October 18, 2019

Leading Economic Indicators (September 2019)

- Leading Indicators month/month -0.1%. Previous was -0.2%

We are seeing the same thing for several months - slowing on the business side.  This is in part due to slowing economies in much of the rest of the world.  This will eventually cause recession if it affects jobs and consumers.

Source:  Conference Board


October 17, 2019

Housing Starts (September 2019)

- Starts seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 1,256,000. Previous was 1,386,000
- Permits seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 1,387,000. Previous was 1,425,000

While the positive trend of August appears to have dissipated note that Housing Starts is all-inclusive meaning SFR, 2-4 units and apartment buildings.  SFR starts were +7,000, 2-4 units were -7,000 and 5+ were -38,000. The South and Midwest were up. The NE and west were down.

In general starts have been hurt by local land use and zoning regulations.  California's new rent control law will discourage the building of multifamily.

The weak Housing Starts we have had since 2007 have limited supply with resulting increased prices.

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

Source:  Census Bureau

 

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 10/12/2019)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 214,000. Previous was 210,000
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 197,841 an increase of 9,749 from the previous week
- 4-week Moving Average  seasonally adjusted 214,750. Previous was 213,750

The Jobs Market remains healthy. 

Source:  Department of Labor

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Business Outlook Survey (October 2019)

- General Business Conditions Index 5.6. Previous was 12.0

Source: Philadelphia Federal Reserve

 

Industrial Production  (September 2019)

- Production month/month -0.4%. Previous was +0.8%
- Manufacturing month/month -0.5%. Previous was +0.6%
- Capacity Utilization Rate     77.5%. Previous was 77.9%

Manufacturing was -0.9% year/year. Exports were held down by weakening economies elsewhere.  This is why I have been saying that we are in danger of importing recession. The auto industry was hurt by weak demand and the GM strike.

Source: Federal Reserve


October 16, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 10/11/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week -4.0%. Previous weeks were -1.0%., +1.0%, -3.0%, +6.0%, +4.0%, +4.0%, -4.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, -2.0%, -3.0%,-2.0%, and -4.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +4.0%. Previous weeks were +10.0%, +14.0%, -15.0%, -4.0%, +5.0%, -7.0%, -8.0%, +0.4%, +37.0%, +12.0%, +0.1%, -2.0%, and +2.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week +0.5%. Previous weeks were +5.2%, +8.1%, 10.1%, -0.1%, +2.0%, -3.1%, -6.2%, -0.9%, +21.7%, +5.3%, -1.4%,-1.9%, and -1.1%

Purchases continue to disappoint. This data is seasonally adjusted.

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

Retail Sales  (September 2019)

- Retail Sales month/month -0.3%. Previous was +0.6%
- Retail Sales less autos month/month -0.1%. Previous was +0.2%
- Less Autos & Gas month/month 0.0%. Previous was +0.3%

With August bring revised from +0.4% to +0.6% the data is not as horrendous as it appears at first glance. Nonetheless if consumer spending continues to wane we could have a recession. 

Source:  Census Bureau

 

Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations  (October 2019)

- Business  Inflation Expectations year/year 1.8%. Previous was 2.0%

 

Business Inventories  (August 2019)

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

Source:  Census Bureau

Housing Market Index  (October 2019)

- Housing Market Index 71. Previous was 68

This is a survey index of home builders asking how they feel about the economy in general and their ability to sell homes in particular.

Source:  National Association of Home Builders 



October 15, 2019

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 10/12/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 4.1%. Previous was 5.7%.

Source:  Redbook Research Inc.


October 11, 2019

Import and Export Prices (September 2019)

- Import Prices month/month 0.2%. Previous was -0.2%
- Export Prices month/month 0.2%. Previous was -0.6%
- Import Prices year/year -1.6%. Previous was -1.8%
- Export Prices year/year -1.6%. Previous was -1.4%

In the long term this may be a picture of a slowing world economy with little inflationary pressure.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

Consumer Sentiment  (October 2019 - early release)

- Sentiment Index 96.0. Previous was  93.2

Source:  University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center

October 10, 2019

CPI - Retail Inflation (September 2019)

- CPI month/month 0.0%. Previous was +0.1%
- CPI year/year  1.7%. Previous was +1.7%
- CPI less food & energy month/month 0.1%. Previous was +0.3%
- CPI less food & energy year/year 2.4%. Previous was +2.4%

Lurking here is something I have written about but is not often discussed namely that the biggest fear the Fed has is not inflation but rather deflation. The Fed wants inflation at or close to 2% and this report gives them license to ease again.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 10/5/2019)

- Initial Claims seasonally adjusted 210,000. Previous was 220,000
- Initial Claims  unadjusted, totaled 188,179 an increase of 15,222 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average -213,750. Previous was 212,750

The jobs market remains incredibly strong even as jobs growth slows and job openings slow.  One comment about the GM strike:  generally speaking striking workers are not entitled to unemployment benefits.  People who work for suppliers and are not striking but are laid off because of the strike are entitled to unemployment benefits.

Source:  Department of Labor

October 9, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 10/27/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week -1.0%. Previous weeks were +1.0%, -3.0%, +6.0%, +4.0%, +4.0%, -4.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, -2.0%, -3.0%,-2.0%, -4.0%, and +2.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +10.0%. Previous weeks were +14.0%, -15.0%, -4.0%, +5.0%, -7.0%, -8.0%, +0.4%, +37.0%, +12.0%, +0.1%, -2.0%, +2.0%, and -7.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week +5.2%. Previous weeks were +8.1%, 10.1%, -0.1%, +2.0%, -3.1%, -6.2%, -0.9%, +21.7%, +5.3%, -1.4%,-1.9%, -1.1%, and -2.4%.

Refi volume, as always, is rate dependent.  Purchases continue to disappoint.

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

 

JOLTS - Job Openings  (August 2019)

- Job Openings  7,200,000. Previous was 7,174,000

Jobs Openings continue to trend lower but are still higher than the U3 number of people unemployed which is 5,769,000. If the demand for labor is trending down it may portend flatter jobs growth but with unemployment at a 50 year low of 3.5% the effect should be lower pressure on wages and contained inflation.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

Wholesale Trade (August 2019)

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

This is a component of 3rdQ GDP.

Source:  Census Bureau

October 8, 2019

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (September 2019)

- level 101.8. Previous was 1-3.1

This is a survey index. It asks small business owners 10 different questions. 

Source: National Federation of Independent Business

PPI (Wholesale Inflation) September 2019

- PPI-FD month/month -0.3%. Previous was +0.1%
- PPI-FD year/year 1.4%. Previous was +1.8%
- PPI-FD less food & energy month/month -0.3%. Previous was +0.3%
- PPI-FD less food & energy year/year 2.0%. 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 1.7%. Previous was +1.9%

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 10/5/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 5.7%. Previous was 5.8%.

Source:  Redbook Research Inc.

October 4, 2019

BLS Employment Situation Report (September 2019)

- Nonfarm Payrolls month/month, seasonally adjusted 136,000. Previous was 168,000
- Nonfarm Payrolls month/month, not seasonally adjusted 362,000. Previous was 418,000
- Revisions to July and August added 45,000 jobs making the net seasonally adjusted gain 181,000
- Unemployment Rate  3.5%. Previous was 3.7%
- Private Payrolls month/month 114,000. Previous was 122,000
- Manufacturing Payrolls month/month -2,000. Previous was +2,000
- Labor Participation Rate  63.2%. Previous was 63.1%
- Average Hourly Earnings month/month 0.0%. Previous was +0.3%
- Average Hourly Earnings year/year  2.9%. Previous was 3.2%
- Average  Workweek - All Employees 34.4 hours. Previous was 34.4 hours

Seasonally adjusted jobs growth continues at a pace just enough to accommodate growing population. Earnings flat. 

In September there were 158,269,000 people working. The problem I have with analysis of BLS is that the monthly delta in jobs is less that 1 part in 1,000 yet we draw conclusion from that.

It may make more sense to look at a 3 month moving average. It is clear that jobs growth is slowing and also worth noting that Job Openings have been declining since January.  Recessions or slow growth in the EU and South America are having adverse effects on GDP and Jobs in the U.S.

My detailed monthly analysis of the Employment Situation Report will appear in my RateWatch newsletter on Monday.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

Trade Deficit (August 2019)

- Trade Deficit $54.9 billion. Previous was $54.0 billion

Source:  Census Bureau

 


October 3, 2019

Challenger Job-Cut Report (September 2019)

- Announced Layoffs  41,557. Previous was  53,480

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas

 

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 9/28/2019)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 219,000. Previous was 215,000
- New Claims unadjusted, totaled 172,018 a decrease of 3,360 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 212,500. Previous was 215,000.

The jobs market remains very strong.

Source: Department of Labor

 

PMI Services Index  (September 2019)

- Level  50.9. Previous was 50.7
- PMI Composite Index  51.0. Previous was 50.7

Source: Markit Economics

Factory Orders (August 2019)

- Factory Orders month/month -0.1%. Previous was +1.4%

Lower after two months of growth.

Source:  Census Bureau

 

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (September 2019)

- Composite Index 52.6. Previous was 56.4

Source: Institute For Supply Management

Both soft data (PMI & ISM) and hard data (Factory Orders) show that the supply side of the economy is flat. Much of this has to do with recession and slow growth in the rest of the world.


October 2, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 9/27/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week +1.0%. Previous weeks were -3.0%, +6.0%, +4.0%, +4.0%, -4.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, -2.0%, -3.0%,-2.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, and +1.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +14.0%. Previous weeks were -15.0%, -4.0%, +5.0%, -7.0%, -8.0%, +0.4%, +37.0%, +12.0%, +0.1%, -2.0%, +2.0%, -7.0%, and -1.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week +8.1%. Previous weeks were 10.1%, -0.1%, +2.0%, -3.1%, -6.2%, -0.9%, +21.7%, +5.3%, -1.4%,-1.9%, -1.1%, -2.4%, and -1.0%.

Refi volume, as always, is rate dependent.

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

ADP Private Jobs (September 2019)

- ADP employment 135,000. Previous was  157,000

This should be a prelude to Friday's BLS Employment Situation Report but the correlation is generally erratic. We are looking at a non-farm workforce of about 164,000,000 but gauge the health of the jobs market by a change of about 1 part in 1,000. Doing so places a lot of faith in the BLS monthly headline.

Source:  ADP

October 1, 2019

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 9/28/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 5.8%. Previous was 5.2%.

Source:  Redbook Research Inc.

 

PMI Manufacturing Index  (September 2019)

- Level 51.1. Previous was 50.3

Source:  Markit Group

ISM Manufacturing Index (September 2019)

- ISM Manufacturing Index 47.8. Previous was 49.1.

Source: Institute For Supply Management

 

Construction Spending  (August 2019)

- Construction Spending month/month 0.1%. Previous was 0.0%
- Construction Spending year/year      -1.9%. Previous was -3.0%

Residential was +0.9% month/month and -1.9% year/year.

Source: Census Bureau

 


September 30, 2019

Chicago ISM (September 2019)

- Business Barometer Index 47.1. Previous was  50.4

This is a regional index and has been declining for the last year.

Source:   Institute For Supply Management - Chicago

 

Dallas Federal Reserve Manufacturing Survey (September 2019)

- Production Index 13.9. Previous was 17.9  
- General Activity Index  1.5. Previous was 2.7

This tracks factory activity in Texas on a monthly basis.

Details here:  https://www.dallasfed.org/research/surveys/tmos/2019/1909.aspx

Source:  Dallas Federal Reserve Bank

 

September 27, 2019

Durable Goods Orders  (August 2019)

- New Orders month/month   0.2%. Previous was +2.0%
- Ex-transportation month/month   0.5%. Previous was -0.5%
- Core capital goods month/month -0.2%. Previous was +0.1%

Bad news is that headline was down.  Good news is that the gains on June and July did not disappear.

Source:  Census Bureau

 

Personal Income and Outlays  (August 2019)

- Personal Income month/month  0.4%. Previous was +0.1%
- Consumer Spending month/month  0.1%. Previous was +0.5%
- PCE Price Index month/month  0.0%. Previous was +0.2%
- Core PCE price index month/month 0.1%. Previous was +0.2%
- PCE Price Index year/year         1.4%. Previous was +1.4%
- Core PCE price index year/year 1.8%. Previous was +1.7%

Income growth increased and spending growth decreased. Inflation remained tame. The decrease in Consumer Spending growth will impact 3rdQ GDP predictions.

Source:  Bureau of Economic Analysis

 

Consumer Sentiment (September 2019)

- Sentiment Index  93.2. Previous was 92.0

This is the survey index from the University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center.  As I have been cautioning, these survey indices may, because of the Presidential election next year could be statements about political affiliations as much as true expressions of intentions to spend.

 


September 26, 2019

GDP (2ndQ2019)

- Real GDP quarter/quarter seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 2.0%. Previous was 2.0%
- Real Consumer Spending quarter/quarter seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 4.6%. Previous was +4.7%
- GDP price index quarter/quarter seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 2.4%. Previous was +2.4%

This is the "final" release of 2ndQ GDP.

Source:  Bureau of Economic Analysis

 
Goods Trade Deficit (August 2019)

- Balance $72.8 billion. Previous was $72.5 billion
- Exports % change 0.1%. Previous was +0.9%
- Imports % change 0.3%. Previous was -0.3%

Source:  Bureau of Economic Analysis

 

Initial Jobless Claims  (week ended 9/21/2019)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 213,000. Previous was 210,000
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 174,260 an increase of 1,143 from  previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted212,000. Previous was 212,750

The jobs market remains very strong.

Source:  Department of Labor

Corporate Profits (2ndQ2019)

- After-tax Profits year/year 0.3%. Previous was 1.7%

This gets scant media coverage. Corporate American has been much more impacted by near zero GDP growth in the EU, collapsing economies in South America and slower growth in China.  In the next few quarters GDP growth in the U.S. will have to come from the consumer. The consumer has been continuing to spend, in part, because of the very strong jobs market.

 
Retail Inventories August 2019 (First Look)

- month/month +0.0%. Previous was +0.8%

Source:  Census Bureau

 
Wholesale Inventories August 2019 (First Look)

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

Source:  Census Bureau

Pending Home Sales Index  (August 2019)

- Pending Home Sales Index month/month 1.6%. Previous was -2.5%
- Pending Home Sales Index month/month 107.3. Previous was 105.6

This is for Existing Homes only.

Source:  National Association of Realtors

September 25, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 9/20/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week -3.0%. Previous weeks were +6.0%, +4.0%, +4.0%, -4.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, -2.0%, -3.0%,-2.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, +1.0%, and -1.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -15.0%. Previous weeks were -4.0%, +5.0%, -7.0%, -8.0%, +0.4%, +37.0%, +12.0%, +0.1%, -2.0%, +2.0%, -7.0%, -1.0%, and +3.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week 10.1%. Previous weeks were -0.1%, +2.0%, -3.1%, -6.2%, -0.9%, +21.7%, +5.3%, -1.4%,-1.9%, -1.1%, -2.4%, -1.0%, and +1.3%.

Refi volume, as always, is rate dependent.

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

New Home Sales  (August 2019)

- New Home Sales seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 713,000. Previous was 666,000.

These are SFR only. 

There are large regional differences. Month/month sales were +16.5% in the West and +6.0% in the South. Northeast and Midwest were down. Year/year the South was +25.9%.

Source:  Census Bureau

 


September 24, 2019

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 9/21/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 5.2%. Previous was 5.4%.

Source:  Redbook Research Inc.

 

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

- 20-city, seasonally adjusted, month/month  0.0%. Previous was 0.0%
- 20-city, seasonally adjusted, month/month month/month  0.1%. Previous was +0.4%
- 20-city, seasonally adjusted, month/month year/year  2.0%. Previous was +2.2%

Source:  S&P Global

 

FHFA House Price Index  (July 2019)

- month/month 0.4%. Previous was +0.2%
- year/year 5.0%. Previous was +4.8%

Unlike Case-Schiller which includes all sales the FHFH Index is only for homes purchased with conforming loans.

Source:  Federal Housing Finance Agency

 

Consumer Confidence (September 2019)

- Consumer Confidence  125.1. Previous was 134.3

Source:  Conference Board

 

Richmond Federal Manufacturing Index (September 2019)

- Level -9. Previous was 1

Source:  Richmond Federal Reserve Bank

Shipments and New Orders were down. Jobs were up.  The report also states a continuing theme
"firms struggled to find workers with the necessary skills."

September 23, 2019

Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (August 2019)

- Level   0.10. Previous was   -0.41
- 3 Month Moving Average -0.06. Previous was -0.14

While the index improved, manufacturing is still weak. This index is a weighted average of 85 existing monthly indicators of national economic activity.

Source: Chicago Federal Reserve

 

PMI Composite (September - 1st release)

- Composite       51.0. Previous was 50.9
- Manufacturing   51.0. Previous was 49.9
- Services    50.9. Previous was 50.9

Source:  Markit Economics

September 19, 2019

New Jobless Claims  (week ended 9/15/2019)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 208,000. Previous was 206,000
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 172,060 an increase of 11,736 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average 212,250. Previous was 213,250

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending August 31 was 1,498,901, a decrease of 92,555 from the previous week.

The jobs market remains very strong.

Source: Department of Labor

 

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Business Outlook Survey  (September 2019)

- General Business Conditions Index 12.0. Previous was 16.8

Source:  Philadelphia Federal  Reserve

 

Current Account (2ndQ2019)

- Current Account $128.2 billion. Previous was $136.2 billion.

The Current Account consists of the Trade Deficit plus net income plus net transfers.  Details here: https://www.bea.gov/data/intl-trade-investment/international-transactions

Source:  Bureau of Economic Analysis

Existing Home Sales  (August 2019)

- Existing Home Sales seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 5,490,000. Previous was 5,420,000
- Existing Home Sales month/month 1.3%. Previous was 2.5%
- Existing Home Sales year/year  2.6%. Previous was 0.6%

Source:  National Association of Realtors

 

Leading Economic Indicators  (August 2019)

- Leading Indicators month/month 0.0%. Previous was +0.4%

Flat after a healthy jump in July.

Source:  The Conference Board

 

September 18, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 9/13/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week +6.0%. Previous weeks were +4.0%, +4.0%, -4.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, -2.0%, -3.0%,-2.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, +1.0%, -1.0%, and -4.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -4.0%. Previous weeks were +5.0%, -7.0%, -8.0%, +0.4%., +37.0%, +12.0%, +0.1%, -2.0%, +2.0%, -7.0%, -1.0%, +3.0%, and -4.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week -0.1%. Previous weeks were +2.0%, -3.1%, -6.2%, -0.9%, +21.7%, +5.3%, -1.4%,-1.9%, -1.1%, -2.4%, -1.0%, +1.3%, and +26.8%

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

 

Housing Starts (August 2019)

- Starts seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 1,364,000. Previous was 1,215,000
- Permits seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 1,419,000. Previous was 1,317,000

This is the highest level since June 2007.  Housing has been hampered by local land use regulation and zoning which have prevented the building of homes near where jobs are created. The fact that permits were also up could indicate a healthy trend.

Source:  Census Bureau

September 17, 2019

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 9/14/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 5.4%. Previous was 6.4%.

Source:  Redbook Research Inc.

 

Industrial Production (August 2019)

- Production month/month +0.6%. Previous was -0.1%
- Manufacturing month/month +0.5%. Previous was -0.4%
- Capacity Utilization Rate  77.9%. Previous was 77.5%

The month/month gain is fine but Industrial Production has been flat this entire year.

Source:  Federal Reserve

 

Housing Market Index (September 2019)

- Housing Market Index 68. Previous was 67 

This is a survey index from the  National Association of Home Builders asking how members feel about the economy in general and their ability to sell houses.

Source:  National Association of Home Builders

FOMC meeting starts today with policy and Overnight Rate target tomorrow. A 25 bps reduction is expected. I would be more interested in what they say about a potential QE.

September 13, 2019

Retail Sales (August 2019)

- Retail Sales month/month +0.4%. Previous was +0.8%
- Retail Sales less autos month/month +0.0%. Previous was +1.0%
- Less Autos & Gas month/month  0.1%. Previous was +0.9%

The flat core comes after large gains in July.

Source:  Census Bureau

Import and Export Prices  (August 2019)

- Import Prices month/month -0.5%. Previous was +0.1%
- Export Prices month/month -0.6%. Previous was +0.2%
- Import Prices year/year       -2.0%. Previous was -1.9%
- Export Prices year/year -1.4%. Previous was -0.9%

Import Prices year/year were down 2%.

Business Inventories (July 2019)

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

This is a component of 3rdQ2019 GDP.

 

Consumer Sentiment (September 2019 - Preliminary)

- Sentiment Index 92.0. Previous was 89.8.

This is the soft data metric from the University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center. Until the end of 2010 the Consumer Sentiment Indices will be useless because they are revealing political affiliation rather than anything about actual intent to spend.

September 12, 2019

CPI (August 2019)

- CPI month/month 0.1%. Previous was +0.3%
- CPI year/year 1.7%. Previous was +1.8%
- CPI less food & energy month/month 0.3%. Previous was +0.3%
- CPI less food & energy year/year 2.4%. Previous was +2.2%

Core CPI month/month is of some concern.  It was +0.3% for the third consecutive month.

Health care was +4.3% year/year.  Shelter (rents and rent equivalents) was +3.4%. This does not appear to be inflation induced by low unemployment but more a case of inflation in areas where the supply is regulated and the demand subsidized.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 9/7/2019)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 204,000. Previous was 219,000
- New Claims unadjusted, totaled 159,282 a decrease of 20,232 from  previous week
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 212,500. Previous was 216,750

The Jobs market remains extremely strong with Initial Jobless Claims and the Unemployment Rate near historic lows.

Source: Department of Labor

September 11, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 9/6/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week +4.0%. Previous weeks were +4.0%, -4.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, -2.0%, -3.0%,
-2.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, +1.0%, -1.0%, -4.0%, and +10.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week +5.0%. Previous weeks were -7.0%, -8.0%, +0.4%., +37.0%, +12.0%, +0.1%, -2.0%, +2.0%, -7.0%, -1.0%, +3.0%, -4.0%, and +47.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week +2.0%. Previous weeks were -3.1%, -6.2%, -0.9%, +21.7%, +5.3%, -1.4%,
-1.9%, -1.1%, -2.4%, -1.0%, +1.3%, -3.4%, and +26.8%

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

 

PPI (August 2019)

- PPI-FD month/month 0.1%. Previous was +0.2%
- PPI-FD year/year 1.8%. Previous was +1.7%
- PPI-FD less core (less food & energy) month/month 0.3%. Previous was -0.1%
- PPI-FD less core (less food & energy) year/year 2.3%. Previous was +2.1%
- PPI-FD less  food, energy & trade services month/month 0.4%. Previous was -0.1%
- PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services year/year 1.9%. Previous was +1.7%

The increase in core PPI from -0.1% to +0.3% is of some concern.  Let's see what CPI says tomorrow.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

Atlanta Federal Reserve Business Inflation Expectations (September 2019)

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

Source:  Atlanta Federal Reserve

 

Wholesale Trade July 2019

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

July is a component of 3rdQ GDP. June was a component of  2ndQ GDP.  The last GDP report showed that the business side of the economy was dragging down GDP growth.

Source:  Census Bureau

September 10, 2019

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (March 2019)

- level 103.1. Previous was 104.7 

This is a survey index. The optimism of small businesses is important because it is small businesses which generate most new jobs.

Source: National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

 

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 9/7/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 6.4%. Previous was 6.5%.

Source:  Redbook Research Inc.

JOLTS  (July 2019)

- Job Openings 7,217,000. Previous was 7,348,000

This is seasonally adjusted.

The U3 number of unemployed is 6,044,000.  Job Openings were 7,625,000 in January 2019.  We are seeing declining Job Openings which are still exceeding U3 unemployed.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

September 6, 2019

BLS Employment Situation Report (August 2019)

- Nonfarm Payrolls month/month 130,000. Previous was 159,000 
- Unemployment Rate  3.7%. Previous was 3.7%
- Private Payrolls month/month  96,000. Previous was 131,000
- Manufacturing Payrolls month/month 3,000. Previous was 4,000  
- Labor Participation Rate   63.2%. Previous was 62.9%
- Average Hourly Earnings month/month 0.4%. Previous was 0.3%
- Average Hourly Earnings year/year 3.2%. Previous was 3.3%
- Average Workweek - All Employees 34.4 hours. Previous was 34.3

Revisions to June and July revised the jobs count down by 20,000 making the revised net a gain of 139,000 which is about enough to keep pace with population growth.

The U3 Unemployment count of 6,044,000 remain less than the number of Job Openings last reported 7,348,000.

A mixed report with jobs gains modest, increased rate in earnings perhaps finally showing the effects of the strong labor market, an unemployment rate near a 50 year low. All in all a market neutral report.

September 5, 2019

ADP Private Jobs  (August 2019)

- Private Jobs 195,000. Previous was 142,000.

This is correlated with tomorrow's BLS report.

Source: ADP

 

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 8/31/2019)

- New Claims seasonally adjusted 217,000. Previous was 216,000
- New Claims  unadjusted, totaled 178,362 an increase of 1,497 from previous
- 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 216,250. Previous was 214,750

The jobs market remains very strong.

Source:  Department of Labor

Challenger Job-Cut Report  (August 2019)

- Announced Layoffs 53,480. Previous was 38,845 

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

 

Productivity and Costs (2ndQ2019)

- Nonfarm productivity quarter/quarter, seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 2.3%. Previous was 2.3%
- Unit labor costs quarter/quarter, seasonally adjusted, annualized rate 2.6%. Previous was 2.4%

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

PMI Services Index (August 2019)

- Level   50.7. Previous was 53.0
- PMI Composite Index  50.7. Previous was 52.6

This continued to display a slowing on the supply side reflecting realities and concerns about the economies of the EU, South America, and China. ISM (below) says the opposite.

 

Factory Orders  (July 2019)

- Factory Orders month/month 1.4%. Previous was 0.5%

Source:  Census Bureau

 

ISM Non-Manufacturing (August 2019)

- Composite Index  56.4. Previous was 53.7

There seems to be a tradition of ISM and PMI disagreeing.

Source:   Institute For Supply Management

September 4, 2019

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 8/30/2019)

- Purchase Index week/week +4.0%. Previous weeks were -4.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, -2.0%, -3.0%, -2.0%, -4.0%, +2.0%, +1.0%, -1.0%, -4.0%, +10.0%, and -2.0%
- Refinance Index Week/Week -7.0%. Previous weeks were -8.0%, +0.4%., +37.0%, +12.0%, +0.1%, -2.0%, +2.0%, -7.0%, -1.0%, +3.0%, -4.0%, +47.0%, and +6.0%
- Composite Index Week/Week -3.1%. Previous weeks were -6.2%, -0.9%, +21.7%, +5.3%, -1.4%, -1.9%, -1.1%, -2.4%, -1.0%, +1.3%, -3.4%, +26.8%, and +1.5%

Source:  Mortgage Bankers Association

Trade Deficit (July 2019)

- Trade Deficit $54.0 billion.  Previous was $55.5 billion

Source:  Census Bureau

 

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 8/31/2019)

- Same Store Sales year/year 6.5%. Previous was 5.7%

Source:  Redbook Research Inc.

September 3, 2019

PMI Manufacturing Index  (August 2019)

- Level 50.3. Previous was 50.4

ISM Manufacturing Index

- Level 49.1. Previous was 51.3.

Source:  Institute for Supply Management

Both of these indices are considered leading indicators of recession.  To some extent they are reflecting downturns in the economies of the EU, South America and slower growth in China.

Construction Spending  (July 2019)

- Construction Spending month/month +0.1%. Previous was -0.7%
- Construction Spending year/year  -2.1% 

Residential construction was essentially dead flat.

Source:  Census Bureau

 Archive of commentary from previous months is here.