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Category: Research - Topic: Economics - 201203



Chicago Purchasing Managers Index Slowed to 62.2
Posted: March 30, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Friday)

The Chicago Purchasing Managers reported the March Chicago Business Barometer paused after February's ten month high. While slowing, the Chicago Business Barometer marked its fifth month above 60, a 2-1/2 year period of expansion and trend data improved. Increases were seen in five of eight Business Activity Indexes, highlighted by ...


University of Michigan Consumer Confidence rose to 76.2
Posted: March 30, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Friday)

Consumer confidence edged upward as more favorable income and job trends offset rising gas prices. Only among lower income households did higher gas prices marginally overwhelm increases in incomes and jobs. More households reported an improved financial situation than anytime in the past four years and more consumers than ever before in the ...


Personal Income increased 0.2%, Spending increased 0.8%
Posted: March 30, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Friday)

Personal income increased $28.2 billion, or 0.2 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $18.9 billion, or 0.2 percent, in February, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $86.0 billion, or 0.8 percent. In January, personal income increased $26.5 billion, or 0.2 percent, ...


Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity Moderated Slightly
Posted: March 29, 2012 at 11:00 AM (Thursday)

Growth in Tenth District manufacturing activity moderated slightly but remained generally solid overall, with a continued positive outlook for future months. Some producers said strong regional oil and gas activity, increased agricultural-related demand, and some pickup in construction activity has resulted in increased production, while ...


DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer up by 0.1%
Posted: March 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

For the week ending March 17, 2012, the DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer increased by +0.1 percent for two consecutive weeks. Retail gasoline prices continued to rise to $3.867/gallon for regular grade as of March 19th, and some areas of the country are already seeing $4.00/gallon or more. Still, in the face of higher gas prices ...


Weekly initial unemployment claims decrease 5,000 to 359,000
Posted: March 29, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Thursday)

In the week ending March 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 359,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 364,000. The 4-week moving average was 365,000, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week's revised average ...


4Q2011 GDP Final estimate up 3.0%
Posted: March 29, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Thursday)

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the ...


New Orders for Durable Goods Increased 2.2%, Ex-Trans up 1.6%
Posted: March 28, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Wednesday)

New orders for manufactured durable goods in February increased $4.5 billion or 2.2 percent to $211.8 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This increase, up four of the last five months, followed a 3.6 percent January decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.6 percent. Excluding defense, new orders increased ...


Purchase Apps down, Refi's down in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Posted: March 28, 2012 at 07:00 AM (Wednesday)

Mortgage applications decreased 2.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 23, 2012.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 2.6 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 4.6 ...


Richmond Fed's Current Activity down 13 to 7
Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM (Tuesday)

Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region expanded in March for the fourth straight month, but at a more temperate pace than a month ago, according to the Richmond Fed's latest survey. All broad indicators — including shipments, new orders, and employment — continued to grow but at a rate below February's pace. Most other ...


Consumer Confidence Pulled Back Slightly in March
Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Tuesday)

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had increased in February, pulled back slightly in March. The Index now stands at 70.2 (1985=100), down from 71.6 in February. The Present Situation Index, however, increased to 51.0 from 46.4. The Expectations Index declined to 83.0 from 88.4 ...


S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices fell by 0.8%
Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:00 AM (Tuesday)

Data through January 2012, released today by S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed annual declines of 3.9% and 3.8% for the 10- and 20-City Composites, respectively. Both composites saw price declines of 0.8% in the month of January. Sixteen of 19 MSAs also saw home prices ...


ICSC Chain Store Sales rose by -0.5% in Mar 24 Wk
Posted: March 27, 2012 at 07:45 AM (Tuesday)

The following is the commentary from the ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot released Tuesday:

With the official arrival of the spring this past week, retailers had mixed results. The net retail sales performance for the week ending March 24 slipped by 0.5% based on the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs' Weekly Chain Store Sales ...


Texas Manufacturing Expansion Continues
Posted: March 26, 2012 at 10:30 AM (Monday)

Texas factory activity continued to increase in March, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, held steady at 11.1, suggesting growth continued at about the same pace as ...


Pending Home Sales Index eased 0.5%
Posted: March 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Monday)

Pending home sales were down slightly in February but remain notably above the pattern in the first half of last year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, eased 0.5 percent to 96.5 in February from 97.0 in January but is 9.2 percent above February 2011 when it was 88.4. The data reflects contracts but not closings. ...


Chicago Fed National Activity Index decreased in February
Posted: March 26, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Monday)

Led by weaker production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index decreased to –0.09 in February from +0.33 in January. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index deteriorated from January, but of these two, only the production and income category made a negative contribution to the index ...


February Mass Layoffs total 1,293 actions, 119,463 workers
Posted: March 23, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Friday)

Employers took 1,293 mass layoff actions in February involving 119,463 workers, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Each mass layoff involved at least 50 workers from a single employer. Mass layoff events in February decreased ...


New Home Sales in February at annual rate of 313,000
Posted: March 23, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Friday)

Sales of new single-family houses in February 2012 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 1.6 percent (±23.9%) below the revised January rate of 318,000, but is 11.4 percent (±17.8%) above the ...


U.S. Leading Economic Index increased 0.7%
Posted: March 22, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.7 percent in February to 95.5 (2004 = 100), following a 0.2 percent increase in January and a 0.5 percent increase in December.

Continued broad-based gains in the LEI for the United States confirm a more positive outlook for general economic activity in the first half of 2012, although still subdued consumer expectations and the purchasing managers’ index for new orders held the LEI back in ...


DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer increased by 0.1%
Posted: March 22, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

For the week ending March 10, 2012, the DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer increased by +0.1 percent following a decline of -1.1 percent in the prior week. Auto and truck production was neutral to the barometer index, while lumber production dropped significantly in the latest week. However, the barometer index managed to turn up slightly helped ...


Weekly initial unemployment claims decrease 5,000 to 348,000
Posted: March 22, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Thursday)

In the week ending March 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 348,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 353,000. The 4-week moving average was 355,000, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week's revised average ...


Existing-Home Sales slipped 0.9% in February
Posted: March 21, 2012 at 09:08 AM (Wednesday)

February existing-home sales declined from an upwardly revised January pace but are well above a year ago, while the median price posted a slight gain, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Sales were up in the Midwest and South, offset by declines in the Northeast ...


Purchase Apps down, Refi's down in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Posted: March 21, 2012 at 07:00 AM (Wednesday)

Mortgage applications decreased 7.4 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 16, 2012.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 7.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 7.1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 9.3 ...


February Housing starts up 1.1%, Permits up 5.1%
Posted: March 20, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Tuesday)

BUILDING PERMITS
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 717,000. This is 5.1 percent (±1.2%) above the revised January rate of 682,000 and is 34.3 percent (±3.1%) above the February 2011 estimate of 534,000. Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate ...


ICSC Chain Store Sales rose by 0.9% in Mar 17 Wk
Posted: March 20, 2012 at 07:00 AM (Tuesday)

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported that chain store sales rose 0.9% from the prior week and increased a strong 3.3% over the prior-year period during the week ending Mar 17th. “Warm temperatures heated up spending for the consumer over the past week as apparel and department stores saw an improvement in their ...


Builder Confidence unchanged in March
Posted: March 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Monday)

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes was unchanged in March from a revised level of 28 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. This means that following five consecutive months of gains, the HMI is now holding at its highest level since June ...


Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index Increased 1.3%
Posted: March 19, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Monday)

The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index (CFMMI) increased 1.3% in January, to a seasonally adjusted level of 90.1 (2007 = 100). Revised data show the index was up 2.2% in December. The Federal Reserve Board’s industrial production index for manufacturing (IPMFG) increased 0.8% in January. Regional output in January rose 9.0% from a ...


Industrial Production unchanged%
Capacity Utilization edged down to 78.7%

Posted: March 16, 2012 at 09:15 AM (Friday)

Industrial production was unchanged in February after having risen 0.4 percent in January. Previously, industrial production was reported to have been unchanged in January. Manufacturing output moved up 0.3 percent in February. Within manufacturing, the index for motor vehicles and parts fell 1.1 percent after jumping 8.6 percent in January, ...


Consumer Price Index up 0.4% in February, Ex Fd & Engy up 0.1%
Posted: March 16, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Friday)

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The gasoline index rose sharply in February, accounting for over 80 ...


Real Average Hourly Earnings fell 0.3% in February
Posted: March 16, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Friday)

Real average hourly earnings for all employees fell 0.3 percent from January 2012 to February 2012, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A 0.1 percent increase in the average hourly earnings was more than offset by a 0.4 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban ...


Philadelphia Fed March Outlook Suggest Continued Expansion
Posted: March 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

Manufacturing firms responding to the monthly Business Outlook Survey suggest that regional manufacturing activity continued to grow at a moderate pace in March. The survey's broad indicators for general activity, new orders, shipments, and employment all remained positive. Firms continued to report price pressures, but responses suggest ...


DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer fell by 1.1%
Posted: March 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

For the week ending March 3, 2012, the DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer fell -1.1 percent after a surge of +1.4 percent in the prior week. Inflation-adjusted chain store sales increased by +1.3 percent but a decline in motor vehicle production more than offset the increase in chain store sales, dragging the business barometer index by ...


Treasury International Capital Data for January 2012
Posted: March 15, 2012 at 09:00 AM (Thursday)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today released Treasury International Capital (TIC) data for January 2012.Foreign residents increased their holdings of long-term U.S. securities in January – net purchases were $94.7 billion.

Net purchases by private foreign investors were $60.8 billion, and net purchases by foreign official institutions were $34.0 billion. At the same time, U.S. residents decreased their holdings of long-term foreign securities, with net sales of $6.3 billion. ...


Producer Price Index up 0.4% in February, ex Fd & Engy up 0.2%
Posted: March 15, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Thursday)

The Producer Price Index for finished goods advanced 0.4 percent in February, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Finished goods prices rose 0.1 percent in January and decreased 0.1 percent in December. At the earlier stages of processing, the index for intermediate goods moved up 0.7 percent and crude ...


Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions Expanded at Moderate Pace
Posted: March 15, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Thursday)

The March Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that manufacturing activity in New York State expanded at a moderate pace. The general business conditions index was little changed at 20.2, its fourth consecutive positive reading. The new orders and shipments indexes were both positive but slightly lower, indicating continued growth in ...


Weekly initial unemployment claims decrease 14,000 to 351,000
Posted: March 15, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Thursday)

In the week ending March 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 351,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 365,000. The 4-week moving average was 355,750, unchanged from the previous week's revised average of 355,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending March 3, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate of 2.7 percent. ...


4Q11 Current Account Deficit Increased
Posted: March 14, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Wednesday)

The U.S. current-account deficit—the combined balances on trade in goods and services,income, and net unilateral current transfers—increased to $124.1 billion (preliminary) in the fourth quarter of 2011, from $107.6 billion (revised) in the third quarter. Most of the increase in the current-account deficit was due to a decrease in the surplus ...


U.S. Import Price Index rose 0.4% in February
Posted: March 14, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Wednesday)

U.S. import prices increased 0.4 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as higher fuel prices more than offset declining nonfuel prices. The price index for imports was unchanged in the two previous months. U.S. export prices also rose 0.4 percent in February after a 0.2 percent advance ...


Purchase Apps down, Refi's down in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Posted: March 14, 2012 at 07:00 AM (Wednesday)

Mortgage applications decreased 2.4 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 9, 2012.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1.8 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 4.1 ...


FOMC target funds rate remain at 0 - 1/4%
Posted: March 13, 2012 at 02:00 PM (Tuesday)

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that the economy has been expanding moderately. Labor market conditions have improved further; the unemployment rate has declined notably in recent months but remains elevated. Household spending and business fixed investment have continued to advance. The ...


Job Openings were 3.5 million in January
Posted: March 13, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Tuesday)

There were 3.5 million job openings on the last business day of January, unchanged from December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.1 percent) and separations rate (3.0 percent) were little changed over the month. The job openings rate has trended upward since the end of the recession in June 2009. ...


Business Inventories up 0.7% in January
Posted: March 13, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Tuesday)

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for January, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,237.2 billion, up 0.4 percent (±0.3%) from December 2011 and up 7.2 percent (±0.4%) from ...


U.S. Retail Sales for Feb up 1.1%, Ex-Auto up 0.9%
Posted: March 13, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Tuesday)

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for February, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $407.8 billion, an increase of 1.1 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month and 6.5 percent (±0.7%) above February 2011. ...


ICSC Chain Store Sales rose by 0.7% in Mar 10 Wk
Posted: March 13, 2012 at 07:45 AM (Tuesday)

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported that chain store sales rose 0.7% from the prior week and increased a modest 2.3% over the prior-year period during the week ending Mar 10th. More color in fashion and the unleashing of some pent‐up demand for apparel seemingly are helping apparel stores. The ICSC‐GS consumer ...


NFIB Small Business Optimism Index gained 0.4 points to 94.3
Posted: March 13, 2012 at 07:30 AM (Tuesday)

The Small-Business Optimism Index gained 0.4 points in February to 94.3 marking the 6th consecutive month of gains. While still historically low, the latest increase is a sign that the recovery is likely to continue. The Index is lower than that of February 2011 but the 2nd highest reading since December 2007, the beginning of the recession. ...


Employment Trends Index Increased in February to 107.46
Posted: March 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Monday)

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) increased 1.38 percent in February to 107.46, from the revised figure of 105.99 in January. The February figure is also up 6.1 percent from the same month a year ago.

The acceleration in the ETI suggests that rapid job growth is likely to continue in the next several months, despite modest improvements in Demand and Production. In the past year output per hour of work grew very slowly. If this trend continues, employment growth could ...


Wholesale Inventories down 0.1% in January
Posted: March 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Friday)

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that January 2012 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $413.1 billion, down 0.1 percent (+/-0.7%) from the revised December level, but were up 7.9 percent ...


February Employment rose by 227,000
Unemployment Rate unchanged at 8.3%

Posted: March 9, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Friday)

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in professional and businesses services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, ...


Goods and Services Deficit Increased in January 2012
Posted: March 9, 2012 at 08:30 AM (Friday)

The Nation’s international trade deficit in goods and services increased to $52.6 billion in January from $50.4 billion (revised) in December, as imports increased more than exports.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that total January exports of $180.8 billion and imports of $233.4 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $52.6 billion, up from $50.4 billion ...


DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer jumped by 1.4%
Posted: March 8, 2012 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

For the week ending February 25, 2012, the DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer jumped +1.4 percent on top of an increase of +0.6 percent in the prior week. Inflation-adjusted chain store sales decreased by -1.0 percent after leaping +2.9 percent in the prior week. However a surge in motor vehicle production more than offset the decline in chain ...



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