January 18, 2019

Industrial Production  (December 2018)

- Production month/month    +0.3%. Previous was +0.4%
- Manufacturing month/month +1.1%. Previous was +0.1%
- Capacity Utilization Rate 78.7%. Previous was 78.6%

The blue collar economy is in good shape.

Consumer Sentiment  (January 2019)

- Sentiment Index 90.7. Previous was 98.3

This is survey data and in likely impacted by the partial shutdown.



January 17, 2019

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 1/12/2019)

- Initial Claims seasonally adjusted 213,000. Previous was 216,000
- Initial Claims  unadjusted, totaled 344,916  a decrease of 3,215 from  previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 220,750. Previous was 221,750

Seasonal adjustments are large in January post-Christmas.

 

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Business Outlook Survey  (January 2019)

- General Business Conditions Index  17.0. Previous was 9.1

Housing Starts (December 2018)

Not available since Census is shut.


January 16, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 1/11/2019)

- Purchase Index week/Week +9.0%. Previous weeks were +17.0%. -8.2%, -7.0%, +3.0%, +1.0%, +9.0%, +3.0%, -2.3%, -5.0%, -2.0%, +2.0%, -6.0%, and -1.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +19.0%. Previous weeks were +35.0%, -12.3%, -2.0%, +2.0%, +6.0%, +1.0%, -5.0%, -4.3%, -3.0%, -4.0%, +10.0%, -9.0%, and -3.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week +13.5%. Previous weeks were +23.5%, -8.5%, -5.8%, +1.6%, +2.0%, +5.5%, -0.1%. -3.2%, -4.0%, -2.5%, +4.9%, -7.1%, and -1.7%

With activity traditionally subdued until the end of January it may be risky to draw conclusions from MBA data but it is worth noting that unadjusted purchase applications are +11% year/year.  Until the Super Bowl many folks are more interested each weekend in watching the NFL on TV than they are in looking at houses.

Retail Sales (December 2018)

Not available because the Census Bureau in shut. This also will delay 4thQ2018 GDP reporting from BEA.

 

Import and Export Prices (December 2018)

- Import Prices month/month -1.0%. Previous was -1.9%
- Export Prices month/month -0.6%. Previous was -0.8%
- Import Prices year/year   -0.6%. Previous was 0.5%
- Export Prices year/year    1.1%. Previous was 1.9%

The drop in imports is largely about lower oil prices.

 

Atlanta Federal Reserve Business Inflation Expectations (January 2019)

- Business Inflation Expectations year/year  2.0%. Previous was 2.3%

 

Business Inventories  (November 2018)

Not available because the Census Bureau in shut. This is another component of GDP.

 

Housing Market Index  (January 2019)

- Housing Market Index 58. Previous was 56.

This is a survey index from NAHB (National Association of Home Builders.) Because of the economic risks associated with homebuilding these folks need to be confident that that they can sell new homes an also need confidence in the prices of materials.

January 15, 2019

PPI - Wholesale Inflation (December 2018)

- PPI-FD month/month -0.2%. Previous was  +0.1%
- PPI-FD year/year 2.5%. Previous was 2.5%   
- PPI-FD less food & energy  month/month -0.1%. Previous was +0.3%
- PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services year/year 2.8%. Previous was +2.3%

Details from BLS are here: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ppi.nr0.htm

Empire State Manufacturing Survey  (January 2019)

- General Business Conditions Index  3.9. Previous was 11.5

 

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 1/12/2018)

- Store Sales year/year change 6.7%. Previous was 8.9%

January 11, 2019

CPI (December 2018)

- CPI month/month -0.1%. Previous was +0.0%
- CPI year/year 1.9%. Previous was 2.2%
- CPI core (less food & energy) month/month 0.2%. Previous was 0.2%
- CPI core (less food & energy) year/year 2.2%. Previous was 2.2%

Overall inflation is not happening.  Core which excludes the bouncy energy and food components is where the Fed wants is. Looking inside at the components housing (+0.4%) and medical care (+0.3%) saw the largest increases.  Together those two comprise half of GDP.  It is unlikely that Fed policy would affect either of those.

January 10, 2019

Initial Jobless Claims  (week ended 1/5/2019)

- Initial Claims seasonally adjusted 216,000. Previous was 233,000
- Initial Claims unadjusted, totaled 348,709 an increase of 21,208 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 221,750. Previous was 219,250

Seasonal adjustments to jobs are large post-Christmas.

There may have been some effect from the partial shutdown. Initial claims for UI benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 4,760 in the week ending December 29, an increase of 3,831 from the prior week.

 

Wholesale Trade (November 2018)

No data because the Census Bureau is shut down.

January 9, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications  (week ended 1/4/2019)

- Purchase Index week/Week +17.0%. Previous weeks were -8.2%, -7.0%, +3.0%, +1.0%, +9.0%, +3.0%, -2.3%, -5.0%, -2.0%, +2.0%, -6.0%,-1.0%, and +0.1%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +35.0%. Previous weeks were -12.3%, -2.0%, +2.0%, +6.0%, +1.0%, -5.0%, -4.3%, -3.0%, -4.0%, +10.0%, -9.0%, -3.0%, and -0.1%
- Composite Index Week/Week +23.5%. Previous weeks were -8.5%, -5.8%, +1.6%, +2.0%, +5.5%, -0.1%. -3.2%, -4.0%, -2.5%, +4.9%, -7.1%, -1.7%, and +0.0%

According to MBA contract rates decreased to the lowest level since April 2018.  With adjustments for two holiday weeks the large jump might be an anomaly.  It will take at least another two weeks to draw any accurate conclusions from MBA data.

January 8, 2019

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (December 2018)

- level 104.4. Previous was 104.8

 

Trade Deficit (November 2018)

Not available due to shutdown.  October was $55.5 billion

 

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 1/5/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 8.9%. Previous was 9.3%

Some of the increase may be due to chain store closings which distort the data by not reporting stores no longer open.

 

JOLTS  (November 2018)

- Job Openings  6,888,000. Previous was 7,079,000

The Jobs Market continues to be amazingly strong. There were 6,294,000 people who reported as Unemployed in the BLS report for December.

January 7, 2019

Factory Orders (November 2018)

Data not published due to shutdown.

ISM Non-Manufacturing (December 2018)

- Composite Index 57.6. Previous was 60.7

Business Activity Index at 59.9%
New Orders Index at 62.7%
Employment Index at 56.3% 

While growth slowed the rate from which it slowed was one of the highest recent readings.

January 4, 2019

BLS Employment Situation Report (December 2018)

- Nonfarm Payrolls seasonally adjusted, month/month  312,000. Previous was 176,000
- Nonfarm Payrolls not seasonally adjusted, month/month -54,000. Previous was 484,000
- Unemployment Rate 3.9%. Previous was 3.7%
- Private Payrolls  seasonally adjusted, month/month   301,000. Previous was 173,000
- Manufacturing Payrolls seasonally adjusted, month/month   32,000. Previous was 27,000
- Participation Rate   63.1%. Previous was 62.9%
- Average Hourly Earnings month/month  +0.4%. Previous was +0.2%
- Average Hourly Earnings year/year  3.2%. Previous was 3.1%
- Average Workweek - All Employees  34.5 hours. Previous was 34.5 hours

This shows an extremely healthy Jobs Market. Those who concentrate on the Unemployment Rate will miss the point that the higher rate is the result of the Labor Force adding 419,000 people. About 300,000 of that is not due to population growth but people now looking for work who were not previously looking.

The increase in Average Hourly Wage could lead to increased inflation if it persists.

There was a large (+74,000) increase in Goods Producing Jobs.

PMI Services Index  (December 2018)

- Level 54.4. Previous was 54.7

 

 

January 3, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 12/28/2018)

- Purchase Index week/Week -8.2%. Previous weeks were -7.0%, +3.0%, +1.0%, +9.0%, +3.0%, -2.3%, -5.0%, -2.0%, +2.0%, -6.0%,-1.0%, +0.1%, and +3.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -12.3%. Previous weeks were -2.0%, +2.0%, +6.0%, +1.0%, -5.0%, -4.3%, -3.0%, -4.0%, +10.0%, -9.0%, -3.0%, -0.1%, and +3.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week -8.5%. Previous weeks were -5.8%, +1.6%, +2.0%, +5.5%, -0.1%. -3.2%, -4.0%, -2.5%, +4.9%, -7.1%, -1.7%, +0.0%, and +2.9%

Challenger Job-Cut Report (December 2018)

- Announced Layoffs 43,844. Previous was 53,073

 

ADP Private Jobs (December 2018)

- Private Jobs 271,000. Previous was  157,000

This number approaches being "off the charts."

 

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 12/29/2018)

- Initial Claims seasonally adjusted 231,000. Previous was 221,000
- initial claims  unadjusted, totaled 323,880 an increase of 32,255 from previous
- 4 week average seasonally adjusted 218,750. Previous was 219,250.

 

ISM Manufacturing Index (December 2018)

- Index 54.1. Previous was 59.3

January 2, 2019

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 12/29/2018)

- Store Sales year/year 9.3%. Previous was 7.8%

 

PMI Manufacturing Index (December 2018)

- Level 53.8. Previous was 55.3.

This is a survey index which assesses manufacturing.

 




  Archive of commentary from previous months is here.