Category Archives: Economic Alert
Industrial production slipped another 0.6% in November with unusually mild winter weather adding to the toll the manufacturing sector has already been experiencing in the face of a strong dollar and an overhang of inventories. Production at utilities plants plummeted
Housing starts jumped at a double-digit rate to a 1.17 million-unit, annualized rate in November following slight upward revisions to October. Gains occurred in both the multifamily and single-family
Retail sales rose 0.2% in November, broadly in line with expectations. Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, core sales increased 0.6%.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) index dropped to 48.6% in November, affirming other evidence that the manufacturing sector is now in a contraction. Losses were fairly broad-based with the exception of employment, which moved back above the 50% threshold in November.
In October, 495,000 new homes were sold; that increase followed a downward revision to September. Gains were broad-based with three of the four regions posting increases. The median sales price moved down from the previous month as the composition of homes sold shifted towards lower-priced properties.
Real disposable incomes rose 0.4% in October, slightly faster than September, while inflation-adjusted spending rose a tepid 0.1% during the month, weaker than September, which was actually revised down. The saving rate picked up, but something more than caution alone appears to be happening.
Durable goods orders jumped a more-than-expected 3% in October, buoyed by a surge in aircraft orders for Boeing at the Dubai air show. Moreover, orders were revised up for the month of September. Nondefense and ex-aircraft orders, which more closely correlate with direct business investment, increased
Real GDP was revised up to 2.1% in the third quarter from an initial estimate of 1.5%. Unfortunately, almost all of those “gains” can be attributed to larger-than-previously reported inventories, which will now have to be drained in the fourth quarter. This could further deepen holiday discounts
In October, housing starts slipped to a 1.06 million unit pace, nearly 60% below household formation. This is causing acute shortages for those looking for a place to live, particularly to rent,
Industrial production dropped a more-than-expected 0.2% in October. All of that weakness, however, can be attributed to sharp declines in utilities and mining. Milder-than-usual autumn weather pushed down utilities, while mining and extraction continued to suffer from low prices at the gas pump.