Author Archives: Stephen Newton

Consumer Sentiment Slides in January

Consumer Sentiment fell 1.5 points in January to 94.4, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. Last month’s figure is 4.2% below the January 2017 index. January was the third consecutive monthly decline and lowest reading since July 2017. The Current Economic Conditions Index slipped 3.6 points to 109.2, 1.9% below the January 2017 estimate. The Consumer Expectations ...

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Housing Starts Slump in December

Housing starts decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.192 million in December, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The figure was 8.2% below the November rate of 1.299 million and 6.0% lower than the December 2016 rate. Single-family home starts drove the decline, falling 11.8% from last month. Housing activity decreased in each of the four regions as the ...

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Beige Book: Economic Activity Expanding at a Modest to Moderate Pace

Economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace across eleven Federal Reserve Districts from late November through the first week of January, according to the just-released Federal Reserve Beige Book. Dallas was the sole District to record a robust increase in economic activity. The report was based on information collected through January 8. Consumer spending increased in ...

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Industrial Production Rose 0.9% in December

Industrial production rose 0.9% in December after a downwardly revised 0.1% decrease in November, according to the Federal Reserve. Manufacturing output grew 0.1% in December after posting a 0.3% gain in November. Production of durable goods increased 0.8%, while nondurable goods production increased 1.1%. Capacity utilization for manufacturing increased from 77.2% to 77.9%, a rate that is 2.0 percentage points ...

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Retail Sales Grew 0.4% in December

There were $495.4 billion in retail and food service sales in December, up 0.4% from the previous month and 5.4% from December 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. November’s number was upwardly revised to reflect a 0.9% increase. Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts – grew 0.4%. Year-over-year core sales increased 6.3%. Retail trade sales increased 0.3% ...

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Consumer Prices Rose 0.1% in December

The Consumer Price Index grew 0.1% in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This followed a 0.4% November increase. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index rose 2.1%. Prices for all items less food and energy, the “core CPI,” grew 0.3% in December, following a 0.1% November increases. The index rose 1.8% ...

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Producer Prices Slipped 0.1% in December

Producer prices decreased 0.1% in December, seasonally adjusted, after growing 0.4% in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was the first monthly drop since August 2016. However, producer prices still rose 2.6% for the twelve months ended December 2017. The index for final demand goods was unchanged in December, after in increases in each of the ...

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Small Business Optimism Dips in December

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell to 104.9, 2.7 points below November’s reading. November’s report was the second highest reading in the 44-year history of the index. Two of the ten index components rose in December, while five declined. Twenty-seven percent of business owners surveyed said the next three months was a good time to expand, unchanged from last ...

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Consumer Credit Growth Accelerates in November

Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 8.8% in November, up from a 6.5% rate in October. Total outstanding credit increased $27.9 billion during the month (compared with $20.6 billion in October) to $3.83 trillion. Revolving credit, largely a reflection of credit card debt, grew at an annual rate of 13.3% to $1.02 trillion, compared to a ...

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Manufactured Goods Rose 1.3% in November

New orders for manufactured goods grew 1.3% to $488.1 billion in November, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The increase followed a 0.4% rise in October. New orders for manufactured durable goods grew 1.3% to $241.4 billion in November. Transportation equipment led the increase, rising 4.1% to $80.8 billion. Shipments of manufactured durable goods increased 0.9% to $244.4 billion. Inventories ...

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