Thursday, September 15, 2016

Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: August 2016

Today, the Federal Reserve released their monthly read of industrial production and capacity utilization showing weakening results in August with total industrial production declining 0.43% from July dropping 1.11% below the level seen in August 2015.

Capacity utilization also declined dropping 0.47% from April dropping 1.51% below the level seen in August 2015 to stand at 75.52%.

It's important to note that industrial production is still showing significant weakness which, if all past periods were to serve at least as a rough guide, now clearly indicates notable trouble for the macro-economy.


Retail Sales: August 2016

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest nominal read of retail sales showing worsening activity in August with sales falling 0.3% from July but rising 1.9% on a year-over-year basis on an aggregate of all items including food, fuel and healthcare services.

Nominal "discretionary" retail sales including home furnishings, home garden and building materials, consumer electronics and department store sales declined 0.96% from July and fell 0.16% below the level seen in August 2015 while, adjusting for inflation, “real” discretionary retail sales declined 0.96% on the month and fell 1.05% since August 2015.



The Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey: September 2016


The September release of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Business Outlook Survey (BOS) indicated improvement of the regions manufacturing activity with the current activity index rising to a level of 12.8 while assessments the future activity worsened slightly falling to a level of 37.5.

The above chart shows the current and future activity indexes both with their corresponding 3-month moving averages. The red line marks the threshold between contraction and expansion for these diffusion indexes.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey: September 2016


The Empire State Manufacturing Survey consists of a series of diffusion indices distilled from a monthly survey of New York regional manufacturing executives and seeks to identify trends across 22 different current and future manufacturing related activities.

Today’s report showed an overall improvement for both current and future assessments of manufacturing activity with the current activity index rising to a still contraction level of -1.99 while future activity also increased rising to a level of 35.43.

Current prices paid increased to 16.96 while current new orders declined to -7.45 while assessments of future new orders increased to 31.89.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Initial and Continued September 15 2016

Today’s jobless claims report showed modest increases to both initial and continued unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims remained well below the 300K level.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims increased by 1,000 to 260,000 claims while seasonally adjusted "continued" unemployment claims increased by 1,000 to 2.143 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 1.6%.


Friday, September 09, 2016

ISM Non-Manufacturing Report on Business: August 2016


Yesterday, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Non-Manufacturing Report on Business indicating that service related business activity worsened notably in August with the overall non-manufacturing index falling to a weak 51.4 from last months reading of 55.5.

At 51.8 the business activity index also worsened notably since last month.


Thursday, September 01, 2016

Construction Spending: July 2016

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released their latest read of construction spending for July showing generally flattening in spending for residential construction while non-residential spending increased.

On a month-to-month basis, total residential construction spending increased 032% on the month rising 6.97% above the level seen a year earlier but still remained well below the peak level seen in 2006.

Single family construction spending declined a slight 0.015% on the month rising 9.62% above the level seen a year earlier but still remained well below it's peak level reached in 2006.

Non-residential construction spending increased 1.67% on the month climbing 7.60% above the level seen a year earlier and surging well above the level reached at the peak of the Great Recession in 2008.

The following charts (click for larger dynamic versions) show private residential construction spending, private residential single family construction spending and private non-residential construction spending broken out and plotted since 1993 along with the year-over-year, month-to-month and peak percent change to each since 1994 and 2000 – 2005.



ISM Manufacturing Report on Business: August 2016


Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Report on Business for the manufacturing sector indicating that manufacturing activity worsened notably in August with the overall PMI falling into contraction.

At 49.4 the purchasing manager’s composite index (PMI) declined 6.08% from July and slumped over 6% below the level seen a year earlier.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Initial and Continued September 01 2016

Today’s jobless claims report showed an increase to both initial and continued unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims remained well below the 300K level.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims increased by 2,000 to 263,000 claims while seasonally adjusted "continued" unemployment claims increased by 14,000 to 2.159 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 1.6%.


Pending Home Sales: July 2016

Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for July showing an improvement in sales activity with the seasonally adjusted national index rising 1.3% from June to stand 1,4% above the level seen in July 2015.

The following chart shows the seasonally adjusted national pending home sales index along with the percent change on a year-over-year basis as well as the percent change from the peak set in 2005 (click for larger version).

ADP National Employment Report: August 2016

Yesterday, private staffing and business services firm ADP released the latest installment of their National Employment Report indicating that the situation for private employment in the U.S. improved in August as private employers added 177,000 jobs in the month bringing the total employment level 1.92% above the level seen in August 2015.

Look for Friday’s BLS Employment Situation Report to likely show, more or less, similar trends.

Monday, August 15, 2016

NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Sentiment: August 2016

Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that overall assessments of housing activity generally went flat in August with the composite HMI index remaining increasing to 60 while the "buyer traffic" index declined to a level of 44.




The Empire State Manufacturing Survey: August 2016


The Empire State Manufacturing Survey consists of a series of diffusion indices distilled from a monthly survey of New York regional manufacturing executives and seeks to identify trends across 22 different current and future manufacturing related activities.

Today’s report showed an overall worsening for both current and future assessments of manufacturing activity with the current activity index falling to a contraction level of -4.21 while future activity also declined to a level of 23.74.

Current prices paid declined to 15.46 while current new orders increased to 1.04 while assessments of future new orders declined to 27.37.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Initial and Continued July 28 2016

Today’s jobless claims report showed an increase to both initial and continued unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims remained below the 300K level.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims increased by 14,000 to 266,000 claims while seasonally adjusted "continued" unemployment claims increased by 7,000 to 2.139 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 1.6%.


Pending Home Sales: June 2016

Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for June showing a slight improvement in sales activity with the seasonally adjusted national index rising 0.2% from May to stand 1.0% above the level seen in June 2015.

The following chart shows the seasonally adjusted national pending home sales index along with the percent change on a year-over-year basis as well as the percent change from the peak set in 2005 (click for larger version).