July 16, 2019

Retail Sales  (June 2019)

- Retail Sales month/month         0.4%. Previous was +0.4%
- Retail Sales less autos month/month 0.4%. Previous was +0.4%
- Less Autos & Gas month/month  0.7%. Previous was +0.6%

This is stronger than expected and provides a reason for the Fed to not ease.

Source:  Census Bureau

Import and Export Prices  (June 2019)

- Import Prices month/month -0.9%. Previous was  0.0%
- Export Prices month/month -0.7%. Previous was -0.2%
- Import Prices year/year -2.0%. Previous was -1.1%
- Export Prices year/year -1.6%. Previous was -0.8%

The economies of many nations are seeing slower growth.  Weakness on the demand side may be a significant cause of lower prices.

Details here: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ximpim.nr0.htm
Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 7/13/2019)

- Store Sales year/year 4.7%. Previous was 6.2%

This piece of data is less useful than in previous times because it eliminates sales of chain stores which have closed on the last year.

Source:  Redbook Research Inc.

Industrial Production  (June 2019)

- Production month/month 0.0%. Previous was 0.4%
- Manufacturing month/month 0.4%. Previous was 0.2%
- Capacity Utilization Rate    77.9%. Previous was 78.1%

The stronger manufacturing component provides another reason for the Fed to "remain patient" and not lower the overnight rate target.  The headline number includes utility output.

Source:  Federal Reserve

 

Business Inventories  (May 2019)

- Inventories month/month Inventories month/month 0.3%. Previous was +0.5%

This is a component of 2ndQGDP.

Source:  Census Bureau

Housing Market Index (July 2019)

- Housing Market Index 65.  Previous was 64.

This is a survey index from the National Association of Home Builders.  It measures how confident home builders feel about the economy in general and the housing market in particular.
While survey indices are easy to dismiss because they measure opinions it is the opinions of home builders which drive their decisions as to build or not build housing.

Source: National Association of Home Builders



July 15, 2019

Empire State Manufacturing Survey (July 2019)

- General Business Conditions  4.3. Previous was -8.6 

This is a survey based index measuring manufacturing in New York State. 




July 12, 2019

PPI (June 2019)

- PPI-FD month/month  0.1%. Previous was 0.1%
- PPI-FD year/year 1.7%. Previous was 1.8%
- PPI-FD less food & energy month/month 0.3%. Previous was 0.2%
- PPI-FD less food & energy year/year 2.3%. Previous was 2.3%
- PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services month/month 0.0%. Previous was 0.4%
- PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services year/year 2.1%. Previous was 2.3%

This is inflation at the wholesale level. It shows contained inflation.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

July 11, 2019

CPI (June 2019)

- CPI month/month 0.1%. Previous was +0.1%
- CPI year/year  1.6%. Previous was 1.8%
- CPI core (less food & energy) month/month 0.3%. Previous was 0.1%
- CPI core (less food & energy) year/year 2.1%. Previous was 2.0%

While the overall number shows little of interest the cost of housing was up 3.5% year/year and health care was +2.8%.  Both are big ticket and non-discretionary.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 7/6/2019)

- Initial Jobless Claims, seasonally adjusted 209,000. Previous was 222,000
- Initial Jobless Claims  unadjusted, totaled 232,688 an increase of 8,160 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average, seasonally adjusted 219,250. Previous was 222,500

The jobs market remains very healthy.  With tropical storm season approaching we may see increases in Initial Claims as Gulf Coast states see flooding and business close for brief periods.

While the report at https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf  breaks claims down by state flooding can make it difficult to acquire the data in a timely manner.

Source:  Department of Labor

July 10, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 7/5/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week +2.0%. Previous weeks were +1.0%, -1.0%, -4.0%, +10.0%, -2.0,-1.0%, -2.0%, -1.0%, +4.0%, -4.0%, -4.0%, +1.0%, and +1.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -7.0%. Previous weeks were -1.0%, +3.0%, -4.0%, +47.0%, +6.0%, -6.0%, +8.0%, -1.0%, +1.0%, -5.0%, -11.0%, -8.0%, and -11.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week -2.4%. Previous weeks were -1.0%, +1.3%, -3.4%, +26.8%, +1.5%,-3.3%, +2.4%, -0.6%, +2.7%, -4.3%, -7.3%, -3.5%, and -5.6%.

This is a seasonally adjusted survey index of mortgage applications.  The purchase applications data is a leading indicator of home sales both new and existing.

 

Atlanta Federal Reserve Business Inflation Expectations  (July 2019)

- Index +1.9%. Previous was +2.0%

Wholesale Inventories (May 2019)

- Inventories month/month 0.4%. Previous was +0.8%

This is a component of 2ndQ GDP.

July 9, 2019

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 7/6/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year +6.2%. Previous was +5.5%

 

JOLTS (May 2019)

- Job Openings 7,323,000. Previous was 7,372,000

Job Openings appear to be flattening but there are 5,975,000 (U3) unemployed persons.  The problem is that those unemployed persons who are looking for work probably do not have the skills for the job openings.

July 5, 2019

BLS Employment Situation Report (June 2019)

- Nonfarm Payrolls month/month   224,000. Previous was 72,000 
- Unemployment Rate 3.7%. Previous was 3.6%
- Private Payrolls month/month  191,000. Previous was 83,000
- Manufacturing Payrolls month/month 17,000. Previous was 3,000
- Participation Rate   62.9%. Previous was 62.8%
- Average Hourly Earnings month/month 0.2%. Previous was 0.3%
- Average Hourly Earnings year/year 3.1%. Previous was 3.2%
- Average  Workweek - All Employees 34.4 hours. Previous was 34.4 hours

The news here is that the low print for May appears to have been an exception.  To some extent this report lessens the probability of a decrease in the Overnight Rate target at the end of the month.

July 3, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 6/28/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week +1.0%. Previous weeks were -1.0%, -4.0%, +10.0%, -2.0,-1.0%, -2.0%, -1.0%, +4.0%, -4.0%, -4.0%, +1.0%, +1.0%, and +3.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -1.0%. Previous weeks were +3.0%, -4.0%, +47.0%, +6.0%, -6.0%, +8.0%, -1.0%, +1.0%, -5.0%, -11.0%, -8.0%, -11.0%, and +39%
- Composite Index Week/Week -1.0%. Previous weeks were +1.3%, -3.4%, +26.8%, +1.5%,-3.3%, +2.4%, -0.6%, +2.7%, -4.3%, -7.3%, -3.5%, -5.6%, and +18.6%

While the week/week changes are sedate the massive gain from 5 weeks previous has held.

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 6/29/2019)

- Initial Claims seasonally adjusted 221,000. Previous was 229,000
- Initial Claims  unadjusted, totaled 222,844 a decrease of 2,974 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 222,250. Previous was 221,750

The jobs market remains strong.

Source:  Department of Labor

ADP Private Jobs   (June 2019)

- Private Jobs 102,000. Previous was 41,000.

This is an indicator that Friday's BLS report will be stronger than May.

Source:  ADP

Challenger Job-Cut Report  (June 2019)

- Announced Layoffs 41,977. Previous was 58,577

Source: Challenger Gray & Christmas

 

Trade Deficit  (May 2019)

- Trade Deficit $55.5 billion. Previous was $51.2 billion

This is a component of 2ndQ GDP.  Factors include tariffs and threats thereof and the strength of the U.S. dollar which generally increases imports and decreases exports.

Source: Census Bureau

 

PMI Services Index  (June 2019)

- Level  51.5. Previous was 50.9
- PMI Composite Index 51.5. Previous was 50.9

This is a supply side metric for the services component of the economy.

Source:  Markit Economics

 

Factory  Orders (May 2019)

- Factory Orders month/month -0.7%. Previous was -1.2%

Some of this weakness may be due to the Boeing problem.

Source: Census Bureau

 

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (June 2019)

- Composite Index 55.1. Previous was  56.9

July 2, 2019

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 6/29/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 5.5%. Previous was 5.0%

July 1, 2019

PMI Manufacturing Index  (June 2019)

- Level 50.6. Previous was 50.5 

Anything about 50 indicates growth.  While this supply-side index shows growth it is very slow growth.

 

ISM Manufacturing Index (June 2019)

- Level 51.7. Previous was 52.1  

Ctrl-c Ctrl-v what was said above.

Construction Spending (May 2019)

- Construction Spending month/month -0.8%. Previous was +0.4%
- Construction Spending year/year -2.3%. Previous was -1.2%

Data is the seasonally adjusted annualized rate.

Private spending was down. Public spending was down. Residential spending was down. Non-residential spending was down.

Construction Spending growth has been down 3 of the last 4 months and has been weak for the last 7 months.

Source: Census Bureau

  Archive of commentary from previous months is here.