May 14, 2021

Retail Sales  (April 2021)

- Retail Sales month/month  0.0%. Previous was +9.8%

- Ex-Vehicles month/month  -0.8%. Previous was +9.0%

- Ex-Vehicles & Gas month/month  -0.8%   Previous was +8.9%

Retail Sales is the largest component of 2nd Q 20201 GDP.  This data is seasonally adjusted but not inflation adjusted.

March spending was boosted by folks spending their stimulus money.

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


Import and Export Prices  (April 2021)

- Import Prices month/month     +0.7%. Previous was +1.4%

- Import Prices year/year    +10.6%. Previous was +7.0%

- Export Prices month/month    +0.8%. Previous was +2.4%

- Export Prices year/year    +14.41%. Previous was +9.5%

Source: BLS  Details: https://www.bls.gov/mxp/


Industrial Production  (April 2021)

- Industrial Production month/month +0.7%.    Previous was +1.4%.

- Manufacturing Output month/month  +0.4% . Previous was  +3.1%

- Capacity Utilization Rate        74.9%. Previous was 74.4%

- Industrial Production year/year +16.5%

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


Business Inventories (March 2021)

- Inventories month/month  +0.5%. Previous was +0.3%.

This is a component of 1stQ 2021 GDP.

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


Consumer Sentiment (May 2021)

- Index 82.8. Previous was 88.3.

Source: University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center     Details:  http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu/




May 13, 2021

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 5/8/2021)

- Initial Claims seasonally adjusted  473,000. Previous was 507,000

- Initial Claims unadjusted, totaled 487,436 a decrease of 26,286  from previous 

- 4-Week Moving Average seasonally adjusted  534,000. Previous was  562,250

Total receiving regular state UI increased by 11,425  

Total receiving Pandemic UI increased by 420,252 

Total receiving Emergency Pandemic UI increased by 291,389  

The total receiving any Unemployment Benefit was 16,855,264   an increase of 696,152  

This data backs the case that the Pandemic UI programs are motivating some folks to not fill the very large number of Job Openings.

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


PPI  (April 2021)

- PPI-FD month/month    0.6%. Previous was 1.0%

- PPI-FD year/year        6.2%. Previous was 4.2%

- Ex-Food & Energy month/month    0.7%. Previous was 0.7%

- Ex-Food & Energy year/year        4.1%. Previous was +3.1%

- Ex-Food, Energy & Trade Services month/month    0.7%. Previous was 0.6%

- Ex-Food, Energy & Trade Services year/year    4.6%. Previous was +3.1%

This is inflation at the wholesale level.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)   Details:  https://www.bls.gov/ppi/


- PPI-FD month/month    0.6%. Previous was 1.0%


- PPI-FD year/year        6.2%. Previous was 4.2%


- Ex-Food & Energy month/month    0.7%. Previous was 0.7%


- Ex-Food & Energy year/year        4.1%. Previous was +3.1%


- Ex-Food, Energy & Trade Services month/month    0.7%. Previous was 0.6%


- Ex-Food, Energy & Trade Services year/year    4.6%. Previous was +3.1%


This is inflation at the wholesale level.


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)   Details:  https://www.bls.gov/ppi/




May 12, 2021

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 5/7/2021)

- Purchase Index week/week  +1.0%.  Previous weeks were -3.0%., -5.0%, +6.0%, -1.0%, -5.0%, -2.0%, +3.0%, +2.0%, +7.0%, +2.0%, -12.0%, -6.0%, -5.0%, +0.1%, and -4.0%.

- Refinance Index week/week +3.0%. Previous weeks  were +0.1%, -1.0%, +10.0%, -5.0%, -5.5%,  -3.0%, -3.5%, -4.0%, -5.0%, +0.1%, -11.0%, -5.0%, -4.0%, and 11.0%

- Composite Index week/week +2.2%. Previous weeks were -0.9%, -2.5%, -1.0%,+8.6%, 3.7%, -5.0%, 2.2%, -2.5%, -2.2%, -1.3%, +0.5%, -11.4%, -5.1%, -4.1%,8.1%, -4.1%, -1,9%, and +16.7%

Source:  MBA    Details:  https://www.mba.org/2021-press-releases/may/mortgage-applications-increase-in-latest-mba-weekly-survey


CPI  (April 2021)

- CPI month/month, seasonally adjusted  +0.8% . Previous was 0.6%

- CPI year/year not seasonally adjusted   4.2%. Previous was 2.6%.

- Ex-Food & Energy month/month, seasonally adjusted  +0.9%. Previous was +0.3%

- Ex-Food & Energy not seasonally adjusted   year/year  3.0%. Previous was 1.6%

Inflation  always the biggest threat to interest rates spiked moving Treasury yields and mortgage rates higher.

Source:  BLS  Details: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.toc.htm



May 11, 2021

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (April 2021)

- Index 99.8. Previous was 98.2

This is a survey index from National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) of its members. This is important because it is small businesses which create most jobs.

Source:  NFIB Details:  https://www.nfib.com/content/press-release/economy/small-business-owners-remain-uncertain-after-election/


Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 5/8/2021)

- Chain Store Sales year/year 13.3%. Previous was 14.2%

Source: Redbook Research Inc.


JOLTS  (March 2021)

- Job Openings 8,123 ,000.   Previous was 7,526,000

Graph of recent history: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/JTSJOL

Source:  BLS  Details: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/jolts.pdf



May 7, 2021

BLS Employment Situation Report (April 2021)

 Nonfarm Payrolls month/month  266,000.   Previous was 770,000

- Unemployment Rate   6.1%. Previous was  6.0%

- Private Payrolls - month/month 218,000.  Previous was   708,000

- Manufacturing Payrolls month/month  -18,000. Previous was   54,000

- Labor Participation Rate     61.7%. Previous was  61.6%

- Average Hourly Earnings month/month    0.7%. Previous was  -0.1%

- Average Hourly Earnings year/year    +0.3%. Previous was  4.2%

- Average Workweek        35.0 hours. Previous was  34.9 hours   

Revisions to February and March subtracted 78,00 to jobs from those months making the total gain 188,000

This report is  the most disappointing ever and inconsistent with Wednesday's ADP report of private jobs which was +742,000 as opposed to BLS +218,000. 

Source:  BLS  Details: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.toc.htm


Wholesale Inventories (March 20210)

- Month over Month  +1.3. Previous was 1.0%

This is a component of 1stQ GDP.

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




May 6, 2021

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 5/1/2021)

- Initial Claims seasonally adjusted  498,000. Previous was 590,000

- Initial Claims unadjusted, totaled 504,670 a decrease of 107,390  from previous week

- 4-Week Moving Average seasonally adjusted  560,000. Previous was  621,000

Total receiving regular state UI decreased by 57,150 

Total receiving Pandemic UI decreased by 112,204  

Total receiving Emergency Pandemic UI decreased by 221,592  

The total receiving any Unemployment Benefit was 16,157,024   a decrease of 404,509  

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


Worker Productivity and Costs (1stQ2021)

- Nonfarm Productivity - Annual Rate    5.4%. Previous was -3.8%

- Unit Labor Costs - Annual Rate    -0.3%. Previous was 5.6%

Productivity is total Labor Cost/GDP.  

Source:  BLS   Details: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/prod2.nr0.htm


Challenger Job-Cut Report  (April 2021)

- Announced layoffs        22,913. Previous was  30,603

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas



May 5, 2021

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 4/30/2021)

- Purchase Index week/week -3.0%.  Previous weeks were -5.0%, +6.0%, -1.0%, -5.0%, -2.0%, +3.0%, +2.0%, +7.0%, +2.0%, -12.0%, -6.0%, -5.0%, +0.1%, -4.0%, and 3.0%

- Refinance Index week/week +0.1%. Previous weeks  were -1.0%, +10.0%, -5.0%, -5.5%,  -3.0%, -3.5%, -4.0%, -5.0%, +0.1%, -11.0%, -5.0%, -4.0%, 11.0%, and -5.5%.

- Composite Index week/week -0.9%. Previous weeks were -2.5%, -1.0%,+8.6%, 3.7%, -5.0%, 2.2%, -2.5%, -2.2%, -1.3%, +0.5%, -11.4%, -5.1%, -4.1%,8.1%, -4.1%, -1,9%, +16.7%,and -4.2%.

Source:  MBA    https://www.mba.org/2021-press-releases/may/mortgage-applications-decrease-in-latest-mba-weekly-survey


ADP Private Jobs (April 2021)

- Private Jobs. +742,000. Previous was  +565,000

Source: ADP   Details:  https://adpemploymentreport.com/2021/April/NER/NER-April-2021.aspx




May 4, 2021

Trade Deficit (March 2021)

- Deficit $74.8 billion.  Previous was $70.5 billion

This is a component of 1st GDP.

Source:  BEA  Details:  https://www.bea.gov/data/intl-trade-investment/international-trade-goods-and-services


Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 5/1/2021)

- Chain Store Sales year/year 14.2%. Previous was 13.9%

Source: Redbook Research Inc.


Factory Orders (March 2021)

- Month over Month +1.7% . Previous was -0.8%.  

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



May 3, 2021

PMI Manufacturing Final  (April 2021)

- Index 60.5. Previous was 59.1

A survey index from the supply side.

Source:  Markit Economics


ISM Manufacturing Index  (April  2021)

- Index 60.7. Previous was 64.7

A survey index from the supply side.  

Source: Institute for Supply Management


Construction Spending  (February 2021)

- Month over Month +0.2%. Previous was  -0.8%

- Year over Year 5.3%. 

New SFR construction was +2.0%.

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









Archive of commentary from previous months is here.