July 23, 2018

Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (June 2018)

- Level   0.43. Previous was  -0.45 
- 3 Month Moving Average   0.16. Previous was 0.10  

With the previous month revised down by 0.30 it is difficult to draw any conclusions.




Existing Home Sales  (June 2018)

- Existing Home Sales seasonally adjusted, annualized rate  5,380,000. Previous was 5,420,000
- Existing Home Sales month/month -0.4%
- Existing Home Sales year/year -3.0%

This makes 3 consecutive month of decline for Existing Home Sales.  Sales were down in the West and South and up in the the Northeast and Midwest.

Existing Home Sales are falling due to lack of supply rather than lack of demand. On the average properties on taking 26 days to sell.





July 19, 2018

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 7/14/2018)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted  207,000. Previous was 215,000 
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 231,347 a decrease of 33,522 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average   220,500. Previous was 223,250

The 207,000 Initial Claims was the lowest since December 1969 when the Labor Force was just less than half its present size.




Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey  (July 2018)

- General Business Conditions Index  25.7. Previous was 19.9  





Leading Indicators  (June 2018)

- Leading Indicators month/month +0.5%. Previous was +0.2%.

This is calculated from 10 forward-looking indicators. 



July 18, 2018

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 7/13/2018)

- Purchase Index Week/Week -5.0%. Previous weeks were +7.0%, +1.0%, -6.0%, +4.0%, -2.0%, +4.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, -0.2%, -2.0%, +0.0%, and +6.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +2.0%. Previous weeks were -2.5%, -2.0%, -4.0%, +6.0%, -2.0%, +4.0%, -5.0%, -4.0%, -4.0%, -1.0%, -4.0%, -0.3%, and +4.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week -2.5%. Previous weeks were +2.5%, -0.5% -4.9%, +5.1%, -1.5%, +4.1%, -2.9%, -2.6%, -2.7%, 0.4%, -2.5%, -0.2%, and +4.9%

Purchase applications are +1.0% year/year a reflection of lack of inventory, higher prices, and higher interest rates.

Housing Starts (June 2018)

- Starts seasonally adjusted, annualized rate  1,173,000. Previous was 1,337,000
- Permits seasonally adjusted, annualized rate  1,273,000. Previous was 1,310,000 

Month/month 5+ unit starts were -20.2%. Single-family was -9.1%.  The only positive number in the breakdown by region was SFR in the northeast at +3.1%.

While Housing Starts can have a lot of month/month variance this data is awful. With the economy humming and unemployment extremely low it appears that the issue is that land use regulations including zoning are preventing the market from functioning.

July 17, 2018

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 7/14/2018)

- Store Sales year/year  +3.3%. Previous was +5.2%




Industrial Production  (June 2018)

- Production month/month +0.6%. Previous was -0.5% 
- Manufacturing month/month  +0.8%. Previous was -1.1%
- Capacity Utilization Rate  78.0%. Previous was 77.7%

June seems good but May was revised down.



Housing Market Index  (July 2018)

- Index 68. Previous was 68.

This is a survey index from the National Association of Home Builders measuring home builder confidence.





July 16, 2018

Retail Sales  (June 2018)

- Retail Sales month/month 0.5%. Previous was +1.3%
- Retail Sales less autos month/month +0.4%. Previous was +1.4%
- Less Autos & Gas month/month +0.3%. Previous was +1.3%

The data is better than it looks because all 3 numbers were revidsed upward +0.5% for the previous month.
  





Empire State Manufacturing Survey (July 2018)

- General Business Conditions Index 22.6. Previous was 25.0 

This is a survey index of manufacturers in New York State and is a relic of the time when New York was a major manufacturing state.




Business Inventories (May 2018)

- Inventories month/month +0.4%. Previous was +0.3%

This is a component of 2ndQ GDP.


July 13, 2018

Import and Export Prices  (June 2018)

- Import Prices month/month  -0.4%. Previous was +0.9% 
- Export Prices month/month  +0.3%. Previous was +0.6%
- Import Prices year/year    +4.3%. Previous was +4.5%
- Export Prices year/year    +5.3%. Previous was +4.9%

So many factors influence this but certainly dollar strength drives down import prices and drives up export prices.  The positive effect is to make consumer goods less expensive keeping inflation at an acceptable level.  The negative effect is a higher trade deficit. 



Consumer Sentiment Survey  (July 2018)

- Sentiment Index 97.7. Previous was 98.2
- Current Economic Conditions 113.9. Previous was 116.5
- Consumer Expectations 86.4. Previous was 86.3  

This is the survey index from the University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center.  It is supposed to forecast Consumer Spending in the next few months. 


July 12, 2018

Consumer Price Index  (June 2018)

- CPI month/month  +0.1%. Previous was +0.2% 
- CPI year/year  +2.9%. Previous was +2.8% 
- CPI less food & energy month/month  +0.2%. Previous was +0.2%
- CPI less food & energy year/year +2.3%. Previous was +2.2%

Mixed message. Core month/month was at the tolerated +0.2% while the year/year increased.

Of the CPI components Hotel/Motel rates were -3.7% month/month, energy was -0.3%, apparel was -0.9%, medical care was +0.4%, fuel oil was +2.9%. These number serve as a reminder that the 
overall economy is made up of many different components moving in  many different circles sometimes with little correlation.


Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 7/7/2018)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted   214,000. Previous was 232,000 
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 264,487 an increase of 32,948 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted Level  223,000. Previous was 224,750

The total number of people receiving unemployment benefits not seasonally adjusted was 1,672,230. Seasonally adjusted was 1,739,000.

 





July 11, 2018

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 7/6/2018)

- Purchase Index Week/Week +7.0%. Previous weeks were +1.0%, -6.0%, +4.0%, -2.0%, +4.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, -0.2%, -2.0%, +0.0%, +6.0%, and -2.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -2.5%. Previous weeks were -2.0%, -4.0%, +6.0%, -2.0%, +4.0%, -5.0%, -4.0%, -4.0%, -1.0%, -4.0%, -0.3%, +4.0%, and -2.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week +2.5%. Previous weeks were -0.5% -4.9%, +5.1%, -1.5%, +4.1%, -2.9%, -2.6%, -2.7%, 0.4%, -2.5%, -0.2%, +4.9%, and -1.9%


PPI-FD  (June 2018)

- PPI-FD month/month +0.3%. Previous was +0.5% 
- PPI-FD year/year   +3.4%. Previous was +3.1%
- PPI-FD less food & energy month/month +0.3%. Previous was +0.3%
- PPI-FD less food & energy year/year   +2.8%. Previous was +2.4%
- PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services month/month +0.3%. Previous was +0.1%
- PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services year/year   +2.7%. Previous was +2.6%

Although not dramatic inflation is creeping up and if Producer Price increases pass to Consumers rates will increase.





Wholesale Trade  (May 2018)

- Inventories  +0.6%. Previous was +0.1%

This is a component of 2ndQ2018 GDP


July 10, 2018

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (June 2018)

-level  107.2. Previous was 107.8  




Redbook Chain store Sales (week ended 7/7/2018)

- Store Sales year/year +5.2%. Previous was +4.1% 

This may or many not indicate strength in retail. This compares stores open last week with same stores open a year previous. With chain stores closing the disappeared stores are not counted in the data.




JOLTS  (May 2018)

- Job Openings 6,638,000. Previous was 6,698,000

There are 6,638,000 million Job Openings and  6,564,000 people unemployed.  


July 6, 2018

BLS Employment Situation (June 2018)

- Nonfarm Payrolls month/month seasonally a  213,000. Previous was 244,000  
- Unemployment Rate  4.0%. Previous was 3.8% 
- Private Payrolls month/month   202,000. Previous was 239,000  
- Manufacturing Payrolls month/month   36,000. Previous was 19,000  
- Participation Rate  62.9%. Previous was 62.7%
- Average Hourly Earnings month/month  +0.2%. Previous was +0.3%
- Average Hourly Earnings year/year +2.7%. Previous was +2.7%
- Average Workweek 34.5 hours. Previous was 34.5

Despite the headline gain in jobs the Unemployment Rate move up to 4.0% because 601,00 people joined the Labor Force. The Labor Force consists of people who are either working or looking 
for work.  The slow growth of Average Hourly Earnings is a sign that the healthy labor market is not causing inflation in wages.  

Of concern is that the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 289,000 in June to 1.5 million. These individuals accounted for 23.0% of the unemployed.

Trade Deficit (May 2018)

- Trade Deficit $43.1 billion. Previous was $46.1 billion.  77% of the total deficit is trade with China.


July 5, 2018

Challenger Job-Cut Report (June 2018)

- Announced Layoffs 37,202. Previous was 31,517  



ADP Private Jobs (June 2018)

- ADP employment  177,000. Previous was 189,000  



Initial Jobless Claims  (week ended 6/30/2017)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 231,000. Previous was 228,000 
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 231,072 an increase of 8,306 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted   224,500. Previous was 222,250




PMI Services Index (June 2018)

- Level    56.5. Previous was 56.8   



ISM Non-Manufacturing Index  (June 2018)

- Composite Index   59.1. Previous was 58.6.



July 4, 2018

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 6/29/2018)

- Purchase Index Week/Week +1.0%. Previous weeks were -6.0%, +4.0%, -2.0%, +4.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, -0.2%, -2.0%, +0.0%, +6.0%, -2.0%, and -2.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -2.0%. Previous weeks were -4.0%, +6.0%, -2.0%, +4.0%, -5.0%, -4.0%, -4.0%, -1.0%, -4.0%, -0.3%, +4.0%, -2.0%, and -5.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week -0.5%. Previous weeks were -4.9%, +5.1%, -1.5%, +4.1%, -2.9%, -2.6%, -2.7%, 0.4%, -2.5%, -0.2%, +4.9%, -1.9%, and -3.3%.

 





July 3, 2018

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 6/30/2018)

- Store Sales year/year change  4.4%. Previous was +3.1% 

Chain Store Sales data is may longer the best metric of retail.  One issue is that the metric compares only store now open which were also open a year ago. All of the chain stores which closed in the last year are not counted. 



Factory Orders  (May 2018)

- Factory Orders month/month  +0.4%. Previous was -0.4%.

Atlanta Fed GDPNow estimate for 2ndQ2018 GDP revised to +4.1%.


 

 


  Archive of commentary from previous months is here.