Thursday October 23 2014
US Manufacturing Activity Slows in October
Markit | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI decreased to 56.2 in October from 57.5 in September. It is the lowest figure in four months as new business posted the smallest gain this year and new export sales recorded the slowest rise since July.

Softer new business growth was the main negative influence on the headline PMI in October, as the latest rise in new orders was much weaker than in September and the slowest for nine months. A number of survey respondents commented on more cautious spending patterns among clients, especially in relation to export sales. October data pointed to only a moderate expansion of new orders from abroad, with the pace of growth easing sharply to a three-month low.

In line with softer new business gains, manufacturing output growth also slowed in October. The latest increase in production volumes was the weakest since March. Moreover, the rate of output growth has now moderated for two months in a row, which represents the first back-to-back slowdown since May 2013.

October data pointed to resilient manufacturing payrolls trends, despite a continued moderation in both output and new business growth. The rate of job creation was little-changed from September’s two-and-a-half year high and much sharper than the average seen since the survey began in May 2007.




Thursday October 23 2014
US Jobless Claims Rise in Latest Week
DOL | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

In the week ending October 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 283,000, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 from 264,000 to 266,000.

The 4-week moving average was 281,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since May 6, 2000 when it was 279,250. The previous week's average was revised up by 500 from 283,500 to 284,000. 

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. 

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.8 percent for the week ending October 11, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 11 was 2,351,000, a decrease of 38,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 2,389,000. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since December 23, 2000 when it was 2,340,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,381,000, a decrease of 22,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 2,403,750. This is the lowest level for this average since May 20, 2006 when it was 2,377,750.




Wednesday October 22 2014
US Inflation Rate Steady at 1.7%
BLS | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

US annual inflation rate was recorded at 1.7 percent in September, the same as in August. On a monthly basis consumer prices rose 0.1 percent, as increases in shelter and food cost outweighed declines in energy prices.

Increases in shelter and food indexes outweighed declines in energy indexes to result in the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The food index rose 0.3 percent as five of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased. The energy index declined 0.7 percent as the indexes for gasoline, electricity, and fuel oil all fell.  

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in September. Along with the shelter index, the index for medical care increased, and the indexes for alcoholic beverages and for personal care advanced slightly. Several indexes were unchanged, and the indexes for airline fares and for used cars and trucks declined in September.

The all items index increased 1.7 percent over the last 12 months, the same increase as for the 12 months ending August. The 12-month change in the index for all items less food and energy also remained at 1.7 percent. The 12-month change in the shelter index has been gradually increasing, and reached 3.0 percent for the first time since January 2008. The food index has also risen 3.0 percent over the span, while the energy index has declined 0.6 percent.




Friday October 17 2014
US Consumer Sentiment Beats Expectations
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment increased to a preliminary reading of 86.4 in October from 84.6 in September. It is the highest reading in seven years.

The barometer of current economic conditions registered 98.9 in October, unchanged from September’s figure. The gauge of consumer expectations rose to 78.4 from 75.4 in the previous month. 

The one-year inflation expectations decreased to 2.8 percent in October from 3 percent in September and the five-to-ten-year inflation outlook was steady at 2.8 percent.




Friday October 17 2014
US Housing Starts Rebound in September
U.S. Census Bureau | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Privately-owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,017,000. This is 6.3 percent above the revised August estimate of 957,000 and is 17.8 percent above the September 2013 rate of 863,000.

Single-family housing starts in September were at a rate of 646,000; this is 1.1 percent above the revised August figure of 639,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 353,000.

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,018,000. This is 1.5 percent above the revised August rate of 1,003,000 and is 2.5 percent above the September 2013 estimate of 993,000. Single-family authorizations in September were at a rate of 624,000; this is 0.5 percent (±1.1%)* below the revised August figure of 627,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 369,000 in September.




Thursday October 16 2014
US Industrial Production Better Than Expected
Federal Reserve | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

US industrial output rose 1 percent in September of 2014, following a revised 0.2 percent drop in August. It is the highest gain in nearly two years, driven by a surge in mining and utilities output.

In September, manufacturing production moved up 0.5 percent with widespread gains across its components. Output increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter; on average, it has advanced at a pace of about 4 percent over the past four quarters. The factory operating rate rose 0.2 percentage point in September to 77.3 percent, a rate 1.4 percentage points below its long-run average.

The production of durable goods increased 0.4 percent in September and rose at an annual rate of 6.6 percent in the third quarter; it has increased in each quarter since the third quarter of 2009. In September, the indexes for aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, for furniture and related products, and for miscellaneous manufacturing all posted increases of more than 1 1/2 percent; decreases of more than 3/4 percent were registered both by wood products and by motor vehicles and parts. Capacity utilization for durable goods manufacturing increased 0.1 percentage point to 77.6 percent, a rate 0.6 percentage point above its long-run average.

The production of nondurable goods moved up 0.5 percent in September and increased at an annual rate of 1.2 percent in the third quarter. With the exception of petroleum and coal products, each of the major components of nondurables posted gains in September. The largest increases were recorded by apparel and leather and by plastics and rubber products. The operating rate for nondurable manufacturing increased 0.3 percentage point to 78.6 percent, a rate 2.1 percentage points below its long-run average.

The output of non-NAICS manufacturing industries (publishing and logging) was unchanged in September following a decrease of 0.6 percent in August. The index dropped at an annual rate of 12.5 percent in the third quarter. As a result of continuing declines in the index for publishing, the output of non-NAICS manufacturing industries has trended downward over the past 15 years.

Mining output rose 1.8 percent in September and has advanced 9.1 percent in the past 12 months. Capacity utilization at mines moved up 0.9 percentage point in September to 90.1 percent, a rate 2.8 percentage points above its long-run average. The output of utilities jumped 3.9 percent, an increase that likely reflected unseasonably high demand for air conditioning as temperatures swung from below normal in August to above normal in September. The operating rate for utilities in September increased 2.9 percentage points to 79.2 percent, a rate 6.9 percentage points below its long-run average.

Capacity utilization rates in September for industries grouped by stage of process were as follows: At the crude stage, utilization increased 0.8 percentage point to 87.6 percent, a rate 1.3 percentage points above its long-run average; at the primary and semifinished stages, utilization moved up 0.7 percentage point to 77.7 percent, a rate 3.1 percentage points below its long-run average; and at the finished stage, utilization increased 0.2 percentage point to 77.1 percent, a rate equal to its long-run average.

At 105.1 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in September was 4.3 percent above its level of a year earlier. For the third quarter as a whole, industrial production advanced at an annual rate of 3.2 percent, roughly its average quarterly increase since the end of 2010. 




Thursday October 16 2014
US Jobless Claims Down to 14-Year Low
DOL | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

In the week ending October 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 264,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 287,000. This is the lowest level for initial claims since April 15, 2000 when it was 259,000.

The 4-week moving average was 283,500, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 287,750. This is the lowest level for this average since June 10, 2000 when it was 283,500. 

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. 

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.8 percent for the week ending October 4, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 4 was 2,389,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up 1,000 from 2,381,000 to 2,382,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,403,750, a decrease of 10,750 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since June 17, 2006 when it was 2,399,000. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 2,414,250 to 2,414,500. 


Wednesday October 15 2014
US Budget Surplus Widens in September
US Treasury | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The US budget surplus reached USD 105.8 billion in September of 2014, up 41 percent from a year earlier and better than market expectations.

In September, receipts reached USD 352 billion, up 16.9 percent year-on-year while the outlays rose at a slower 8.9 percent to USD 246 billion.

The year-to-date deficit was USD 483 billion at the end of September of 2014, down from USD 680 billion last year. The deficit to GDP ratio reached 2.8 percent, the lowest since 2007.




Wednesday October 15 2014
US Retail Sales Disappoint in September
US Commerce Department | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

US retail and food services sales dropped 0.3 percent in September from August, following a 0.6 percent increase in the previous period. It is the first drop in eight months, as consumers spend less in gasoline stations and motor vehicle stores.

Retail sales in clothing stores recorded the highest fall in August (-1.2 percent), followed by building material and garden equipment dealers (-1.1 percent) and gasoline stations (-0.8 percent). Retail sales in motor vehicles stores dropped 0.8 percent, following a 1.9 percent rise in August. Sales in furniture stores also contracted 0.8 percent. 

In contrast, sales in electronics and appliance stores rose 3.4 percent and those in food and beverages dealers were flat in September. 

Core sales, which strip out automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services fell 0.2 percent in September. Retail sales excluding automobiles decreased 0.2 percent.

Year-on-year retail sales rose 4.3 percent. Total sales for the July through September 2014 period were up 4.5 percent from the same period a year ago.




Thursday October 09 2014
US Jobless Claims Down to 287K
DOL | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

In the week ending October 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 287,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week's revised level. There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims.

The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 287,000 to 288,000.

The 4-week moving average was 287,750, a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since February 4, 2006 when it was 286,500. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 294,750 to 295,000. 

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.8 percent for the week ending September 27, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending September 27 was 2,381,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since May 27, 2006 when it was 2,381,000. The previous week's level was revised up 4,000 from 2,398,000 to 2,402,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,414,250, a decrease of 27,750 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since July 1, 2006 when it was 2,406,250. The previous week's average was revised up by 750 from 2,441,250 to 2,442,000.