August 16, 2019

Housing Starts  (July 2019)

- Starts seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 1,191,000. Previous was 1,241,000
- Permits seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 1,336,000. Previous was 1,232,000

Housing Starts remain smothered by local land use regulation and zoning which prevent needed and wanted housing from being built.  This regulated  lack of supply drives prices up making what does get built less affordable.

SFR Starts were +1.3% nationally.  Apartment (5+ units) were -17.2%. The only region with month/month gains in total starts was the West.

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

Consumer Sentiment  (August- preliminary)

- Sentiment Index  92.1. Previous was 98.4

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



August 15, 2019

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 8/10/2019)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 220,000. Previous was 211,000
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 186,028  an increase of 6,151 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 213,750. Previous was 212,750

The Jobs Market remains vey strong.

Source:  Department of Labor

 

Retail Sales (July 2019)

- Retail Sales month/month 0.7%. Previous was +0.3%
- Retail Sales less autos month/month 1.0%. Previous was +0.3%
- Less Autos & Gas month/month  0.9%. Previous was +0.6%

Looks as if the population was not properly informed of the impeding recession. To be serious one thing we have seen is an inability to forecast what consumers would do. Details are on page 4 of this https://www.census.gov/retail/marts/www/marts_current.pdf

Source:  Census Bureau

Productivity and Costs  (2ndQ2019)

- Nonfarm productivity quarter/quarter seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 2.3%. Previous was 3.5%
- Unit labor costs quarter/quarter seasonally adjusted, annualized rate  2.4%. Previous was 5.5%

Productivity is GDP/hours worked. For several years this data has been somewhat of a mystery because it is assumed that technology enables workers to produce more in a given time period.  The issue is that this is true from some industries but not others.  If added workers have low GDP/hour worked then the number is weaker.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industrial Production  (July 2019)

- Production month/month -0.2%. Previous was +0.2%
- Manufacturing month/month -0.4%. Previous was +0.6%
- Capacity Utilization Rate     7.5%. Previous was 77.8%

Production includes utility output which is weather dependent especially in the middle of summer.  Manufacturing dipped.

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

 

Business Inventories  (June 2019)

- Inventories month/month 0.0%. Previous was +0.3%

This is a component of 2ndQ GDP.

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

 

Housing Market Index  (August 2019)

- Housing Market Index 66. Previous was  66.

This soft (survey based) data asking home builders how they feel about the economy in general and the housing market in particular.

Source:  National Association of Home Builders


August 14, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 8/9/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week +2.0%. Previous weeks were -2.0%, -3.0%, -2.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, +1.0%, -1.0%, -4.0%, +10.0%, -2.0,-1.0%, -2.0%, and -1.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +37.0%. Previous weeks were +12.0%, +0.1%, -2.0%, +2.0%, -7.0%, -1.0%, +3.0%, -4.0%, +47.0%, +6.0%, -6.0%, +8.0%, and -1.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week +21.7%. Previous weeks were +5.3%, -1.4%, -1.9%, -1.1%, -2.4%, -1.0%, +1.3%, -3.4%, +26.8%, +1.5%,-3.3%, +2.4%, and -0.6%

Refinance applications were up because Treasury yields were down. Interestingly this may be because people were not aware of last week's disconnect between Treasury yields and mortgage rates.  The disconnect between the 10-year and MBS is not something media can explain in the allotted 20 seconds.

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

Import and Export Prices (July 2019)

- Import Prices month/month 0.2%. Previous was -1.1%
- Export Prices month/month 0.2%. Previous was -0.6%
- Import Prices year/year 1.8%. Previous was -2.0%
- Export Prices year/year -0.9%. Previous was -1.2%

The increase in Import prices was due entirely to oil. Excluding oil, Import Prices were unchanged in July.

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

August 13, 2019


CPI  (July 2019)

- CPI month/month 0.3%. Previous was +0.1%
- CPI year/year  1.8%. Previous was +1.6%
- CPI core (less food & energy) month/month  0.3%. Previous was +0.3%
- CPI core (less food & energy) year/year 2.2%. Previous was +2.1%

Year/year the largest percentage changes were in housing and medical care.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index  (July 2019)

- level 104.7. Previous was 103.3

Source:   NFIB Research Foundation

 

 

 

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 8/10/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 4.4%. Previous was 5.1%

Source:  Redbook Research Inc.

August 9, 2019

PPI (Wholesale Inflation)  July 2019

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

Core wholesale prices which eliminate the volatile energy and food components are well contained and below expectations.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

August 8, 2019

Initial Jobless Claims  (week ended 8/3/2019)

- Initial Claims seasonally adjusted 209,000. Previous was 217,000
- Initial Claims  unadjusted, totaled 178,675 a decrease of 220 from the previous week
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 312,250. Previous was 212,000

The jobs market remains extremely strong.  

Source:  Department of Labor

 

Wholesale Trade  (June 2019)

- Inventories month/month 0.0%. Previous was +0.4%

This is a component of 2nd Q 2019 GDP and this drop in this component will translate into a small decrease in the next estimate of 2nd Q GDP.

Source:  Census Bureau

August 7, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 8/2/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week  -2.0%. Previous weeks were -3.0%, -2.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, +1.0%, -1.0%, -4.0%, +10.0%, -2.0,-1.0%, -2.0%, -1.0%, and +4.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +12.0%. Previous weeks were +0.1%, -2.0%, +2.0%, -7.0%, -1.0%, +3.0%, -4.0%, +47.0%, +6.0%, -6.0%, +8.0%, -1.0%, and +1.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week +5.3%. Previous weeks were -1.4%, -1.9%, -1.1%, -2.4%, -1.0%, +1.3%, -3.4%, +26.8%, +1.5%,-3.3%, +2.4%, -0.6%, and +2.7%

Four consecutive weeks of purchase application declines in the heart of home buying season is a bad sign.  Not enough people can afford to buy homes because limited supply has increased

prices.  Home building is held back by land use regulation, zoning, permit difficulties, environmental impact reports and NIMBYism.

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

August 6, 2019

Redbook  Chain Store Sales (week ended 8/3/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 5.1%. Previous was 4.5%

These are comparisons of stores which have been open for at least a year. This omits sales from chain store which have closed in the past year and likely paints a too rosy picture.

Source:  Redbook Research Inc.

JOLTS  (June 2019)

- Job Openings 7,348,000. Previous was 7,384,000.

Job Openings may be plateauing but are still strong. The strong jobs market and low unemployment rate without increase in inflation is something which has defied previous beliefs and allowed the Fed to ease.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

August 5, 2019

PMI Services Index  (July 2019)

- Level   53.0. Previous was 51.5
- PMI Composite Index 52.6. Previous was 51.5.

Source:  Markit Economics

 

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index  (July 2019)

- Composite Index 53.7. Previous was 55.1

Source:  Institute For Supply Management

Both of these are supply side survey based metrics.  The fact that they point in opposite directions offers little.

August 2, 2019

BLS Employment Situation Report (July 2019)

- Nonfarm Payrolls, seasonally adjusted  month/month 164,000. Previous was 193,000
- Nonfarm Payrolls, not seasonally adjusted  month/month -1,058,000.  Previous year June/July was -1,114,000
- Unemployment Rate  3.7%. Previous was 3.7%.
- Private Payrolls month/month  148,000. Previous was 179,000
- Manufacturing Payrolls month/month 16,000. Previous was 12,000
- Participation Rate - level 63.0%. Previous was 62.9% 
- Average Hourly Earnings month/month 0.3%. Previous was 0.3%
- Average Hourly Earnings year/year 3.2%. Previous was 3.1%
- Average Workweek - All Employees 34.3 hours. Previous was 34.4 hours

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 248,000 to 1.2 million.

A detailed analysis of this will be in my RateWatch newsletter of Monday.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

Trade Deficit  (June 2019)

- Trade Deficit $55.2 billion. Previous was $55.3 billion

This takes away from GDP. This is a chart of Trade Deficit history: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/BOPGSTB

Source:  BEA

 

Consumer Sentiment  (July 2019)

- Sentiment Index 98.4. Previous was 98.4

Source: University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center

 

Factory Orders  (June 2019)

- Factory Orders month/month  0.6%. Previous was -1.3% revised down from -0.7%

Source:  Census Bureau

August 1, 2019

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 7/27/2019)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 215,000. Previous was 207,000
- New Claims unadjusted, totaled 177,948 a decrease of 18,432 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 211,500. Previous was 213,250

The jobs market remains very healthy.  Details here:  https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf

Source: Department of Labor

Challenger Job-Cut Report  (July 2019)

- Announced Layoffs 38,845. Previous was 41,977

This is announced future layoff plans.

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

PMI Manufacturing Index  (July 2019)

- Level  50.4. Previous was  50.6

While this is survey based it is an important leading indicator.  The best description is that it continues to show slower growth. 50 is neutral so what we have had lately is barely

noticeable growth.  This is part of the reason for the Fed to have eased.

Source:  Institute for Supply Management

ISM Manufacturing Index (July 2019)

- ISM Manufacturing  Index  51.2. Previous was 51.7  

Source:  Institute for Supply Management

 

Construction Spending  (June 2019)

- Construction Spending month/month -1.3%. Previous was -0.5%
- Construction Spending year/year -2.1%. Previous was -1.6%

The important thing for those in the real estate and mortgage businesses is that residential construction continues to stagnate. It is 8.0% lower year/year.

Source:  Census Bureau

July 31, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 7/26/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week  -3.0%. Previous weeks were -2.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, +1.0%, -1.0%, -4.0%, +10.0%, -2.0,-1.0%, -2.0%, -1.0%, +4.0%, and -4.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +0.1%. Previous weeks were -2.0%, +2.0%, -7.0%, -1.0%, +3.0%, -4.0%, +47.0%, +6.0%, -6.0%, +8.0%, -1.0%, +1.0%, and -5.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week -1.4%. Previous weeks were -1.9%, -1.1%, -2.4%, -1.0%, +1.3%, -3.4%, +26.8%, +1.5%,-3.3%, +2.4%, -0.6%, +2.7%, and -4.3%

Three consecutive weeks of purchase application declines in the heart of home buying season.  Not enough people can afford to buy homes.

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

ADP Private Jobs (July 2019)

- Private Jobs 156,000. Previous was 112,000.

This is generally a prelude to BLS.

Source: ADP

 

Employment Cost Index  (2ndQ2019)

- ECI quarter/quarter 0.6%. Previous was 0.7%
- ECI year/year  2.7%. Previous was 2.8%

In a sense this is the heart of why the Fed will be free to lower the overnight rate target.  While the unemployment rate has been near record lows there has been ongoing concern that inflation would result starting with wage inflation.  The fact that the tight labor market has not incited inflation frees the Fed to ease.

Source:  BLS

 

Chicago PMI  (July 2019)

- Business Barometer Index 44.4. Previous was 49.7

While this is a regional survey index it is extremely weak and gives the Fed another reason to ease.

Source: Institute For Supply Management - Chicago

July 30, 2019

Personal Income and Outlays  (June 2019)

- Personal Income month/month 0.4%. Previous was 0.5%
- Consumer Spending month/month 0.3%. Previous was 0.5%
- PCE Price Index month/month 0.1%. Previous was 0.1%
- Core PCE price index month/month 0.2%. Previous was  0.2%
- PCE Price Index year/year 1.4%. Previous was 1.4%
- Core PCE price index year/year change 1.6%. Previous was 1.5%

Consumer Spending increased but at a slightly slower rate.  Inflation remains contained.  Nothing here to stop the FOMC from a 25 bps easing.

Source: BEA

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 7/27/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year  4.5%. Previous was 4.9%

These are comparisons of stores which have been open for at least a year. This omits sales from chain store which have closed in the past year and likely paints a too rosy picture.

Source:  Redbook Research Inc.

S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI  (May 2019)

- 20-city, seasonally adjusted, month/month 0.1%. Previous was 0.0%
- 20-city, not seasonally adjusted, month/month 0.6%. Previous was 0.8%
- 20-city, not seasonally adjusted, year/year 2.4%. Previous was 2.5%

The underlying cause is that limited supply has been driving prices up to quickly to the point where the number of people who can afford to but a home got smaller. Interestingly this has nothing to do with rates which are lower than a year ago.  We need to build more housing.  This takes years and planning/zoning decisions happen on a local level. 

Consumer Confidence  (July 2019)

- Consumer Confidence  135.7. Previous was 124.3

Source:  Conference Board

 

Pending Home Sales Index  (June 2019)

- Pending Home Sales Index level 108.3. Previous was 105.4
- Pending Home Sales Index month/month 2.8%. Previous was 1.1%

These are pending sales of existing homes. While this metric tends to bounce from month to month this is a ray of light for a sluggish housing market.

Source:  National Association of Realtors

July 29, 2019

Dallas Federal Reserve Manufacturing Survey  (July 2019)

- Production Index 9.3. Previous was 8.9  
- General Activity Index -6.3. Previous was -12.1 

This is a soft data (survey based) index measuring manufacturing the Texas.

July 26, 2019

2ndQ2019 GDP Initial Release

- Real GDP quarter/quarter  seasonally adjusted, annualized rate    2.1%. Previous was 3.1%
- Real Consumer Spending quarter/quarter seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 4.3%. Previous was 1.1%
- GDP price index quarter/quarter  seasonally adjusted, annualized rate      2.4%. Previous was 1.1%
- GDP core price index quarter/quarter  seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 2.4%. Previous was 1.4%

This is a strange report. It shows a large increase in Consumer Spending with overall growth dragged down by reduced spending on the supply side.  GDP = Consumer Spending + Government

Spending + Business spending both capital spending and inventories - Trade deficit.

The headline is substantially higher than the forecast from the Atlanta Fed which was +1.3%.

While the print above 2.0% could give the Fed a reason to not ease next week the Treasury market appears to still be presuming a 25 bps easing. This report does not support aggressive easing, near zero rate policy or a new round of QE. These may happen but not soon.

One thing I see is US Treasury and MBS markets being driven not so much by the state of the domestic economy but by the world economy. Growth is Asia is slowing and growth in the EU is barely happening. When the overview of the world economy is poor flight-to-quality translates into lower mortgage rates here.

Source:  Bureau of Economic Analysis

July 25, 2019

GDPNow (2ndQ2019)

The latest report of the Atlanta Fed estimate of 2ndQ2019 GDP was +1.3% down from +1.6%. The first release from BEA is tomorrow. This indicates a near certainty of a 25 bps Fed easing.

Source:  Atlanta Federal Reserve

 

Durable Goods Orders (June 2019)

- New Orders month/month  2.0%. Previous was -2.3%
- Ex-transportation  month/month 1.2%. Previous was +0.5%
- Core capital goods  month/month 1.9%. Previous was +0.3%

While looking at DGO on a monthly basis can be misleading this report shows that the manufacturing part of the economy has regained some health.

Source:  Census Bureau

Goods Trade Deficit  (June 2019)

- Deficit  $74.2 billion.  Previous was $75.1 billion
- Exports % change -2.7%. Previous was +2.9%
- Imports % change -2.2%. Previous was +3.9%

There is a lot going on regarding trade: a weakening world economy, tariffs, and a strong U.S. dollar.

Source:  Census Bureau

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 7/20/2019)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 206,000. Previous was 216,000
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 194,895 a decrease of 48,724 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 213,000. Previous was 218,750

The jobs market remains extremely strong with new claim levels near historic lows.

Source:  Department of Labor

Retail Inventories June (early look)

- month/month -0.1%. Previous was +0.5%

This is a component of 2nd GDP.

Source:  Census Bureau

Wholesale Inventories June  (early look)

- month/month +0.2%. Previous was +0.4%

This is a component of 2nd GDP.

Source:  Census Bureau

 

 

July 24, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 7/19/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week  -2.0%. Previous weeks were -4.0%, +2.0%, +1.0%, -1.0%, -4.0%, +10.0%, -2.0,-1.0%, -2.0%, -1.0%, +4.0%, -4.0%, and -4.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -2.0%. Previous weeks were +2.0%, -7.0%, -1.0%, +3.0%, -4.0%, +47.0%, +6.0%, -6.0%, +8.0%, -1.0%, +1.0%, -5.0%, and -11.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week -1.9%. Previous weeks were -1.1%, -2.4%, -1.0%, +1.3%, -3.4%, +26.8%, +1.5%,-3.3%, +2.4%, -0.6%, +2.7%, -4.3%, and -7.3%

The sad fact is that purchases are being held back because prices are too high because supply is too low because of local land use and zoning regulations.

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

PMI Composite (early estimate, July 2019)

- Composite   51.6. Previous was 50.6
- Manufacturing 50.0. Previous was 50.1
- Services  52.2. Previous was 50.7

Source: IHS Markit

 

New Home Sales (June 2019)

- New Home Sales seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 646,000. Previous was 604,000

At the risk of repeating myself - the problem is that prices are too high.

Details here:  https://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/pdf/newressales.pdf

Source:  Census Bureau

July 23, 2019

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 7/30./2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 4.9%. Previous was 4.7%.

Source:  Redbook Research Inc.

 

FHFA House Price Index  (May 2019)

- month/month 0.1%. Previous was +0.4%
- year/year 5.0%. Previous was +5.3%

While slower home price growth is positive this still exceeds inflation and does not translate into affordability.  We need land use regulations and zoning relaxed so that more supply can come to market.

Source: Federal Housing Finance Agency

 

Existing Home Sales  (June 2019)

- Existing Home Sales seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 5,270,000. Previous was 5,360,000
- Existing Home Sales seasonally adjusted, annualized rate, month/month -1.7%. Previous was +2.9%
- Existing Home Sales seasonally adjusted, annualized rate, year/year -2.2%. Previous was -0.7%

This seems to say that sellers are still asking  prices that buyers are not willing to pay.

Source:  National Association or Realtors

 

Richmond Federal Reserve Manufacturing Index  (July 2019)

- Level -12. Previous was 3,

This is a regional index.  We continue to see weaker supply side metrics.

Source:  Richmond Federal Reserve

 


July 22, 2019

Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (June 2019)

- Level -0.02. Previous was -0.03
- 3 Month Moving Average  -0.26. Previous was -0.27

This is a weighted average of 85 existing indicators of national economic activity and certainly justifies Fed easing. 

July 19, 2019

Consumer Sentiment (July 2019)

- Sentiment Index 98.4. Previous was 98.2

This is +0.5% year/year.

Details here:  http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu/

This is the metric from the University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center.  It is supposed to forecast consumer spending in the next 3-6 months.

Source: University of Michigan Consumer Survey Center

July 18, 2019

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 7/13/2019)

- Initial Claims seasonally adjusted 216,000. Previous was 208,000
- Initial Claims unadjusted, totaled 243,513 an increase of 11,520  from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 218,750. Previous was 219,000.

The jobs market remains extremely strong. Moreover, as Fed Chairman Powell said last week, the extremely low unemployment rate is not causing inflation.

Source:  Department of Labor

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Business Outlook Survey (July 2019)

- General Business Conditions Index 21.8. Previous was 0.3

This is a regional survey index.

Source:  Philadelphia Federal Reserve

 

Leading Indicators  (June 2019)

- Leading Indicators month/month -0.3%. Previous was +0.1%

This is very significant and will reawaken discussions of recession and Fed easing.

This is calculated from 10 metrics which historically have forecast recession.

Source:  Conference Board

July 17, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 7/12/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week -4.0%. Previous weeks were +2.0%, +1.0%, -1.0%, -4.0%, +10.0%, -2.0,-1.0%, -2.0%, -1.0%, +4.0%, -4.0%, -4.0%, and +1.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +2.0%. Previous weeks were -7.0%, -1.0%, +3.0%, -4.0%, +47.0%, +6.0%, -6.0%, +8.0%, -1.0%, +1.0%, -5.0%, -11.0%, and -8.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week -1.1%. Previous weeks were -2.4%, -1.0%, +1.3%, -3.4%, +26.8%, +1.5%,-3.3%, +2.4%, -0.6%, +2.7%, -4.3%, -7.3%, and -3.5%

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.

Housing Starts (June 2019)

- Starts seasonally adjusted, annualized rate  1,253,000. Previous was 1,265,000
- Permits seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 1,220,000. Previous was 1,288,000

Single Family starts seasonally adjusted and annualized were 813,000 in June. The gains was in the northeast and Midwest. The South, and West were down.  Permits were down in every region except the NE.

Housing Starts are lagging because local land use regulations and zoning continue to prevent the building of housing where jobs are being created.  This results in higher home prices, longer commutes and the inability of businesses such as restaurants to find staff who can afford to live close enough to work.

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.