May 17, 2018

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 5/12/2018)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted   222,000. Previous was 215,000 
- New Claims unadjusted, totaled 194,557 an increase of 4,295 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average  213,250. Previous was 216,000

Continuing Claims were 1,753,862 which is the lowest reading since 1973 when the Civilian Labor Force was 55% of what it is currently,





Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey (May 2018)

- General Business Conditions Index  34.4. Previous was 23.2 

This is a strong report. Like the Jobless Claims Report this was the best in 45 years.  8 months after that 1973 peak the economy entered recession. 


Leading Indicators  (April 2018)

- Leading Indicators month/month  +0.4%. Previous was +0.3%


May 16, 2018

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 5/11/2018)

- Purchase Index Week/Week -2.0%. Previous weeks were  -0.2%, -2.0%, +0.0%, +6.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, +3.0%, +1.0%, +3.0%, -1.0%, +6.0%, -6.0%, and -6.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -4.0%. Previous weeks were -1.0%, -4.0%, -0.3%, +4.0%, -2.0%, -5.0%, +7.0%, -5.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, -1.0%, -7.0%, and -2.0%.
- Composite Index Week/Week -2.7%-. Previous weeks were 0.4%, -2.5%, -0.2%, +4.9%, -1.9%, -3.3%, +4.8%, -1.1%, +0.9%, +0.3%, +2.7%, -6.6%, and -4.1%.

These are seasonally adjusted.  Higher rates are most definitely holding back refinance applications.  Refinancing is motivated either by getting a lower rate or needing cash out.  The lower rate part is not happening.



Housing Starts  (April 2018)

- Starts seasonally adjusted annualized rate 1,28,000. Previous was 1,336,000
- Permits adjusted annualized rate 1,352,000. Previous was 1,377,000 

Single-family Starts were +0.1% month/month and +7.2% year/year. Apartment buildings (5+ units) -12.6% month/month and +19.1% year/year.

We are still well under the 1,500,000 units requires to account for population growth while keeping constant the number of people per household.

The only region to show month/month gain in Statrs was the South.  The Northeast, Midwest, amd West were all lower.




Industrial Production  (April 2018)

- Production month/month  +0.7%. Previous was +0.7%.
- Manufacturing month/month +0.5%. Previous was +0.0%
- Capacity Utilization Rate  78.0%. Previous was 77.6%

This is strong especially considering the upward revision from +0.5% to +0.7% to March.  






Atlanta Federal Reserve Business Inflation Expectations  (May 2018)

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



May 15, 2018

Retail Sales  (April 2018)

- Retail Sales month/month  +0.3%. Previous was +0.8%
- Retail Sales less autos month/month  +0.3%. Previous was 0.4%
- Less Autos/Gas month/month  +0.3%. Previous was 0.4%

This is weak and the details are mixed. While this is but one part of 2ndQ2018 GDP it is a slow start.



Redbook Chain Store Sales  (week ended 5/12/2018)

- Chain Store Sales year/year  +4.9%. Previous was +4.2% 




Business Inventories  (March 2018)

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

This is a component of 1stQ2018 GDP



Housing Market Index  (May 2018)

- Housing Market Index   70. Previous was 68  


May 11. 2018

Import and Export Prices (April 2018)

- Import Prices month/month  +0.3%. Previous was -0.2 % 
- Export Prices month/month +0.6%. Previous was +0.3% 
- Import Prices year/year  +3.3%. Previous was +3.3%
- Export Prices    +3.8%. Previous was +3.4%

Excluding oil import prices were +0.1%.  Little inflation here.





Consumer Sentiment  (May 2018)

- Sentiment Index   98.8. Previous was 98.8   

This is the University of Michigan survey.



May 10, 2018

Consumer Price Index  (April 2018)

- CPI month/month +0.2%. Previous was -0.1% 
- CPI year/year   +2.5%. Previous was +2.4%
- CPI less food & energy month/month  +0.1%. Previous was 0.2% 
- CPI less food & energy year/year   +2.1%. Previous was 2.1% 

No sign here of significant inflation.



Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 5/5/2018)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 211,000. Previous was 211,000
- New Claims unadjusted totaled 190,084 an increase of 3,633 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average  216,000. Previous was 221,500

The 4-week average is the lowest since December 1969 when the size of the Labor Force was almost exactly half of what it is at present.


May 9, 2018

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 5/4/2018)

- Purchase Index Week/Week -0.2%. Previous weeks were  -2.0%, +0.0%, +6.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, +3.0%, +1.0%, +3.0%, -1.0%, +6.0%, -6.0%, -6.0%, and +0.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -1.0%. Previous weeks were -4.0%, -0.3%, +4.0%, -2.0%, -5.0%, +7.0%, -5.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, -1.0%, -7.0%, -2.0%, and +1.0%.
- Composite Index Week/Week -0.4%. Previous weeks were -2.5%, -0.2%, +4.9%, -1.9%, -3.3%, +4.8%, -1.1%, +0.9%, +0.3%, +2.7%, -6.6%, -4.1%, and +0.7%.




PPI-FD  (April 2018)

- PPI-FD month/month  +0.1%. Previous was +0.3%  
- PPI-FD year/year  +2.6%. Previous was +3.0%  
- PPI-FD less food & energy month/month +0.2%. Previous was +0.3%  
- PPI-FD less food & energy year/year   +2.3%. Previous was +2.7%   
- PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services month/month  +0.1%. Previous was +0.4%  
- PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services year/year  +2.5%. Previous was  +2.9% 




Wholesale Trade (March 2018)

- Inventories month/month +0.3%. Previous was +0.9%

This is a component of 1stQ2018 GDP.


May 8, 2018

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (April 2018)

- level  104.8. Previous was 104.7  



Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 5/5/2018)

- Same Store Sales year/year +4.2%. Previous was +3.5% 

Since this compares stores open last week which were also open a year ago the data is less meaningful at a time when there have been a lot of Chain Store closings.



JOLTS (March 2018)

- Job Openings 6,550,000. Previous was 6,070,000.

This is a much larger gain than expected.

This is the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.  It has been the case for many months that there are Job Openings which are not being filled. Collectively people who are unemployed don't have the skills for the Job Openings.


May 4, 2018

BLS Employment Situation Report (April 2018)

Nonfarm Payrolls month/month  164,000. Previous was  135,000  
Unemployment Rate  3.9%. Previous was 4.1% 
Private Payrolls month/month  168,000. Previous was 135,000 
Manufacturing Payrolls month/month   24,000. Previous was 22,000   
Participation Rate   62.8%. Previous was 62.9%
Average Hourly Earnings month/month  0.1%. Previous was 0.2%
Average Hourly Earnings year/year  2.6%. Previous was 2.6%
Average Workweek 34.5 hours. Previous was 34.5 hours

The Civilian Labor Force declined by 236,000 explaining, in part, the drop in the unemployment rate.

My monthly detailed analysis of this report will be in my newsletter Monday.





May 3, 2018

Challenger Job-Cut Report (April 2018)

- Announced Layoffs  36,081. Previous was 60,357   




Trade Deficit (March 2018)

- Trade Deficit $49.0 billion. Previous was $57.7 billion

This is a positive for the next revision of 1stQ2018 GDP but it is doubtful that this is a trend.  Let's see.



Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 4/28/2018)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 211,000. Previous was 209,000
- New Claims not seasonally adjusted totaled 186,049 a decrease of 14,016 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted  221,500. Previous was 229,250





Productivity and Costs (1stQ2018)

- Nonfarm productivity quarter/quarter seasonally adjusted, annualized rate +0.7%. Previous was 0.3%
- Unit labor costs  quarter/quarter seasonally adjusted, annualized rate +2.7%. Previous was 2.1%






PMI Services Index (April 2018)

- Level   54.6. Previous was 54.0   



Factory Orders  (March 2018)

- Factory Orders month/month  1.6%. Previous was +1.6% 




ISM Non-Manufacturing Index  (April 2018)

- Composite Index   56.8. Previous was 58.8  



May 2, 2018

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 4/27/2018)

- Purchase Index Week/Week -2.0%. Previous weeks were  +0.0%, +6.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, +3.0%, +1.0%, +3.0%, -1.0%, +6.0%, -6.0%, -6.0%, +0.0%, and -3.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -4.0%. Previous weeks were -0.3%, +4.0%, -2.0%, -5.0%, +7.0%, -5.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, -1.0%, -7.0%, -2.0%, +1.0%, and -3.0%.
- Composite Index Week/Week -2.5%. Previous weeks were -0.2%, +4.9%, -1.9%, -3.3%, +4.8%, -1.1%, +0.9%, +0.3%, +2.7%, -6.6%, -4.1%, +0.7%, and -2.6%.

Rates last week were the highest in 4.5 years which puts a damper of refinancing.


ADP Employment Report (April 2018)

- Private Sector Jobs  204,000. Previous was 228,000   

This should be an indication of Friday's BLS Employment Situation Report.  For whatever reason, the ADP report tends to show less month-to-month volatility than the BLS report.


May 1, 2018

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 4/28/2018)


- Store Sales year/year +3.5 %. Previous was +2.6% 

Since this measure sales in stores open last week and the year before it takes no account for chain store which closed in the last year.




PMI Manufacturing Index  (April 2018)

- Index    56.5. Previous was 55.6 





ISM Manufacturing Index (April 2018)

-  Index 57.3. Previous was 59.3.



Construction Spending (March 2018)

- Construction Spending month/month -1.7%. Previous was +1.0%
- Construction Spending year/year +3.6%. Previous was +5.7%.

This data varies a lot from month to month and is of concern only if this becomes a trend.

 


 

 


  Archive of commentary from previous months is here.




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