Tag Archives: Sandy

Industrial Production Higher on Utilities and Durables

The index of industrial production jumped 0.7% in February as more seasonal weather returned, prompting many consumers to raise thermostats and businesses to increase production of everything from vehicles to appliances, electronics, furniture and carpeting. Moreover, manufacturing gains for the previous two months were revised up. The pickup in production in consumer durables reflects several [...]

January Incomes Plummet but Spending Edges Higher

Personal disposable incomes contracted at a whopping 4% monthly pace in January in response to a combination of hedging on tax hikes in December (which pulled income from January into December) and actual tax hikes on January 1. The expiration of the payroll tax holiday was a particularly large hit at the start of the [...]

Industrial Production Yields Ground Following Robust End to 2012

Industrial production slipped 0.1% in January, after being revised up for the months of November and December. Vehicle production fell after posting robust gains in the fourth quarter, while housing-related durables (furniture, appliances and carpeting) continued to show new signs of demand. This reflects the comeback in the housing market combined with repair and replacement [...]

Retail Sales Tepid in January

Retail sales rose a tepid 0.1% in January, as declines in vehicle and furniture sales offset increases elsewhere. Much of the strength in retail spending at the end of 2012 was concentrated in vehicles and big-ticket items as victims of Superstorm Sandy began the process of repairing and replacing damaged cars, furniture and appliances. Spending [...]

Labor Market Continues to Heal Unevenly

Non-farm payrolls rose 157,000 in January, which was less than expected. Benchmark revisions, however, showed that we created significantly more jobs in 2012 than initially reported: some 127,000 more in the last two months of the year alone. Total job gains in 2012 were 2.1 million, some 335,000 more than initially reported for the year. [...]

Hedging Tax Hikes Distorts Income, but Suppresses Spending

Personal disposable income growth jumped 2.8% in December, more than twice the increase in November. All of that acceleration may be attributed to special dividends and early bonuses that were released to top income earners by their employers as a way to avoid higher income taxes associated with the fiscal cliff negotiations. Indeed, personal disposable [...]

GDP Contracts in Q4 2012

Real GDP fell 0.1%, much weaker than the already weak estimates for the fourth quarter. Inventories, government spending and exports all declined. This is likely to be a disappointment for markets and analysts, who expected a meager growth rate below 1.0%. The drop in inventories was mostly due to the residual drop in farm stocks [...]

Durable Goods Orders Suggest Return of Investment

Durable goods orders jumped 4.6% in December, the seventh increase in eight months. Gains were widespread across sectors. Transportation led with orders for vehicles still robust. Hopefully, there are some heavy trucks in there, given the poor condition of the fleets I see on the road these days. Non-defense aircraft orders are also still showing [...]

Trade Deficit Widens on Vehicle & Parts Imports

The U.S. trade deficit widened to a much-larger-than-expected $48.7 billion in November, as Superstorm Sandy victims replaced their damaged vehicles at a record pace. We are also seeing some high-end German vehicle producers stock their lots with more test-drive vehicles to unload inventories building in Europe. Exports also increased, but at a much slower pace. [...]

ADP Jobs Jump; Construction on the Mend

The ADP report showed that private payrolls rose 215,000 in December, with a particularly strong showing in construction more than offsetting a drop in manufacturing. This contradicts the ISM report released yesterday, which suggested that hiring in manufacturing had picked up in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Service sector jobs remained strong with gains of [...]