Tag Archives: federal reserve

Inventories Less of a Problem in Fourth Quarter

Real GDP was revised down to 2.2% in the fourth quarter from an initial estimate of 2.6%. A sharp downward revision to inventories was the primary reason for the revision, which leaves less of an overhang for producers to drain in early 2015. Imports were also revised up, reflecting the phenomenal strength of consumer spending

Durable Goods Orders Rebound

Durable goods orders increased 2.8% in January, only partially offsetting two months of ugly declines. An increase in aircraft orders was the primary reason for the turnaround. Orders for nondefense aircraft and parts surged a whopping 128.5% in January. Other pockets of strength included machinery and computing equipment,

Energy Prices Pull CPI Lower

The Consumer Price Index dropped 0.7% in January but only 0.1% from a year ago. Falling energy prices were the primary reason prices fell

Production Tempered by Energy Losses

The index of industrial production rose 0.2% in January, less than many had hoped after a decline of 0.3% in December. Gains in manufacturing activity, which were driven by a pickup in utilities production, were tempered by a loss in the mining sector.

Employment Remains Buoyant: Participation Up

Payroll employment jumped a more-than-expected 257,000 in January, despite more than the usual number of heavy snow days across the nation.  (Yes, economists watch the weather too.) More importantly, benchmark revisions were released with strong upward revisions to November and December, underscoring the upward shift in economic momentum that we saw at the end of [...]

A Statement for Everyone

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted unanimously to do nothing and signal nothing at the January meeting. The committee upgraded its assessment of the economy to reflect what was most likely a strong end to 2014. That said, members also acknowledged that wage growth, inflation and the housing market remain cooler than they would [...]

CPI Runs Hotter than PCE Inflation Index

The Federal Reserve prefers to use the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index of inflation because PCE is more accurate; it better captures the trade-offs that consumers make when prices shift across sectors in the economy. The chart below is proof of the positive effect of plummeting oil prices in surging consumer sentiment. Low prices at at the [...]

Consumer Price Inflation Falls

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped 0.4% in December, the largest drop since 2008, in large part due to plummeting oil prices. Energy prices outside of the oil and gasoline sectors, however, posted mostly increases, which look to be transitory and will retreat as we move into January. Prices for food moved higher and, outside [...]

Generating Jobs Not Wage Gains

Payroll employment rose by 252,000 in December after being revised up to a whopping 353,000 for the month of November. Private sector payrolls grew a smaller, but still decent, 240,000.

Payrolls Look Strong for December

Total payroll employment is expected to increase by 240,000 in December, with 235,000 gains in the private sector. Gains are expected to be broad-based; the exception may be retailers