June 22, 2017

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 6/17/2017)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted  241,000. Previous was 238,000
- New Claims unadjusted, totaled 228,461  decrease of 5,724 from  previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted  244,750. Previous was 243,250

Jobless Claims remain low. Nonetheless this has not resulted in sharp increases in wages and had not spurred GDP.



FHFA House Price Index  (April 2017)

- month/month +0.7%. Previous was 0.7%
- year/year   +6.8%. Previous was 6.4%

A reminder that we have not had a housing recovery but a house price recovery.  A housing recovery would happen when Housing Starts rise to 1,500,000.  Prices are rising because supply is 
insufficient in those places where folks want to live.




Leading Indicators  (May 2017)

- Leading Indicators month/month  +0.3%. Previous was +0.2% 

This is made up from 10 other indicators and is supposed to indicate economic activity 3-6 months from now.



Kansas City Federal Reserve Manufacturing Index  (June 2017)

- Level 11. Previous was 8.  



June 21, 2017

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 6/16/2017)


- Purchase Index Week/Week -1.0%. Previous weeks were -3.0%, +10.0%, -1.0%, -1.0%, -3.0%, +2.0%, +4.0%, -1.0%, -3.0%, +3.0%, +1.0%, +1.0%, and -2.0%.
- Refinance Index Week/Week +2.0%. Previous weeks were +9.0%, +3.0%, -6.0%, +11.0%, -6.0%, +3.0%, -5.0%, +7.0%, +0.2%, +0.0%,-4.0%, -3.0%, and -3.0%.
- Composite Index Week/Week -0.6%. Previous weeks were +2.8%, +7.1%, -3.4%, +4.4%, -4.1%, +2.4%, -0.1%, +2.7%, -1.8%, +1.5%, -1.6%, -0.8%, and -2.7%.

I keep reading in online commentary that the housing market is making a comeback. A more accutate description is that housing prices have made a comeback.  Ultimately the housing market is 
about Housing Starts. Ten years after a dramatic drop Housing Starts are still not close to recovering.


Existing Home Sales (May 2017)

- Existing Home Sales seasonally adjusted, annualized  5,620,000. Previous was 5,560,000
- Existing Home Sales month/month  +1.1%. Previous was -2.5%  
- Existing Home Sales year/year +2.7%. Previous was +1.6%.

Existing Home Sales were up for the month.  This related to what I said above. We are not building enough housing to keep pace with population growth. This makes Existing Homes the only 
choice for most folks buying a home.






June 20, 2017

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 6/17/2017)

- Store Sales year/year +2.8%. Previous was +2.1%.

As chain store outlets close this data becomes less meaningful because it only compares stores till open.  


June 16, 2017

Housing Starts  (May 2017)

- Starts seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 1,092,000. Previous was 1,156,000 
- Permits seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 1,168,000. Previous was 1,228,000

Strong Housing Starts are a sign of economic health.  People get jobs, save some money, buy a house, raise a family. Not so much any more. This is a seriously depressing report. Single-
family Starts were down 3.9%.  Multi-family was down 9.7%. In order to keep the headship ratio (number of people per household) constant we need 1,500,000 Housing Starts/year.  The last time we had that was December 2006.  It may be time to realize that we may never get back to that level. 



Atlanta Federal Reserve Business Inflation Expectations (June 2017)

- Business Inflation Expectation year/year  2.0%. Previous was  2.0%




Consumer Sentiment  (June 2017)

- Sentiment Index  94.5. Previous was 97.1.

This is the University of Michigan Index.  Data is from a survey.  



June 15, 2017

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 6/10/2017)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 237,000. Previous was 245,000
- New Claims, unadjusted, totaled 233,579 an increase of 21,309 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average   243,000. Previous was 242,000





Philadelphia Federal Reserve Business Outlook Survey (June 2017)

- General Business Conditions Index  27.6. Previous was 38.8 




Empire State Manufacturing Survey (June 2017)

- General Business Conditions Index  19.8. Previous was -1.0  




Import and Export Prices (May 2017)

- Import Prices month/month  -0.3%. Previous was +0.2%
- Export Prices month/month -0.7%. Previous was +0.2%
- Import Prices year/year   +2.1%. Previous was +4.1% 
- Export Prices year/year   +1.4%. Previous was +3.0%

This is an excellent example of why looking at one month can mislead.  April had inflation showing levels of concern which subsequently disappeared.





Industrial Production  (May 2017)

- Production month/month +0.0%. Previous was +1.1%
- Manufacturing month/month -0.4%. Previous was +1.1%
- Capacity Utilization Rate  76.6%. Previous was 76.7%

The fact is that manufacturing remains weak. 







Housing Market Index (June 2017)

- Housing Market Index 67. Previous was 69.

This is a survey index based on data taken by the National Association of Home Builders. It appears to be leveling off. 

  


June 14, 2017

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 6/9/2017)


- Purchase Index Week/Week -3.0%. Previous weeks were +10.0%, -1.0%, -1.0%, -3.0%, +2.0%, +4.0%, -1.0%, -3.0%, +3.0%, +1.0%, +1.0%, -2.0%, and +2.0%.
- Refinance Index Week/Week +9.0%. Previous weeks were +3.0%, -6.0%, +11.0%, -6.0%, +3.0%, -5.0%, +7.0%, +0.2%, +0.0%,-4.0%, -3.0%, -3.0%, and +4.0%.
- Composite Index Week/Week +2.8%. Previous weeks were +7.1%, -3.4%, +4.4%, -4.1%, +2.4%, -0.1%, +2.7%, -1.8%, +1.5%, -1.6%, -0.8%, -2.7%, and +3.1%.

Data for the past 2 weeks may be confusing because of the large seasonal adjustment for the previous week, a consequence of the Memorial Day holiday.  Unadjusted was +19% week/week and +8% year/year.  This indicates strength in home sales.


Consumer Price Index  (May 2017)

- CPI month/month -0.1%. Previous was +0.2% 
- CPI year/year  +1.9%. Previous was +2.2%
- CPI less food & energy month/month +0.1%. Previous was +0.1%
- CPI less food & energy year/year +1.7%. Previous was +1.9%

Inflation remains subdued


Retail Sales  (May 2017)

- Retail Sales month/month -0.3%. Previous was +0.4% 
- Retail Sales less autos month/month  -0.3%. Previous was +0.4%
- Less Autos & Gas month/month 0.0%. Previous was +0.5%

This decline in Retail Sales is across the board: cars, restaurants, department stores, and electronics.


Business Inventories (April 2017)

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

This is a component of 2ndQ2017 GDP.






June 13, 2017

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (May 2017)

- level  104.5. Previous was 104.5.

Small business remains rather optimistic. This is survey data and will lead to growth only if this optimism is acted on.  




Wholesale Inflation. PPI-FD (May 2017)

- PPI-FD overall month/month  0.0%. Previous was +0.5%
- PPI-FD overall year/year  +2.4%. Previous was +2.5%  
- PPI-FD core (less food & energy) month/month  +0.3%. Previous was +0.4%
- PPI-FD core (less food & energy) year/year   +2.1%. Previous was +1.9%
- PPI-FD core (less food, energy & trade services) month/month -0.1%. Previous was +0.7%
- PPI-FD core (less food, energy & trade services) year/year   +2.1%. Previous was +2.1% 

Weak in April, up in May, flat in June.  No pattern here and little sign of inflation.



Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 6/10/2017)

- Store Sales year/year +2.1%. Previous was +2.5% 


June 9, 2017

Wholesale Trade (April 2017)

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

This is a component of 2ndQ2017 GDP. 


June 8, 2017

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 6/3/2017)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 245,000. Previous was 255,000
- New Claims unadjusted, totaled 212,189 a decrease of 19,398  from  previous  
- 4-week Moving Average   242,000. Previous was 238,000 

By historical standards Jobless Claims remain very low  disguising the fact that we are adding jobs which do not pay well.  There is a large disconnect between the unemployment rate and economic growth (GDP.)


June 7, 2016

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 6/2/2017)


- Purchase Index Week/Week +10.0%. Previous weeks were -1.0%, -1.0%, -3.0%, +2.0%, +4.0%, -1.0%, -3.0%, +3.0%, +1.0%, +1.0%, -2.0%, +2.0%, and +2.0%.
- Refinance Index Week/Week +3.0%. Previous weeks were -6.0%, +11.0%, -6.0%, +3.0%, -5.0%, +7.0%, +0.2%, +0.0%,-4.0%, -3.0%, -3.0%, +4.0%, and +5.0%.
- Composite Index Week/Week +7.1%. Previous weeks were -3.4%, +4.4%, -4.1%, +2.4%, -0.1%, +2.7%, -1.8%, +1.5%, -1.6%, -0.8%, -2.7%, +3.1%, and +3.3%.

This is one of those day when you look at the data and scratch your head. The good news is that the +10.0% is the largest gain since May 2010.  The bad news is that this is due to the 
seasonal adjustment for Memorial Day.  Unadjusted Purchase applications were down 14%.

 





June 6, 2017

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 6/3/2017)

- Store Sales year/year  +2.5%. Previous was +1.8% 




JOLTS (April 2017)

- Job Openings 6,044,000. Previous was 5,785,000.

The problem remains the same:  there are more job openings but the people with the necessary skills are not applying for those jobs.


June 5, 2017

Productivity and Costs  (1stQ2017)

- Nonfarm productivity quarter/quarter, seasonally adjusted, annualized  0.0%. Previous was -0.6% 
- Unit labor costs quarter/quarter, seasonally adjusted, annualized  2.2%. Previous was +3.0% 

Productivity is GDP/hours worked.  This number has been weak since 2010.  The reason is that the jobs we have been adding are not jobs which have high GDP/hour worked. 






PMI Services Index  (May 2017)

-  Index  53.6. Previous was 53.1  




Factory Orders  (April 2017)

- Factory Orders month/month  -0.2%. Previous was +1.0% 

While the print was negative the previous month was revised from -0.2% to +1.0%.




ISM Non-Manufacturing Index  (May 2017)

- Composite Index  56.9. Previous was  57.5 







June 2, 2017

BLS Employment Situation Report (May 2017)

- Nonfarm Payrolls month/month    138,000. Previous was 174,000   
- Unemployment Rate  4.3%. Previous was 4.4%
- Private Payrolls month/month  147,000. Previous was 173,500 
- Manufacturing Payrolls month/month   -1,000. Previous was +11,000
- Participation Rate   62.7%. Previous was 62.9% 
- Average Hourly Earnings month/month +0.2%. Previous was +0.2%
- Average Hourly Earnings year/year  +2.5%. Previous was +2.6%
- Average Workweek   34.4 hours. Previous was 34.4 hours

Not only is this report weak but moreover it is much weaker than expected and especially out of line with yesterday's ADP.  My monthly detailed analysis of this will be in my RateWatch newsletter of Monday.



Trade Deficit (April 2017)

- Trade Deficit  $47.6 billion. Previous was $45.3 billion 

Exports down + Imports up = Deficit up.

 






June 1, 2017

Challenger Job-Cut Report (may 2017)

- Announced Layoffs  51,692. Previous was 36,602 

This is the highest since April 2016. Some of this is due to slowdown in auto sales as subprime auto lending slows.



ADP Employment Report  (May 2017)

- Private Jobs  253,000. Previous was 174,000   

This is a sign of a positive BLS Employment Situation Report tomorrow.  That said, it should be noted that ADP and BLS have not always been on the same page every month.



Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 5/27/2016)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted  248,000. Previous was 235,000
- New Claims unadjusted, totaled 225,520 an increase of 15,125 from previous  
- 4-week Moving Average   238,000. Previous was 235,500

Because of the Memorial Day holiday data for some states was estimated.





PMI Manufacturing Index  (May 2017)

- Index level 52.7. Previous was 52.8




ISM Manufacturing Index  (May 2017)

- Index level 54.9. Previous was 54.8




Construction Spending (April 2017)

- Construction Spending month/month -1.4%. Previous was +1.1%
- Construction Spending year/year  +6.7%. Previous was +3.6%

 


 






  Archive of commentary from previous months is here.