September 18, 2020

Consumer Sentiment (September 2020)

- Index  78.9 .   Previous was 74.1

This is supposed to measure consumers stated views as to spending in the next 3 months.  This is a survey from the University of 

Michigan's Consumer Survey Center.  Because of COVID-related uncertainty and with the survey possibly expressing political affiliation rather than true intentions this may have less value than usual.

Source: University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center     Details:  http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu/


Leading Economic Indicators (August 2020)

- Month over Month  +1.2%.   Previous was +1.4%

This is based on 10 forward looking indicators.

Source:  Conference Board  Details:  https://conference-board.org/data/bcicountry.cfm?cid=1



September 17, 2020

Housing Starts and Permits  (August 2020)

- Starts Annual Rate    1,416,000. Previous was 1,492,000

- Permits Annual Rate    1.470,000. Previous was  1.483,000

We need 1,500,000 Starts to keep pace with population growth. We have been above that for only 1 month since 2007.  There is

significant demand for housing. Supply is restrained and prices driven up by local government policies of land use regulation and zoning.

Apart from economics this is a social issue.  Limited housing supply is correlated with homelessness. 


Source:  Census  Details: https://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/pdf/newresconst.pdf


Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 9/12/2020)

- Initial Claims seasonally adjusted 860,000. Previous was 893,000

- Initial Claims unadjusted totaled 790,021 a decrease of 75,974  from previous.

Total regular state continuing claims was +215,922.  


The Jobs market is still weak and provides justification for Fed policy of preference for driving unemployment down if if this causes CPI to move above 2% for a while.

Source:  Labor Department   Details:  https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf



September 16, 2020

MBA Mortgage Applications  (week ended 9/11/2020)

- Purchase Index week/week  -1.0%. Previous weeks were +3.0%,  -0.2%, +0.4%, +1.0%, +2.0%, -1.8%,  -2.0%, +2.0%, -6.0%, +5.0%, -1.0%, -3.0%, +4.0%, and +5.0%

- Refinance Index week/week  -4.0%. Previous weeks were +3.0%,  -3.0%, -10.0%, -5.0%, +9.1%,  -6.8%, -0.4%, +5.0, +12.0%, +0.4%, -2.0%, -12.0%, +10.0%, +11.0%, -9.0%, and -0.2%

- Composite Index week/week -2.5% . Previous weeks were +2.9%, -2.0%, -6.5%, -3.3%, +6.8%, -5.1%, -0.8%, 4.1%, +5.1%, +2.2%, -1.8%, -8.7%, +8.0%, +9.3%. -3.9%, and +2.7%.

Purchase applications were +60%  year/year. Refi applications were +30.0%  year/year.  

Source:   Mortgage Bankers Association   Details:  https://www.mba.org/2020-press-releases/september/mortgage-applications-decrease-in-latest-mba-weekly-survey-x272310


Retail Sales  (August 2020)

- Retail Sales month/month    0.6%. Previous was 0.9%

- Ex-Vehicles month/month    0.7%. Previous was 1.3%

- Ex-Vehicles & Gas month/month    0.7%. Previous was 1.1%

Source:  Census  Details: https://www.census.gov/retail/marts/www/marts_current.pdf


Business Inventories (July 2020)

- Inventories month/month        0.1%. Previous was +0.1%

This is a component of 3rdQ GDP.

Source:  Census   Details: https://www.census.gov/mtis/www/data/pdf/mtis_current.pdf


Housing Market Index  (September 2020)

- Index         83. Previous was  78 

This is a survey index conducted by NAHB - National Association of Home Builders.  This reading is an all-time high.


Details:  https://nahbnow.com/2020/09/builder-confidence-soars-to-an-all-time-high-lumber-risks-remain/




September 15, 2020

Import and Export Prices  (August 2020)

- Import Prices month/month     0.9%.  Previous was 1.2%

- Import Prices year/year    -1.4%. Previous was -2.8%

- Export Prices month/month     0.5%. Previous was 0.9%

- Export Prices year/year    -2.8%. Previous was -3.8%

Source:  BLS  Details: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ximpim.nr0.htm


Redbook  Chain Store Sales (week ended 9/12/2020)

- Same Store Sales year/year         -1.2%.  Previous was  -0.1%

- Same Store Sales month/month -1.6%.  Previous was -1.0%

Source:  Source: Redbook Research Inc.


Industrial Production  (August 2020)

- Industrial Production month/month    0.4%.  Previous was +3.5%

- Manufacturing Output month/month    1.0%.  Previous was +3.9%

- Capacity Utilization Rate                    71.4%.  Previous was 71.1%

Industrial Production is 7.3% below the pre-COVID level of February.

Source:  Federal Reserve  Details: https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/current/



September 11, 2020

CPI (August 2020)

- CPI     month/month         0.4%. Previous was 0.6%

- CPI     year/year            1.3%. Previous was 1.0%

- Core (Ex-Food & Energy) month/month 0.4%. Previous was 0.6%

- Core (Ex-Food & Energy)  year/year    1.7%. Previous was 1.6%

While the rate of inflation varied greatly from item group to item group overall inflation remains well-contained.

Source:  BLS  Details:  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm


September 10, 2020

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 9/5/2020)

- Initial Claims, seasonally adjusted 884,000. Previous was 884,000

- Initial Claims  unadjusted, totaled 857,148 an increase of 20,140 from previous 

- 4-Week Moving Average           970,750. Previous was 992,500

The total number of people receiving regular UI the week ending 8/29 was 13,385,000 an increase of 93,000 from previous.

Source:  Labor Department  Details:  https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf



PPI (August 2020)

- PPI-FD month/month        0.3%. Previous was 0.2%

- PPI-FD year/year            -0.2%. Previous was -0.3%

- Ex-Food & Energy month/month    0.4%. Previous was 0.2%

- Ex-Food & Energy year/year        0.6%. Previous was 0.2%

- Ex-Food, Energy & Trade Services month/month    0.3%. Previous was 0.2%

- Ex-Food, Energy & Trade Services year/year    0.3%. Previous was 0.1%   

This is a measure of inflation at the wholesale level.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics   Details:  https://www.bls.gov/ppi/


 Wholesale Inventories July 2020 (Preliminary)

- Inventories month/month    -0.3%. Previous was -1.3%

This is a component of 3rdQ GDP

Source:  Census   Details: https://www.census.gov/wholesale/pdf/mwts/currentwhl.pdf


September 9, 2020

JOLTS  (July 2020)

- Job Openings 6,618,000. Previous was 6,001,000

This is better than expectation and previous. Nonetheless the jobs market remains at the mercy of COVID and the decisions of state and local governments.

Source:  Labor Department  Details:  https://www.bls.gov/jlt/


MBA Mortgage Applications  (week ended 9/4/2020)

- Purchase Index week/week  +3.0%. Previous weeks were -0.2%, +0.4%, +1.0%, +2.0%, -1.8%,  -2.0%, +2.0%, -6.0%, +5.0%, -1.0%, -3.0%, +4.0%, +5.0%, and +5.0%.

- Refinance Index week/week  +3.0%. Previous weeks were -3.0%, -10.0%, -5.0%, +9.1%,  -6.8%, -0.4%, +5.0, +12.0%, +0.4%, -2.0%, -12.0%, +10.0%, +11.0%, -9.0%, -0.2%, and -6.0%

- Composite Index week/week +2.9%. Previous weeks were -2.0%, -6.5%, -3.3%, +6.8%, -5.1%, -0.8%, 4.1%, +5.1%, +2.2%, -1.8%, -8.7%, +8.0%, +9.3%. -3.9%, and +2.7%.

Purchase applications were +40.0%  year/year. Refi applications were +60.0%  year/year.  

Source:   Mortgage Bankers Association   Details:  https://www.mba.org/2020-press-releases/september/mortgage-applications-increase-in-latest-mba-weekly-survey


Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 8/29/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year -0.1%. Previous was +4.6%.

- Same Store Sales month/month  -1.0%.  Previous was +5.8.

Source: Redbook Research Inc.


September 8, 2020

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (August 2020)

- level Index 100.2. Previous  was 98.8 

This is a survey index conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business. Small  Businesses are ones with fewer than 500 employees. Small businesses have greater difficulty 

dealing with things such as the pandemic than larger businesses.  These businesses should be where we see jobs added. Government mandates preventing re-openings will continue to prevent optimism from turning into new jobs. 

Source: NFIB  Details:  https://www.nfib.com/surveys/small-business-economic-trends/




September 4, 2020

BLS Employment Situation Report (August 2020)

- Nonfarm Payrolls month/month      1,371,000. Previous was 1,734,000 

- Unemployment Rate          8.4%. Previous was 10.2%

- Private Payrolls  month/month      1,027,000 . Previous was 1,481,000

- Manufacturing Payrolls  month/month        29,000. Previous was  41,000

- Participation Rate              61.7%. Previous was 61.4%

- Average Hourly Earnings  month/month  0. 4%. Previous was +0.1%

- Average Hourly Earnings  month/month      4.7%. Previous was 4.7%

- Average Workweek         34.6 hrs. Previous was 34.5 hrs

The 8.4% Unemployment Rate will get attention.

Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff decreased by 3.1 million in August to 6.2 million, down considerably from the series high of 18.1 million in April.

My weekly newsletter will take a look inside the report.  

Source: BLS  Details:  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm  




September 3, 2020

Initial Jobless Claims  (week ended 8/29/2020)

- Initial Claims seasonally adjusted        881,000. Previous was 1,011,000

- Initial Claims  unadjusted, totaled 833,352 , an increase of 7,591 from  previous 

- 4-Week Moving Average seasonally adjusted    991,750. Previous was 1,069,250

The number of people receiving regular UI was -306,659. The number of people receiving Pandemic benefits was +2,597,557  

Source:  Labor Department   Details: https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf


Challenger Job-Cut Report  (August 2020)

- Announced layoffs         115,762. Previous was  262,649

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas    Details:  https://www.challengergray.com/press/blog/august-job-cuts-report-reveals-highest-number-ever-record


Worker Productivity and Costs (2ndQ 2020)

- Nonfarm Productivity - Annual Rate    10.1%. Previous was 7.3%

- Unit Labor Costs - Annual Rate    9.0%. Previous was 12.2%

These number are deceiving.  Unit Labor Cost are rising because low paying jobs (restaurant, retail) have been hammerer to a greater extent than other jobs.

Source:  BLS  Details: https://www.bls.gov/lpc


PMI Composite Final  (August 2020)

- Composite Index        54.6. Previous was 50.3 

- Services Index         55.0 . Previous was 50.0

A survey based supply side metric

Source:  Markit Economics


ISM Manufacturing  Index (August 2020)

- Index level  56.9.   Previous was 58.1.

Another survey based supply side metric.

Source:  Institute For Supply Management



September 2, 2020

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 7/28/2020)

- Purchase Index week/week -0.2% . Previous weeks were +0.4%, +1.0%, +2.0%, -1.8%,  -2.0%, +2.0%, -6.0%, +5.0%, -1.0%, -3.0%, +4.0%, +5.0%, +5.0%, and +9.0%

- Refinance Index week/week -3.0% . Previous weeks were -10.0%, -5.0%, +9.1%,  -6.8%, -0.4%, +5.0, +12.0%, +0.4%, -2.0%, -12.0%, +10.0%, +11.0%, -9.0%, -0.2%, -6.0%, and -3.0%

- Composite Index week/week -2.0%. Previous weeks were -6.5%, -3.3%, +6.8%, -5.1%, -0.8%, 4.1%, +5.1%, +2.2%, -1.8%, -8.7%, +8.0%, +9.3%. -3.9%, +2.7%, and -2.6%

Purchase applications were +28.0%  year/year. Refi applications were +40.0%  year/year.  

Source:   Mortgage Bankers Association   Details:  https://www.mba.org/2020-press-releases/september/mortgage-applications-decrease-in-latest-mba-weekly-survey


ADP Private Jobs (August 2020)

- Private Payrolls month/month    428,000. Previous was 212,000 

This is below consensus and indicative of the fact that it will take year for jobs to recover to where they were in February.

Source:  ADP  Details:  https://adpemploymentreport.com/2020/August/NER/NER-August-2020.aspx


Factory Orders  (July 2020)

- Month over Month     6.4%. Previous was 6.4%

Source:  Census  Details:  https://www.census.gov/manufacturing/m3/prel/pdf/s-i-o.pdf



September 1, 2020

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 8/29/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year +4.6%. Previous was +0.6%.

- Same Store Sales month/month +5.8.  Previous was +4.1%.

Retail is making a comeback.

Source: Redbook Research Inc.


PMI Manufacturing Final  (August 2020)

- Level   53.1. Previous was 53.6

A survey based supply side metric

Source:  Markit Economics


ISM Manufacturing  Index (August 2020)

- Index level 56.0.   Previous was  54.2.

Another survey based supply side metric.

Source:  Institute For Supply Management


Construction Spending  (July 2020)

- Construction Spending month/month +0.1%.   Previous was -0.7%

- Construction Spending year/year -0.1%

Residential construction was +2.1% month/month.

Source:  Census  Details: https://www.census.gov/construction/c30/pdf/totsa.pdf





  

Archive of commentary from previous months is here.