Tag Archives: autos

Consumer Pulse Still Beating

Retail sales rose 1.1% in March, following upward revisions to February, as consumers came out of hibernation and began to spend again. Vehicle sales were particularly robust, as consumers returned to dealer showrooms and tapped the pent-up demand built during the worst months of winter. We also saw strong gains in building materials and garden [...]

U.S. Trade Deteriorates

The trade deficit widened more than expected in February, as imports rose and exports fell. Imports of vehicles were particularly strong; that could be a problem for domestic vehicle producers going forward even as sales come back, which they did strongly in March. Japanese and Korean producers, in particular, now have unusually large pricing advantages [...]

Durable Goods Rise Ex-Transportation

Durable goods orders fell 1% in January from December, but all of that weakness was concentrated in the volatile transportation sector. Durable goods orders ex-transportation rose 1.1% in January after being revised down in December. Moreover, most of the drop in transportation orders was concentrated in aircraft orders which have very long lead times. Vehicle [...]

Weather Takes a Toll on Production

Industrial production fell 0.3% in January, with losses in manufacturing and mining activity more than offsetting a surge in utilities. Subzero temperatures and unusually cold weather in what are typically more mild climates prompted many people to turn up their thermostats and hibernate in their homes across the country. At the same time, harsh weather [...]

Winter Chill on Incomes Doesn’t Stop Spending

Disposable personal incomes edged down 0.2% in December, after being adjusted for inflation. A shortfall in farm income and a sharp moderation in wage gains in the service sector accounted for much of the weakness; the softness in the service sector was likely exacerbated by unusually harsh winter weather as the number of people unable [...]

Harsh Weather Prompts Spending on Winter Clothing, Food

Retail sales rose a modest 0.2% in December, as unusually harsh winter weather put a lid on foot traffic at car dealers. Sales excluding motor vehicles and parts were up a much more respectable 0.7%, as early snow and freezing temperatures left consumers scrambling to snap up coats and sweaters and stock up at grocery [...]

Shutdown Undermines Manufacturing Activity

Durable goods orders dropped 2% in October but were revised up slightly on aircraft orders in September. Defense orders took the hardest hit as the shutdown idled defense manufacturers and forced defense contractors to shelve plans until some kind of resolution on the budget could be reached. Ongoing uncertainty about the budget and implementation of [...]

Retail Sales Slightly Weaker in September

Retail sales declined 0.1% in September, confirming a broader deceleration in consumer spending prior to the government shutdown. Vehicle sales, clothing and department store sales were hit the hardest; back-to-school spending was particularly weak. Some of that may be attributed to the sharp drop in birth rates we have seen since 2008; statistics show we [...]

Devil is in the Details: Durable Goods Orders

Durable goods orders jumped a larger-than-expected 3.7% in September but those gains were driven almost entirely by a 57.5% increase in aircraft orders, which take years to fill. Orders excluding transportation equipment declined 0.1%, and were revised down for the previous month. That confirms fears that the economy was losing momentum ahead of the government [...]

Income and Spending Slightly Higher

Personal income rose 0.4% in August on a better mix of employment gains. Increases in wages and salaries were supported by a rebound in manufacturing payrolls (largely in the auto sector) and the service sector. Government wages and salaries also increased modestly after declining the previous month. Most of those increases were likely at the [...]