This week’s economic report: Unemployment lowest since ’08… on paper

This week’s economic report: Unemployment lowest since ’08… on paper

Domestic Economic Indicators 3/2-3/6



Monday 2/2


Personal Income and Outlays

  • Personal Income showed a 0.3% raise after a 0.3% increase in December
  • This was short of analysts’ forecasts of 0.4% increase
  • Personal spending decreased by 0.2% after a decline of 0.3% in December
  • Prices also fell, down 0.5% following a 0.2% fall the prior month
  • Income growth was healthy in January
  • The Personal Income and Outlays is a set of two data points produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis that track personal income and monthly spending


ISM Manufacturing Index

  • Fell from 53.5 the month before to 52.9
  • This was the slowest growth in 13 months for U.S. manufacturing
  • A reading over 50 indicates growth
  • Most components of the index declined, suggesting a slowing in growth in the factory sector, though the main index’s 50-plus reading marks the 28th consecutive month of growth in manufacturing


Construction Spending

  • Fell 1.1% to a seasonally adjusted rate of $971.4 billion
  • This was a result of a decline in both private sector and local and state government building
  • Private sector construction fell 0.5%
  • Public sector fell 2.6%
  • The figure is still up 1.8% from a year ago


Tuesday 2/3


Motor Vehicle Sales

  • Down 2.6% to an annual rate of 16.2 million which is the lowest rate since April
  • North American made vehicles were down 3.0% to a rate of 13.1 million
  • Foreign vehicles were unchanged at 3.1 million
  • 3rd straight decline in motor vehicle sales
  • Motor vehicle sales are good indicators of trends in consumer spending and often are considered a leading indicator at business cycle turning points


Wednesday 2/4


EIA Petroleum Status Report

  • Rose an extremely high 10.3 million barrels last week
  • This is the 8th straight week of large builds for oil inventories
  • Inventories now stand at 444.4 million barrels which broke another 80 year high
  • Refineries are cutting back production which is contributing to the oil build
  • Gasoline supplies are up 4% and distillates are up 16.8% which is very high for these readings

ADP National Employment Report

  • Private sector added 212,000 jobs
  • The sectors that added the most jobs were manufacturing, goods producing, and services
  • Service providing employment added 181,000 jobs
  • Manufacturing added 3,000 jobs
  • Shows job growth is still strong but slowing from the fast pace of recent months
  • The ADP National Employment Report is report that measures levels of non-farm private employment and is based on payroll data from over half of ADP’sS. business clients


Thursday 2/5


Initial Jobless Claims

  • Rose unexpectedly by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000 which was the 2nd consecutive week of increases
  • The weather and a strike from refinery workers was likely the cause of the increase
  • The four week moving average which is a better measure of labor market trends rose 10,250 to 304,750


Factory Orders

  • New orders for manufactured goods fell 0.2%
  • This was the 6 straight monthly decline which points to a weakness in the manufacturing sector
  • Manufacturing has been hurt from soft demand in Europe and Asia, and a strong dollar


Productivity and Labor Costs

  • Productivity declined at an annual rate of 2.2% in the fourth quarter
  • 8% drop was the estimate
  • Labor Costs rose at a rate of 4.1% which was faster than the estimated 2.7%
  • Usually this combination points towards inflation however analysts say the changes in the 4th quarter are only temporary
  • For all of 2014 labor costs were up 1.8% and productivity was up 0.7%


Friday 2/6


Employment Situation

  • Nonfarm payrolls increased 295,000
  • Unemployment rate dropped 0.2% to 5.5% which is the lowest since May 2008
  • This is the rate that some Fed officials consider “full employment”
  • The decline in the unemployment rate was mostly due to people dropping out of the labor force
  • Average hourly earnings rose 3 cents last month leaving the year on year gain at 2%



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.