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Category: Research - Topic: Economics - 201503



Consumer Confidence improved in March to 101.3
Posted: March 31, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Tuesday)

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had decreased in February, improved in March. The Index now stands at 101.3 (1985=100), up from 98.8 in February. The Expectations Index increased from 90.0 last month to 96.0 in March. The Present Situation Index, however, decreased from 112.1 in February ...


Chicago Purchasing Managers Index increased 0.5 points to 46.3 in March
Posted: March 31, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Tuesday)

The Chicago Business Barometer remained in contraction for the second consecutive month in March, failing to bounce back from the sharp plunge in February and pointing to a slowdown in the US economy.

The Barometer increased 0.5 point to 46.3 in March, following a 13.6 point drop in February to a 5½-year low. The Chicago Business Barometer averaged 50.5 in Q1, down from 61.3 in Q4 and the lowest outturn since Q3 2009. While part of this decline may be attributable to the ...


S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices increase 0.1% in January
Posted: March 31, 2015 at 09:00 AM (Tuesday)

S&P Dow Jones Indices today released the latest results for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices. Data released today for January 2015 show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. However, monthly data reveal slowing increases and ...


Paychex-IHS Small Business Jobs Index declined to 100.79 in March
Posted: March 31, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Tuesday)

The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index declined 0.05 percent during the past month, bringing the national index to 100.79 in March. The minor retreat, however, did not halt the positive momentum generated in January and February. The national index is up 0.23 percent for the first quarter of 2015, representing the best three-month gain ...


Texas Manufacturing Activity Weakens
Posted: March 30, 2015 at 10:30 AM (Monday)

Texas factory activity declined in March, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell to -5.2, posting its first negative reading in nearly two years.

Other measures of current manufacturing activity also reflected contraction in March. The new orders index pushed further into negative territory, coming in at -16.1, and the growth rate of orders index remained negative for a fifth consecutive month but edged up to -15.3 ...


Pending Home Sales Index rose 3.1% in February
Posted: March 30, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Monday)

Pending home sales in February increased to their highest level since June 2013 as sizeable gains in the Midwest and West offset smaller declines in the Northeast and South, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 3.1 percent to 106.9 in February from a slight downward revision of 103.7 in January and is now 12.0 percent above February 2014 (95.4). The index is at its highest level since June ...


Personal Income increased 0.4%, Spending increased 0.1%
Posted: March 30, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Monday)

Personal income increased $58.6 billion, or 0.4 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $54.2 billion, or 0.4 percent, in February, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $11.8 billion, or 0.1 percent. In January, personal income increased $61.8 billion, or 0.4 percent, ...


University of Michigan Consumer Confidence down in March to 93.0
Posted: March 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Friday)

Consumer optimism reached a ten-year peak of 95.5 in the 1st quarter of 2015—its highest level since the 3rd quarter of 2004. Although optimism has eased back slightly since the start of the year, January’s surge in confidence was largely due to falling gasoline prices and the small retreat since then was largely due to the unusually harsh ...


4Q2014 GDP final estimate increased 2.2%
Posted: March 27, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Friday)

Real gross domestic product -- the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes -- increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased ...


Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity declined in March
Posted: March 26, 2015 at 11:00 AM (Thursday)

Tenth District manufacturing activity declined in March, and producers’ expectations moderated somewhat but remained slightly positive. Most price indexes continued to decrease, with several reaching their lowest level since 2009. In a special question about the West Coast port disruptions, 32 percent of firms said it had affected ...


DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer dropped by 0.3%
Posted: March 26, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

For the week ending March 14 2015, the DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer dropped by 0.3 percent to 98.1. This week’s barometer was largely dragged down by weak performances in production indexes. Electric output, for instance, plummeted by a solid 14.4 percent following a 5.6 percent drop in the previous week. Lumber, steel and coal production ...


Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Decrease 9,000 to 282,000
Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Thursday)

In the week ending March 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 282,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 291,000. The 4-week moving average was 297,000, a decrease of 7,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 304,750. There were no special factors impacting this week's ...


New Orders for Durable Goods Decreased 1.4%, Ex-Trans Down 0.4%
Posted: March 25, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Wednesday)

New orders for manufactured durable goods in February decreased $3.2 billion or 1.4 percent to $231.3 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This decrease, down three of the last four months, followed a 2.0 percent January increase. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.4 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased ...


Purchase Apps up, Refi's up in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Posted: March 25, 2015 at 07:00 AM (Wednesday)

Mortgage applications increased 9.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 20, 2015.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 9.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 9 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 12 ...


New Home Sales in February at annual rate of 539,0000
Posted: March 24, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Tuesday)

Sales of new single-family houses in February 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 539,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 7.8 percent (±15.2%)* above the revised January rate of 500,000 and is 24.8 percent (±20.4%) above the ...


Philadelphia Nonmanufacturing Activity Continues to Expand in March
Posted: March 24, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Tuesday)

Responses to this month's Nonmanufacturing Business Outlook Survey suggest that local nonmanufacturing activity continued to expand in March. The survey's indicators for general activity, new orders, and sales or revenues decreased slightly but remained at elevated levels. Responding firms continue to be optimistic about activity over the next ...


Richmond Fed's Current Activity Index dropped 8 points to a reading of -8
Posted: March 24, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Tuesday)

Manufacturing activity declined in March, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Shipments and the volume of new orders dropped. Order backlogs fell and capacity utilization declined. Hiring in the manufacturing sector was soft and the average workweek shortened. Wage growth ...


Consumer Price Index increased 0.2% in February, Ex Fd & Engy rose 0.2%
Posted: March 24, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Tuesday)

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 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 was unchanged before seasonal adjustment.

The seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index was broad-based, with increases in shelter, energy, and food indexes all contributing. The energy index rose after a long series of declines, increasing 1.0 percent as the gasoline index turned up after falling in ...


Real Average Hourly Earnings decreased 0.1% in February
Posted: March 24, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Tuesday)

Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.1 percent from January to February, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from a 0.1-percent increase in average hourly earnings being offset by a 0.2-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban ...


Existing-Home Sales rose 1.2% in February
Posted: March 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Monday)

Existing-home sales increased modestly in February, but constrained inventory levels pushed price growth to its fastest pace in a year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February from 4.82 million in January. Sales are 4.7 percent higher ...


Chicago Fed National Activity slightly below average in February
Posted: March 23, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Monday)

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) edged lower to –0.11 in February from –0.10 in January. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from January, and two of the four categories made negative contributions to the index ...


U.S. Leading Economic Index increased 0.2%
Posted: March 19, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in February to 121.4 (2010 = 100), following a 0.2 percent increase in January, and a 0.4 percent increase in December.

Widespread gains among the leading indicators continue to point to short-term growth. However, easing in the LEI’s six-month change suggests that we may be entering a period of more moderate expansion. With the February increase, the LEI remains in growth territory, but ...


Philadelphia February Outlook Continues to Suggest Modest Growth
Posted: March 19, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

Manufacturing activity in the region increased at a modest pace in March, according to firms responding to this month’s Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The survey’s current indicators for general activity and new orders were positive and remained near their low readings in February. Firms reported overall declines in shipments and in ...


DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer unch%
Posted: March 19, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

For the week ending March 7 2015, the DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer remained at 98.5 as gains in consumption indexes were completely cancelled out by losses in production indexes. On one hand, chain store sales rose by 1.3 percent due to improvements in demand on department, drug, and electronics stores. In the same line, MBA’s purchase ...


4Q2014 Current Account Deficit Increased
Posted: March 19, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Thursday)

The U.S. current-account deficit—a net measure of transactions between the United States and the rest of the world in goods, services, primary income (investment income and compensation), and secondary income (current transfers)—increased to $113.5 billion (preliminary) in the fourth quarter of 2014 from $98.9 billion (revised) in the ...


Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Increase 1,000 to 291,000
Posted: March 19, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Thursday)

In the week ending March 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 291,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 289,000 to 290,000. The 4-week moving average was 304,750, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average. ...


Federal Open Market Committee Press Conference
Posted: March 18, 2015 at 02:30 PM (Wednesday)

FOMC target funds rate reaffirmed at 0 - 1/4%
Posted: March 18, 2015 at 02:00 PM (Wednesday)

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that economic growth has moderated somewhat. Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate. A range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues to diminish. ...


Purchase Apps down, Refi's down in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Posted: March 18, 2015 at 07:00 AM (Wednesday)

Mortgage applications decreased 3.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 13, 2015.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 3.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 5 ...


February Housing Starts down 17.0%, Permits up 3.0%
Posted: March 17, 2015 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 1,092,000. This is 3.0 percent (±1.7%) above the revised January rate of 1,060,000 and is 7.7 percent (±2.0%) above the February 2014 estimate of 1,014,000. Single-family authorizations in February were at a ...


Treasury International Capital Data for January 2015
Posted: March 16, 2015 at 04:00 PM (Monday)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today released Treasury International Capital (TIC) data for January 2015. The sum total in January of all net foreign acquisitions of long-term securities, short-term U.S. securities, and banking flows was a monthly net TIC inflow of $88.3 billion. Of this, net foreign private inflows were $60.7 billion, ...


Builder Confidence Drops 2 Points in March to 53
Posted: March 16, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Monday)

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in March fell two points to a level of 53 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today.

Even with this slight slip, the HMI remains in positive territory and we expect the market to improve as we enter the spring buying season. ...


Industrial Production increased 0.1%
Capacity Utilization decreased to 78.9%

Posted: March 16, 2015 at 09:15 AM (Monday)

Industrial production increased 0.1 percent in February after decreasing 0.3 percent in January. In February, manufacturing output moved down 0.2 percent, its third consecutive monthly decline. The rates of change for the total index in January and for manufacturing in both December and January are lower than previously reported. The index ...


Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions Continue to Improve Modestly
Posted: March 16, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Monday)

The March 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity continued to expand at a modest pace for New York manufacturers. The headline general business conditions index, at 6.9, remained close to last month’s level. The new orders index fell four points to -2.4, pointing to a small decline in orders, and the ...


Producer Price Index fell 0.5% in February, ex Fd & Engy down 0.1%
Posted: March 13, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Friday)

The Producer Price Index for final demand fell 0.5 percent in February, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Final demand prices moved down 0.8 percent in January and 0.2 percent in December. On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand decreased 0.6 percent for the 12 months ended ...


Business Inventories unch% in January
Posted: March 12, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

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 $1,302.5 billion, down 2.0 percent (±0.2%) from December 2014 and were down 0.3 percent (±0.3%)* from ...


DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer declined slightly by 0.1%
Posted: March 12, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

For the week ending February 28 2015, the DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer declined slightly by 0.1 percent to 98.5. The biggest factor that contributed to the performance of this week’s barometer was steel production, which dipped by a solid 3.0 percent, extending the falling trend for three consecutive weeks. The drop in steel ...


U.S. Import Price Index Increased 0.4% in February
Posted: March 12, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Thursday)

U.S. import prices increased 0.4 percent in February following declines of 3.1 percent in January and 2.5 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. An upturn in fuel prices led the February rise. Prices for U.S. exports edged down 0.1 percent in February, after a 1.9-percent drop the ...


U.S. Retail Sales for February decrease 0.6%, Ex-Auto down 0.1%
Posted: March 12, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Thursday)

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 $437.0 billion, a decrease of 0.6 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month, but up 1.7 percent (±0.9%) above February 2014. ...


Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Decrease 36,000 to 289,000
Posted: March 12, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Thursday)

In the week ending March 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 289,000, a decrease of 36,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 5,000 from 320,000 to 325,000. The 4-week moving average was 302,250, a decrease of 3,750 from the previous week's revised average. The ...


Purchase Apps down, Refi's down in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Posted: March 11, 2015 at 07:00 AM (Wednesday)

Mortgage applications decreased 1.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 6, 2015.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 3 ...


Job Openings were 5.0 million in January
Posted: March 10, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Tuesday)

There were 5.0 million job openings on the last business day of January, little changed from 4.9 million in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires decreased to 5.0 million in January and separations were little changed at 4.8 million. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.0 percent and the ...


Wholesale Inventories down 0.1% in January
Posted: March 10, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Tuesday)

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that January 2015 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 $433.7 billion, down 3.1 percent (+/-0.5%) from the revised December level and were down 1.0 percent ...


NFIB Small Business Optimism Index gained 0.1 points to 98.0
Posted: March 10, 2015 at 07:30 AM (Tuesday)

The Index of Small Business Optimism gained 0.1 points to reach 98.0, the long-term average including the Great Recession and the third highest reading since early 2007. Only eclipsed by November and December 2014 which were a bit higher. Of the ten Index components, the largest gain was in the percent of owners reporting hard-to-fill openings ...


Employment Trends Index increased in February to 127.76
Posted: March 9, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Monday)

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) increased in February. The index now stands at 127.76, up from 127.62 (a downward revision) in January. This represents a 6.7 percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.

The Employment Trends Index increased for the 14th consecutive time, the longest positive stretch in 30 years. Strong job growth and the rapid decline in the unemployment rate are likely to continue, and acceleration in wage growth is just a matter of time. ...


Consumer Credit Increased at an annual rate of 4.25%
Posted: March 6, 2015 at 03:00 PM (Friday)

In January, consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4-1/4 percent. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 1-1/2 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 6-1/4 percent.

...


Goods and Services Deficit Decreased in January 2015
Posted: March 6, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Friday)

The Nation’s international trade deficit in goods and services decreased to $41.8 billion in January from $45.6 billion in December (revised), as imports decreased more than exports.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that the goods and services deficit was $41.8 billion in January, down $3.8 billion from $45.6 billion in December, revised. January exports were $189.4 ...


February Employment increased by 295,000
Unemployment Rate edged down to 5.5%

Posted: March 6, 2015 at 08:30 AM (Friday)

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 295,000 in February, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, construction, health care, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment ...


New orders for manufactured goods decreased 3.4%
Posted: March 5, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

New orders for manufactured goods in January, down six consecutive months, decreased $0.9 billion or 0.2 percent to $470.0 billion, the U.S. Census Bureaureported today. This followed a 3.5 percent December decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased ...


DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer increased by 0.3%
Posted: March 5, 2015 at 10:00 AM (Thursday)

For the week ending February 21 2015, the DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer rose by 0.3 percent to 98.6. This week’s barometer was driven by strong performances in both consumption and production indexes. MBA’s purchase index picked up by a solid 4.6 percent after declining for five consecutive weeks; while railroad freight car loadings increased ...



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