous was 62

This is a survey index of homebuilders conducted by the National Association of Home Builders assessing their confidence entails substantial risks homebuilders need to be confident that they can sell homes and also in the prices they can sell at.

This has rebounded from low readings November-January but is still below where it was last spring and summer.  Lower rates are helping.

March 15, 2019

Industrial Production  (February 2019)

- Production month/month 0.1%. Previous was -0.4%
- Manufacturing month/month 0.4%. Previous was -0.5%
- Capacity Utilization Rate     78.2%. Previous was 78.3%

Industrial Production included utility output which was +3.7% due to very cold weather.

 

Consumer Sentiment  (March preliminary)

- Sentiment Index  97.8. Previous was  93.8

This is the survey index from the University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center.

 

JOLTS  (January 2019)

- Job Openings 7,581,000. Previous was 7,479,000

According to the February BLS Jobs report there were 6,235,000 people unemployed. While those folks likely do not have the skills for most of the Job Openings the large gap is indicative of the strength of the jobs market.  Jobs are regarded as a lagging economic indicator.

Empire State Manufacturing Survey  (March 2019)

- General Business Conditions Index   3.7. Previous was 8.8.

 

 

March 14, 2019

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 3/9/2019)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted  229,000. Previous was 223,000
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 208,782 a decrease of 11,801 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 223,750. Previous was 226,250

 

Import and Export Prices  (February 2019)

- Import Prices month/month 0.6%. Previous was +0.1%
- Export Prices month/month 0.6%. Previous was -0.5%
- Import Prices year/year  -1.3%. Previous was -1.6%
- Export Prices year/year  +0.3%. Previous was -0.2%

Inflation remains well-controlled.

New Home Sales (January 2019)

- New Home Sales - Level seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 607,000. Previous was 652,000

There is a 6.6 month supply of new homes at this sales rate.

Details here: https://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/pdf/newressales.pdf

 


March 13, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 3/8/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week +4.0%. Previous weeks were -3.0%, +6.0%, +1.7%, -6.0%, -5.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, +9.0%, +17.0%. -8.2%, -7.0%, +3.0%, and +1.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -0.2%. Previous weeks were -2.0%, +5.0%., +6.4%, -0.1%, +0.3%, -6.0%, -5.0%, +19.0%,+35.0%, -12.3%, -2.0%, +2.0%, and +6.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week +2.3%. Previous weeks were -2.5%, +5.3%, +3.6%, -3.7%, -2.5%, -3.0%, -2.7%, +13.5%, +23.5%, -8.5%, -5.8%, +1.6%, and +2.0%

 

Durable Goods Orders  (January 2019)

- New Orders month/month   0.4%. Previous was +1.3%
- Ex-transportation month/month  -0.1%. Previous was +0.3%
- Core capital goods month/month  0.8%. Previous was -0.9%

This report is an excellent example of what looking at this month by month indicates little.  There are large month to month variations in big ticket items.

PPI-FD  (February 2019)

- PPI-FD month/month 0.1%. Previous was -0.1%
- PPI-FD year/year 1.9%. Previous was 2.0%
- PPI-FD less food & energy month/month 0.1%. Previous was 0.3%
- PPI-FD less food & energy year/year 2.5%. Previous was 2.6%
- PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services month/month 0.1%. Previous was 0.2%
- PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services year/year 2.3%. Previous was 2.5%

Tame inflation should help the Fed to maintain its no hikes policy.

Atlanta Federal Reserve Business Inflation Expectations  (March 2019)

- Business Inflation Expectations year/year 1.9%. Previous was 2.6%

 

Construction Spending  (January 2019)

- Construction Spending month/month 1.3%. Previous was -0.8%
- Construction Spending year/year  0.3%. Previous was +1.6%

The January gain is in part because December was revised downward. Residential Construction Spending was at the lowest level since January 2017.
https://www.census.gov/construction/c30/pdf/residentialsa.pdf

March 12, 2019

CPI (February 2019)

- CPI month/month 0.2%. Previous was +0.0%
- CPI year/year   1.5%. Previous was +1.6%
- CPI less food & energy month/month 0.1%. Previous was +0.2%
- CPI less food & energy year/year 2.1%. Previous was +2.2%

Core CPI at +0.1% will not change what appears to be the current Fed policy of no hikes in the near future.

 

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (February 2019)

- level 101.7. Previous was 101.2

 

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 3/9/2019)

- Store Sales year/year 4.4%. Previous was 4.2%

With so many chain store outlets closing and this metric disregarding store closings it is difficult to draw any conclusion from this.

March 11, 2019

Retail Sales (January 2019)

- Retail Sales month/month 0.2%. Previous was -1.6%
- Retail Sales less autos month/month 0.9%. Previous was -2.1%
- Retail Sales core, Less Autos & Gas month/month 1.2%. Previous was -1.6%

The January gain was offset by a downward revision of December.

 

Business Inventories (December 2018)

- Inventories  month/month 0.6%. Previous was +0.0%

This is a component of 4thQ2018 GDP.

March 8, 2019

BLS Employment Situation Report  (February 2018)

- Nonfarm Payrolls month/month  20,000. Previous was 311,000
- Unemployment Rate   3.8%. Previous was 3.9%
- Private Payrolls month/month   25,000. Previous was 308,000
- Manufacturing Payrolls month/month 4,000. Previous was
- Labor Participation Rate - level 63.2%. Previous was 63.2%
- Average Hourly Earnings month/month 0.4%. Previous was +0.3%
- Average Hourly Earnings year/year 3.4%. Previous was 3.3%
- Average Workweek  34.4 hours. Previous was 34.5 hours

It should be noted that this is seasonally adjusted.  Not seasonally adjusted was +827,000 jobs. The seasonal adjustment is 41 times the headline data. 

 

Housing Starts  (January 2019)

- Starts seasonally adjusted, annualized rate  1,230,000. Previous was 1,037,000
- Permits seasonally adjusted, annualized rate  1,345,000. Previous was 1,326,000

The "news" here is that December was an aberration. Starts are impacted by weather. December had a lot of snow in parts of the country.  There may also have been fewer starts in California in places impacted by wildfires in autumn.  The gains were in the Northeast and Midwest and concentrated in 2-4 units. Single family starts were -2.1% nationally.

March 7, 2019

Challenger Job-Cut Report (February 2019)

- Announced Layoffs 76,835. Previous was 52,988

This is a 3.5 year high.  This is not just about retail outlets closing.  There were 29,665 announced layoffs in Industrial Goods.

Details are in this PDF file: http://www.challengergray.com/download/file/fid/625

 

Initial Jobless Claims  (week ended 3/2/2019)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 223,000. Previous was 226,000
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 220,060 an increase of 16,969 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted  226,250. Previous was 229,250

 

Worker Productivity and Costs (4thQ2018)

- Nonfarm productivity quarter/quarter, seasonally adjusted, annualized 1.9%
- Unit labor costs quarter/quarter, seasonally adjusted 2.0%

March 6, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 3/1/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week -3.0%. Previous weeks were +6.0%, +1.7%, -6.0%, -5.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, +9.0%, +17.0%. -8.2%, -7.0%, +3.0%, +1.0%, and +9.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -2.0% Previous weeks were +5.0%., +6.4%, -0.1%, +0.3%, -6.0%, -5.0%, +19.0%,+35.0%, -12.3%, -2.0%, +2.0%, +6.0%, and +1.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week -2.5%. Previous weeks were +5.3%, +3.6%, -3.7%, -2.5%, -3.0%, -2.7%, +13.5%, +23.5%, -8.5%, -5.8%, +1.6%, +2.0%, and +5.5%

Year/year Purchase Applications were +1.0%.

ADP Private Sector Jobs (February 2019)

- Private Jobs +183,000. Previous was 300,000.

Trade Deficit (December 2018)

- Deficit $59.8 billion.  Previous was $50.3 billion.

 

 

March 5, 2019

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 3/2/2-19)

- Store Sales year/year 4.2%. Previous was 5.2%

This only compares outlets which were open last week and also open a year previous. In one 24-hour period last week, Gap, J.C. Penney, and Victoria’s Secret announced they would be closing more than 300 stores combined.  Those store will not be selling anything but will not be counted in the Redbook survey.

 

PMI Services Index  (February 2019)

- Level 56.0. Previous was 54.2

This is the highest reading since July 2018.

 

New Home Sales (December 2018)

- New Home Sales seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 621,000. Previous was 599,000.

Let's see if this continues.  Housing has been hurting.

 

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index  (February 2019)

- Composite Index 59.7. Previous was 56.7

March 4, 2019

Construction Spending (December 2018)

- Construction Spending month/month -0.6%. Previous was +0.9%
- Construction Spending year/year 1.6%. Previous was 3.4%

The bad news for the mortgage business is that the overall decline stems from a 3.2% drop in spending on single family residences.

March 1, 2019

Personal Income and Outlays  (December 2018)

- Personal Income  month/month 1.0%. Previous was 0.3%
- Consumer Spending month/month -0.5%. Previous was 0.6%
- PCE Price Index month/month 0.1%. Previous was 0.0%
- Core PCE price index month/month 0.2%. Previous was 0.2%
- PCE Price Index year/year 1.7%. Previous was 1.7%
- Core PCE price index year/year 1.9%. Previous was 1.9%

This is an odd report.  The income part includes December and January.  The spending and inflation parts are only for December.  Another consequence of the partial shutdown. Almost all of the gain in income was in December.  January was -0.1%. On the surface it looks as if people increased their savings rate in December.  Inflation remained subdued.

 

PMI Manufacturing Index  (February 2019)

- Level 53.0. Previous was 54.9.

 

ISM Manufacturing Index (February 2019)

- Index 54.2. Previous was  56.6

The New Orders Index, a Leading Economic Indicator, was down.

 

 

Consumer Sentiment (February 2019)

- Sentiment Index 93.8. Previous was 95.7

This is a survey index from the University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center.

 




  Archive of commentary from previous months is here.