February 21, 2020

PMI Composite (early estimate February 2020)

- Composite  49.6. Previous was 53.1
- Manufacturing 50.8. Previous was 51.7
- Services  49.4. Previous was 53.2

Weakness in the composite indicates the first contraction of output since October 2013. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction.

Source:  Markit Economics  Details: https://www.markiteconomics.com/Public/Home/PressRelease/2ea84928c5d74262bbe387ec2b19d337

 

Existing Home Sales (January 2020)

- Existing Home Sales seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 4,850,000. Previous was 5,540,000.

What happened? Sales of existing home in the west fell 9.4%.

Source:  National Association of Realtors  Details:  https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/existing-home-sales-drop-1-3-in-january




February 20, 2020

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 2/15/2020)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 210,000. Previous was 206,000
- New Claims unadjusted, totaled 208,305 a decrease of 11,296  from  previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 209,000. Previous was 212,250

The jobs market remains very strong

Source:  Department of Labor  Details: https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf

 

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Business Outlook Survey  (February 2020)

- General Business Conditions Index  36.7. Previous was 17.0

Source:  Philadelphia Federal Reserve

 

Leading Economic Indicators  (January 2020)

- Leading Indicators month/month  0.8%. Previous was -0.3%

This is a composite of 10 forward looking metrics.  It is supposed to forecast economic change in the next 6 months.

Source:  The Conference Board




February 19, 2020

 

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 2/14/2020)

- Purchase Index week/week -3.0%. Previous weeks were -6.0%., -10.0%, +5.0%, -2.0%, +16.0%, +5.0%, -5.0%, -2.0%, -0.4%, +1.0%, -1.0%, +7.0%, and +5.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -8.0%. Previous weeks were +5.0%, +15.0%, +8.0%, -2.0%, +43.0%, -8.0%, -5.0%, -7.0%, +9.0%, -16.0%, +4.0%, -8.0%, and +13.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week -6.4%. Previous weeks were +1.1%, 5.0%, +7.2%, -1.2% +30.2%, -1.5%, -5.3%, -5.0%, +3.8%, -9.2%, +1.5%, -2.2%, and +9.6%

 

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association  Details:  https://www.mba.org/2020-press-releases/february/mortgage-applications-increase-in-latest-mba-weekly-survey-x262328

Housing Starts  (January 2020)

- Starts seasonally adjusted, annualized rate  1,567,000. Previous was 1,626,000
- Permits seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 1,551,000. Previous was 1,420,000

The gains were strong across the board.  SFR Starts were 987,000 seasonally adjusted, annualized. We need this to consistently stay above 1,500,000.  This is the first time since September 2006 that we have had starts above 1,500,000.

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

 

PPI-FD  (January 2020)

- PPI-FD month/month  0.5%. Previous was +0.2%
- PPI-FD - Y/Y change  2.1%. Previous was +1.3%
- PPI-FD less food & energy month/month 0.5%. Previous was +0.1%
- PPI-FD less food & energy year/year 1.7%. Previous was +1.2%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics  Derails:  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ppi.nr0.htm

 

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 2/15/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 5.7%. Previous was +4.8%.
- Same Store Sales month/month -0.2%. Previous was -0.7%

Chain store sales data is difficult to interpret because the data only includes stores currently open which were open a year ago.  The effect of closed chain stores is not accounted for.

The data includes about 9,000 stores.

Source: Redbook Research Inc.




February 18, 2020

Empire State Manufacturing Survey  (February 2020)

- General Business Conditions Index  12.9. Previous was 4.8

This measures the health of manufacturing in New York State.

Source:  New York Federal Reserve   Details:  https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/survey/empire/empire2020/esms_2020_2_survey.pdf?la=en

Housing Market Index  (February 2020)

- Housing Market Index 74. Previous was 75

This is a survey index in which homebuilders rate the state of the economy in general and their ability to sell homes in particular.  The underlying reality in many places is that government restrictions on homebuilding have made homes unaffordable for many.  You can't sell homes if you can't build them.

Source:  National Association of Homebuilders




February 14, 2020

Retail Sales  (January 2020)

- Retail Sales month/month   0.3%. Previous was +0.2% 
- Retail Sales less autos month/month 0.3%. Previous was +0.6%
- Less Autos & Gas month/month  0.4%. Previous was +0.3%

This measures money spent in stores which sell merchandise.  This also includes restaurants.  It essentially measures discretionary spending.

Source:  Census Bureau  Details:  https://www.census.gov/retail/marts/www/marts_current.pdf

Import and Export Prices  (January 2020)

- Import Prices month/month 0.0%. Previous was +0.3%
- Export Prices month/month 0.7%. Previous was -0.2%
- Import Prices year/year 0.3%. Previous was +0.5%
- Export Prices year/year 0.5%. Previous was -0.7%

Flat import prices should help contain inflation.

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

 

Industrial Production  (January 2020)

- Production month/month -0.3%. Previous was -0.3%
- Manufacturing month/month -0.1%. Previous was +0.2%
- Capacity Utilization Rate     76.8%. Previous was 77.0%

Industrial Production includes utility output which fell in January because of warmer than December weather.  Manufacturing continues to disappoint.

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

 

Business Inventories  (December 2019)

- Inventories month/month 0.1%. Previous was -0.2%

This is a component of 4thQ2019 GDP.

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

Consumer Sentiment (February 2020)

- Sentiment Index 100.9. Previous was 99.7.

Source:  University of Michigan

 

February 13, 2020

CPI (January 2020)

- CPI month/month 0.1%. Previous was +0.2%
- CPI year/year  2.5%. Previous was 2.4%
- CPI core  (less food & energy) month/month 0.2%. Previous was +0.1%
- CPI core  (less food & energy) year/year 2.3%. Previous was 2.3%

The largest increases were in the cost of medical care and housing.

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

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 2/8/2020)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted   205,000. Previous was 203,000
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 218,977 a decrease of 5,687 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 212,000. Previous was 212,000

The jobs market remains extremely strong.

Source:  Department of Labor  Details:  https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf




February 12, 2020

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 2/7/2020)

- Purchase Index week/week -6.0%. Previous weeks were -10.0%, +5.0%, -2.0%, +16.0%, +5.0%, -5.0%, -2.0%, -0.4%, +1.0%, -1.0%, +7.0%, +5.0%, and -3.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +5.0%. Previous weeks were +15.0%, +8.0%, -2.0%, +43.0%, -8.0%, -5.0%, -7.0%, +9.0%, -16.0%, +4.0%, -8.0%, +13.0%, and +2.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week +1.1%. Previous weeks were 5.0%, +7.2%, -1.2% +30.2%, -1.5%, -5.3%, -5.0%, +3.8%, -9.2%, +1.5%, -2.2%, +9.6%, and -0.1%.

The refi index tends to have a delayed reaction to rates.  The purchase index (unadjusted) is +16% year/year. 

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association  Details:  https://www.mba.org/2020-press-releases/february/mortgage-applications-increase-in-latest-mba-weekly-survey-x262328

 

Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations (February 2020)

- Business Inflation Expectations 1.7%. Previous was +1.9%

This is a survey district which asks business owners what they think inflation will be in the next year.

Source:  Atlanta Federal Reserve  Details: https://www.frbatlanta.org/research/inflationproject/bie.aspx



February 11, 2020

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index  (January 2020)

- level  104.3. Previous was 102.7

This is a survey index of small businesses.

Source:  National Federation of Independent Business

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 2/8/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 4.8%. Previous was +5.7%.
- Same Store Sales month/month -0.7%. Previous was +0.2%

Chain store sales data is difficult to interpret because the data only includes stores currently open which were open a year ago.  The effect of closed chain stores is not accounted for.

The data includes about 9,000 stores.

Source: Redbook Research Inc.

 

JOLTS (December 2019)

- Job Openings  6,423,000 . Previous was 6,787,000

This has been trending downward since January 2019.  It is difficult to interpret this since it had increased to a record level and it still exceeds the U3 unemployment number which is 5,892,000

5,892,000.

Source:  Labor Department  Details:  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm




February 7, 2020

BLS Employment Situation Report (January 2020)

- Nonfarm Payrolls, seasonally adjusted, month/month 225,000. Previous was 147,000
- Unemployment Rate  3.6%. Previous was 3.5%
- Private Payrolls month/month   206,000. Previous was 142,000
- Manufacturing Payrolls month/month -12,000. Previous was -5,000
- Participation Rate   63.4%. Previous was 63.2%
- Average Hourly Earnings month/month 0.2%. Previous was 0.1%
- Average Hourly Earnings year/year 3.1%. Previous was 3.0%
- Average Workweek   34.3 hrs. Previous was 34.3 hours

The seasonal adjustment for January is large. Not seasonally adjusted jobs were -2,832,000.  This large adjustment happens every January as temporary workers are laid off after Christmas.

Source:  BLS  Summary here: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Wholesale Trade  (December 2019)

- Inventories month/month -0.2%. Previous was +0.1%

This is a 4thQ2019 GDP component.

Source: Census Bureau    Details: https://www.census.gov/wholesale/pdf/mwts/currentwhl.pdf




February 6, 2020

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 2/2/2020)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 202,000. Previous was 216,000
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 224,448 a decrease of 4,554 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 211,750. Previous was 214,750

The jobs market remains  very strong.

Source:  Department of Labor Details: https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf

Challenger Job-Cut Report  (January 2020)

- Announced Layoffs 67,735. Previous was 32,843.

This is the highest in 11 months. Interestingly technology companies led in announced job cuts with 13,869.

Source: Challenger Gray & Christmas 
Details: http://www.challengergray.com/press/press-releases/2020-january-job-cut-report-job-cuts-surge-highest-level-11-months

 

Productivity and Costs (4thQ2019)

- Nonfarm productivity quarter/quarter, seasonally adjusted annualized rate 1.4%. Previous was -0.2%
- Unit labor costs quarter/quarter, seasonally adjusted annualized rate  1.4%. Previous was 2.5%

Productivity is GDP/hours worked.  Unit Labor Cost varies by sector.  If unit labor costs are showing smaller gains in a tight market it is because more low skill jobs being added. Unit

Labor Costs in manufacturing were +5.9%. 

Source:  BLS

February 5, 2020

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 1/31/2020)

- Purchase Index week/week -10.0%. Previous weeks were +5.0%, -2.0%, +16.0%, +5.0%, -5.0%, -2.0%, -0.4%, +1.0%, -1.0%, +7.0%, +5.0%, -3.0%, and +2.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +15.0%. Previous weeks were +8.0%, -2.0%, +43.0%, -8.0%, -5.0%, -7.0%, +9.0%, -16.0%, +4.0%, -8.0%, +13.0%, +2.0%, and -1.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week 5.0%. Previous weeks were +7.2%, -1.2% +30.2%, -1.5%, -5.3%, -5.0%, +3.8%, -9.2%, +1.5%, -2.2%, +9.6%, -0.1%, and +0.6%

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

 

ADP Private Jobs  (January 2020)

- Private Jobs, seasonally adjusted 291,000. Previous was 199,000.

Source:  ADP  Details here: https://www.adpemploymentreport.com/2020/January/NER/docs/ADP-NATIONAL-EMPLOYMENT-REPORT-January2020-Final-Press-Release.pdf

 

Trade Deficit  (December 2019)

- Trade Balance Level $48.9 billion. Previous was $43.7 billion.

This is a component of 4thQ GDP.

Source: Census Bureau.  Details here:  https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/current_press_release/ft900.pdf



February 4, 2020

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 2/1/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 5.7%. Previous was +5.5%.

Chain store sales data is difficult to interpret because the data only includes stores currently open which were open a year ago.  The effect of closed chain stores is not accounted for.

The data includes about 9,000 stores.

Source: Redbook Research Inc.

 

 

Factory Orders  (December 2020)

- Factory Orders month/month 1.8%. Previous was -1.2%

Source:  Census Bureau.   Details: https://www.census.gov/manufacturing/m3/prel/pdf/s-i-o.pdf




February 3, 2020

PMI Manufacturing Index  (January 2020)

- Level 51.9. Previous was 52.4.

This is a soft data (survey) metric measuring the health of the supply side.

Source:  Markit Economics

 

ISM Manufacturing Index  (January 2020)

- Level 50.9. Previous was 47.8.

This is a diffusion index which means that it is calculated from several subcomponents of the results of a survey of 300 manufacturers.

Source: Institute For Supply Management

 

Construction Spending  (December 2019)

- Construction Spending  month/month -0.2%. Previous was +0.7%
- Construction Spending year/year    +5.0%. Previous was +4.1%

Source: Census Bureau  Details: https://www.census.gov/construction/c30/pdf/release.pdf




January 31, 2020

Personal Income and Outlays  (December 2019)

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

Income and spending grew at slower rates and inflation remains contained.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis  Details are here: https://www.bea.gov/news/2020/personal-income-and-outlays-december-2019

 

Employment Cost Index  (4thQ2019)

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

This measures the cost of employment (wages plus benefits such as employer paid healthcare.)  Despite the very low unemployment rate this remains restrained and keep inflation contained.

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

Chicago PMI  (January 2020)

- Business Barometer Index 42.9. Previous was 48.9.

This is a soft data (survey based) supply side metric.  This has displayed contraction for 7 consecutive months and is at the lowest level since December 2015. This may be in part regional

because the Richmond and Philadelphia readings were very strong.

Source:  Institute For Supply Management - Chicago 

Consumer Sentiment  (January 2020)

- Sentiment Index 99.8. Previous was 99.1.

This is a survey based metric.  It is supposed to forecast consumer spending in the next 3-6 months.

Source:  University of Michigan


Archive of commentary from previous months is here.