The Economic Picture, by the numbers – week of February 17th

The Economic Picture, by the numbers – week of February 17th

Monday February 17th

-U.S. markets were closed for Presidents Day


Tuesday February 18th

New York Fed Manufacturing Survey

-fell to 4.48 down from 12.51 the month before

-was expected to fall but only to around 8

-new orders were near 0 but anything above 0 shows expansion

-this survey is used to forecast the health of the national industrial sector which is slowing down considerably


Wednesday February 19th

Building Permits & Housing Starts

-housing starts fell 16% due to weather which is the biggest drop in 3 years

-new permits dropped 5.5% which is the 3rd month of declines

-may signal slow growth and weakness in the housing market


Producer Price Index (PPI)

-rose 0.2% which was more than the 0.1% that was expected

-measures the average change over time in selling prices received by producers for their output

-lament terms it measures price change from a seller’s perspective

-core prices were up 0.2%

-this is a better gauge of long term inflationary pressures because they exclude volatile categories such as food  and energy that may skew the number


Thursday February 20th

Initial Jobless Claims

-fell 3,000 to 336,000 which is right around what was expected

-this may point to steadily improving labor market conditions


Consumer Price Index (CPI)

-rose 0.1% which was in line with expectations

-shows that inflation remains mild

-core rose 0.1% which excludes categories such as food and energy

-Inflation is at 1.6% which is below the Fed’s target of 2%

-inflation was held back by slow economic growth and a poor job market

-if inflation continues this stagnate pace it may cause the Fed to extend its stimulus


Leading Indicators

-an outlook of the next 3 to 6 months

-a good indicator of overall strength of the economy

-includes new orders, jobless claims, money supply, average workweek, building permits, stock prices, and many more

-rose 0.3% which is around what was expected


Friday February 21st

Existing Home Sales

-Fell to an 18 month low

-Sales dropped 5.1% to a rate of 4.62 million units

-could be a result of mortgage rates rising and home prices outpacing income growth

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