Tag Archives: sequestration

Durable Goods Post Hollow Gains

Durable goods orders rose a larger-than-expected 2.2% in February. Much of the increase was concentrated in the volatile, lagged orders of aircraft and parts. Orders for motor vehicles and parts were also up after two months of declines, reflecting a bit of a comeback after unusually harsh winter weather took a toll on sales in [...]

Personal Spending Flatlined in July

Disposable personal income increased 0.2% in July, only 0.1% after adjusting for inflation. The weakness in income was fairly widespread, with losses in both manufacturing and service sectors. We also saw the imprint of sequestration on government wages and salaries, with a sharp acceleration in the pace of declines reported. Increases in income were largely [...]

Employment Disappoints

Payroll employment rose a less-than-expected 162,000 in July and was revised down by 26,000 for the previous two months. That is more consistent with the lackluster economic growth that we have seen since the start of the year. Moreover, the composition of employment gains remains less than stellar, with many of the gains concentrated in [...]

Real GDP Up 1.7% in Second Quarter 2013

Every July, the government plays a cruel trick on economists and tells them that what they once thought were actual data were not, after all. Instead, that was the government’s best guess of what was happening but now that more information and better measurements of the data are available, history as we knew it has [...]

Durable Goods Up on Aircraft Orders

Durable goods orders jumped 4.2% in June after being revised up for the month of May. The dirt is in the details, however, and the overwhelming majority of those gains were concentrated in aircraft orders (Boeing), which take years to fill and can later be cancelled on the flip of a dime. We also saw [...]

Incomes and Spending Rebound in May

Personal disposable incomes rose 0.4% in May, after adjusting for inflation; that marks a moderate pickup after almost flatlining in April. Gains in wages and salaries more than offset a sharp decline in farm incomes, while payments from social benefits came back after an unusual drop in April.

Employment Report Confirms Moderation in Growth

CNBC asks Diane Swonk to explain the latest employment data. Payroll employment in the month of May rose by 175,000, which was more than most expected. Revisions to both March and April, however, showed a downward adjustment of 12,000. In general, employment growth has moderated from a 207,000 +  per month pace in the October [...]

Consumer Spending Headline Overstates Weakness

Personal consumption expenditures declined 0.2% in April, after being revised down slightly for March. Inflation abated, however, which means that consumer spending squeaked out a small, 0.1% increase after adjusting for price changes. Falling prices at the pump (everywhere but in Chicago, where refinery problems raised prices) pushed inflation down during the month. We also [...]

Little News in GDP Revision for Q1

Real GDP for the first quarter was revised down slightly on larger declines in government spending. Those cuts in government will persist into the second and third quarters. It looks like sequestration (automatic spending cuts) could easily stay put in 2014.

Industrial Production Falls with Decline in Heating Demand

Industrial production fell 0.5% in April after increasing 0.3% in March. Most of the weakness showed up in a 3.7% monthly drop in utilities. Heat, in particular, didn’t need to be turned on as much, once spring arrived a month late. That said, losses were widespread with the only notable gains in mining. Production of [...]