Monday July 27 2015
US Durable Goods Orders Beat Expectations
US Census Bureau | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

New orders for US manufactured goods rose 3.4 percent in June from May, first increase in three months, lead by strong bookings for passenger airplanes.

Transportation equipment, also up following two consecutive monthly decreases, increased $6.4 billion or 8.9 percent to $78.4 billion boosted by a 66.1 percent surge in aircraft orders.

Excluding transportation, orders rose 0.8 percent in June, the highest gain since August 2014. Excluding defense, orders went up 3.8 percent. Non-defense capital orders excluding aircrafts rose 0.9 percent.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in June, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, increased $0.3 billion or 0.1 percent to $239.4 billion. This followed a 0.3 percent May decrease.  Transportation equipment, also up following two consecutive monthly decreases, drove the increase, $0.4 billion or 0.5 percent to $77.5 billion.

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in June, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, increased $1.0 billion or 0.1 percent to $1,195.8 billion. This followed a 0.5 percent May decrease. Transportation equipment, also up following two consecutive monthly decreases, led the increase, $0.8 billion or 0.1 percent to $799.5 billion.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods in June, up twenty-four of the last twenty-five months, increased $1.6 billion or 0.4 percent to $402.3 billion. This was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 0.2 percent May decrease. Transportation equipment, up two of the last three months, led the increase, $0.7 billion or 0.5 percent to $130.8 billion.

Nondefense new orders for capital goods in June increased $6.9 billion or 9.4 percent to $80.8 billion. Shipments decreased $0.1 billion or 0.2 percent to $78.6 billion. Unfilled orders increased $2.2 billion or 0.3 percent to $759.2 billion. Inventories increased $1.0 billion or 0.6 percent to $177.5 billion.

Defense new orders for capital goods in June decreased $0.2 billion or 2.5 percent to $8.8 billion. Shipments increased $0.4 billion or 3.8 percent to $9.9 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $1.1 billion or 0.7 percent to $149.6 billion. Inventories increased $0.1 billion or 0.3 percent to $21.9 billion.
Figures for May were revised to show durable goods fell at a slower 2.1 percent.




Friday July 24 2015
New Home Sales at 7-Month Low
U.S. Census Bureau | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Sales of new single-family houses in the US shrank 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 482,000 units in June. It is the lowest figure since November last year.

Figures for May were revised downwards to show new home sales fell 1.1 percent to 517 thousand from 546 thousand previously reported.

Sales in the West recorded the highest drop compared to the previous month (-17 percent), followed by the Midwest (-11.1 percent) and the South (-4.1 percent) while sales surged 28 percent in the Northeast.

The median sales price of new houses sold in June 2015 was $281,800; the average sales price was $328,700. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of June was 215,000. This represents a supply of 5.4 months at the current sales rate (4.5 in May).





Friday July 24 2015
US Factory Activity Edges Up in July
Markit | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI increased slightly to 53.8 in July from a 20-month low of 53.6 in June, better than market expectations. Although job creation slowed to its lowest since April, output and new business increased at a faster pace.

A rebound in overall growth momentum largely reflected stronger rises in output and new business levels in July. Meanwhile, softer job creation was the main factor weighing on the headline PMI during the latest survey period.

Manufacturing production volumes increased at a robust and accelerated pace in July. Reports from survey respondents cited improving domestic economic conditions and a general upturn in client demand. That said, some manufacturers noted that reduced capital spending within the energy sector continued to act as a drag on sales. 

Measured overall, July’s survey pointed to a strong rise in incoming new business, with the rate of expansion picking up to its fastest for three months. A number of survey respondents noted that subdued export demand, as well as the strong dollar, had encouraged them to focus sales efforts on faster growing domestic markets. July data nonetheless indicated a marginal rebound in total new work from abroad, which ended a three-month period of falling export sales across the manufacturing sector.

Despite an upturn in output and new business growth in July, the latest survey signalled a degree of caution among manufacturers in terms of input buying and job hiring. The latest increase in purchasing activity was the slowest for a year-and-a-half, which some survey respondents linked to excess inventories at their plants. Meanwhile, manufacturing payroll numbers expanded at the least marked pace since April.

July data indicated that cost inflation remained subdued across the manufacturing sector. Although input prices increased for the third month running, the pace of inflation moderated since June and was well below the survey average. Manufacturers pointed to subdued raw material costs and lower prices from overseas suppliers (especially those based in Asia). Factory gate price inflation also remained subdued in July, with the latest rise in U.S. manufacturers’ output charges the weakest recorded for three months.




Thursday July 23 2015
US Jobless Claims Lowest Since 1973
DOL | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 26,000 to 255,000 in the week ended July 18th. Figures came much better than market expectations, reaching the lowest level since November 1973.

The previous week's level was unrevised at 281,000. Jobless claims tend to be more volatile during the summer as some plants close, mainly automakers and there are school vacations. Since first week of March, claims have been below the 300,000 level which is typically consistent with an improving job market.

The 4-week moving average was 278,500, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's unrevised average of 282,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.6 percent for the week ending July 11, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending July 11 was 2,207,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up 1,000 from 2,215,000 to 2,216,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,253,750, a decrease of 10,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 2,264,000 to 2,264,250.





Tuesday July 21 2015
US Industrial Production Revised Down in June
Fed | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Industrial output in the US rose 0.2 percent in June from May, lower than an initial estimate of 0.3 percent, annual revisions from the Fed showed. Yet, it is the first increase in six months.

Manufacturing production fell 0.1 percent after being reported as unchanged in the initial estimate. The capacity utilization rate was also revised down to 77.8 percent from 78.4 percent.

The Federal Reserve revised data for industrial production and capacity utilization from 1972 to June of 2015 and changed the base year to 2012 from 2007. In 2014, industrial output grew 3.7 percent, less than 4.1 percent previously reported while capacity utilization was revised lower to 78.1 percent from 79.1 percent. 




Friday July 17 2015
US Consumer Sentiment Falls in July
University of Michigan | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The University of Michigan's preliminary reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment came in at 93.3 in July, down from 96.1 in June and well below market expectations as concerns over the Greek crisis and the Chinese slowdown drove current and future expectations down.

The barometer of current economic conditions fell to 106 in July from a final reading of 108.9 in June and the gauge of consumer expectations decreased to 85.2 from 87.8 in the previous month.

Americans expect the inflation rate in the next year will rise to 2.8 percent from 2.7 percent in June. Over the next 5 to 10 years, they expect consumer prices to rise 2.7 percent, compared with 2.6 percent in the previous month.




Friday July 17 2015
US Inflation Rate Rises for the First Time in 6 Months
BLS | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in the US increased 0.1 percent year-on-year in June of 2015 after remaining flat in the previous month. It is the first increase since December as a rise in cost of shelter and food offset a decline in prices of energy.

Year-on-year, upward pressure came from prices of food (up 1.8 percent) and services excluding energy (up 2.5 percent) namely shelter (up 3 percent), transportation services (up 1.7 percent) and medical care (up 2.3 percent). Despite rising in May and June, the energy index declined 15.0 percent in June and prices of commodities less food and energy fell 0.4 percent. 

Core inflation rate which excludes food and energy went up to 1.8 percent in June from 1.7 percent in May.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased 0.3 percent, in line with expectations but slowing from a 0.4 percent increase in May. The rise was broad-based, with advances in the indexes for gasoline (up 3.4 percent), shelter (up 3 percent) and food (up 0.3 percent) all contributing. The energy index rose for the second straight month as the indexes for gasoline, electricity, and natural gas all increased. The food index posted its largest increase since September 2014, partly due to a sharp increase in the eggs index.

Core consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in June. In addition to the rise in the shelter index, the indexes for recreation, airline fares, personal care, tobacco, and new vehicles were among the indexes that increased in June. These advances more than offset declines in the indexes for medical care, household furnishings and operations, used cars and trucks, and apparel.





Friday July 17 2015
US Building Activity Recovers in June
Commerce Department | anna@tradingeconomics.com

U.S. housing starts rose 9.8 percent from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million in June while building permits increased 7.4 percent to 1.34 million. Their are at the highest levels since 2007.

The surge in housing starts was driven by construction of multifamily housing units, including apartments and condominiums, which increased 29.4 percent. The single-family housing starts dropped 0.9 percent to 685,000 units. The June rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 476,000. Friday’s report showed new-home construction fell 10.2% in May from the prior month, compared with an initially reported 11.1% drop.

Building permits in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,343,000. This is 7.4 percent  above the revised May rate of 1,250,000. It is the highest level since July of 2007. Single-family authorizations in June were at a rate of 687,000; this is 0.9 percent above the revised May figure of 681,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 621,000 in June.




Thursday July 16 2015
US Jobless Claims Fall More than Expected
DOL | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 15,000 to 281,000 in the week ended July 11th, better than market forecasts and reaching the lowest value in four weeks.

The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 297,000 to 296,000.

The 4-week moving average was 282,500, an increase of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 250 from 279,500 to 279,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.6 percent for the week ending July 4, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending July 4 was 2,215,000, a decrease of 112,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 7,000 from 2,334,000 to 2,327,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,264,000, a decrease of 2,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 1,750 from 2,268,250 to 2,266,500.


Wednesday July 15 2015
US Industrial Production Rebounds
Fed | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Industrial output rose 0.3 percent in June from May, beating market expectations and recovering from contraction in the previous two months. It is the highest gain in seven months boosted by mining and utilities while manufacturing was flat.

Manufacturing output was unchanged in June and increased at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2015. In June, the output of nondurables posted a small increase. Within nondurables, chemicals and products posted the largest advance, 0.7 percent, while all of the other major industries registered gains or losses of less than 1/2 percent. The output of durables edged down. Among durable goods industries, the indexes for motor vehicles and parts and for wood products dropped substantially, while the indexes for computer and electronic products, for furniture and related products, and for miscellaneous manufacturing each rose substantially. The indexes for other durable goods industries were little changed. The output of other manufacturing industries (publishing and logging) fell nearly 1 percent. 

The index for mining advanced 1.0 percent as a result of an increase in crude oil extraction. The index for oil and gas well drilling and servicing fell for the seventh consecutive month, although the decrease, about 3 percent, was its smallest since December; the index in June was nearly 50 percent below its November level. Coal production fell sharply in June, its third consecutive monthly decline. For the second quarter of 2015, mining output dropped at an annual rate of 5.7 percent. 

The output of utilities increased 1.5 percent in June but fell 13.5 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter of 2015.

The capacity utilization rate for manufacturing edged down 0.1 percentage point in June to 77.2 percent, a rate 1.4 percentage points below its long-run average. The operating rate for durable goods factories declined 0.3 percentage point to 76.5 percent, and the operating rate for nondurable goods manufacturing edged up 0.1 percentage point to 79.6 percent. The utilization rates in each sector remained below their long-run averages, though by 1 percentage point or less. The capacity utilization rate for other manufacturing (publishing and logging) decreased 0.4 percentage point to 57.2 percent, a rate 24.0 percentage points below its long-run average. The utilization rate for mines moved up 0.7 percentage point to 84.1 percent, while the rate for utilities increased 1.2 percentage points to 80.7 percent.