Employment Cost Flattens.

Employment Cost Index (2ndQ2015)

- ECI quarter/quarter +0.2%. Previous was +0.7%
- ECI year/year  +2.0%. Previous was +2.6%.

The +0.2% Q/Q increase is the smallest in the 33 year history of this index.

This may be due the cost of employer paid health care flattening after an increase consequent to ACA.

Chicago PMI  (July 2015)

- Business Barometer Index   54.7. Previous was 49.4


Consumer Sentiment (July 2015)

- Sentiment   93.1. Previous was 93.3.
This is the University of Michigan Index.  This is a survey index which questions 500 households each month on their financial conditions and attitudes about the economy.  It is supposed to be a leading indicator of Consumer Spending in the next 90 days. This Index had been deteriorating slightly since the start of this calendar year.

GDP +2.3% is Weak.

2ndQ2015 GDP Initial – Real GDP quarter/quarter seasonally adjusted, annualized  +2.3%. Previous  was revised up to +0.6% – GDP price index quarter/quarter seasonally adjusted, annualized +2.0%. Previous was +0.1%. – Real Final Sales of Domestic Goods was +2.4%.  This filters out imports, exports and business spending. Coming after a miserable 1stQ a reading of +2.3% […]


Housing Market Softer?

Pending Sales of Existing Homes (June 2015) – Pending Home Sales Index   110.3. Previous was 112.3 – Pending Home Sales Index month/month -1.8%. Increased prices may have strained affordability and there has been a drop in Consumer Confidence.   Mortgage Applications (week ended 7/24/2015) – Purchase Index week/week -0.1%. Previous was +1.0% – Refinance Index […]


Retail muted, Consumer Confidence down.

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 7/25/15)  – Store Sales year/year  +1.0%. Previous was +1.2% Consumer Spending is the heart of the U.S. economy and muted consumer spending will mute GDP growth. S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index (May 2015) – 20-city, seasonally adjusted, month/month  -0.2%. Previous was revised from +0.3% to +0.0% – 20-city, not […]


DGO Recover but down Year/Year.

Durable Goods Orders  (June 2015) – New Orders month/month 3.4%. Previous was -2.1%. – New Orders year/year    -2.8%. Previous was -3.1% – Ex-transportation month/month  0.8%. Previous was -0.1% – Ex-transportation year/year    -4.5%. Previous was -2.5%. While June may be better that the previous month the year/year still shows weakness and the continuing problems with the […]


New Home Sales down.

PMI Manufacturing Index Flash (July 2015) – Level  53.8. Previous was 53.4     New Home Sales (June 2015) – New Home Sales (seasonally adjusted, annualized)  482,000. Previous was 517,000. This is weak and less than expectation.  While housing is always regional New Home Sales certainly are an important macroeconomic indicator.  To some extent what […]


Initial Jobless Lowest in 42 Years.

Jobless Claims (week ended July 18, 2015) – New Claims seasonally adjusted 255,000. Previous was 281,000 – New Claims unadjusted, totaled 262,981  a decrease of 81,382 from previous – 4-week Moving Average  278,500. Previous was 282,000 The 255,000 Initial Claims is the lowest reading in 42 years.   Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index  (June […]


Existing Home Sales Highest since February 2007.

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 7/17/2015) – Purchase Index Week/Week +1.0%. Previous weeks were -8.0%, +7.0%, -4.0%, +1.0%. -4.0%, +10.0%, -3.0%, +1.0%, -4.0%, -0.2%, +1.0%, +0.0%, and +5.0%. – Refinance Index Week/Week -1.0%. Previous weeks were +4.0%, +3.0%, -5.0%, +2.0%, -7.0%, +7.0%, -12.0%, -4.0%, +0.3%, -6.0%, -8.0%, and -4.0%. – Composite Index Week/Week +0.1%. Previous […]


Consumer Spending Remains Soft.

Redbook Chain Store Sales (week ended 7/18/2015)   – Store Sales year/year  +1.2%. Previous was +1.4%. This is of concern in part because June Retail Sales were -0.3%.


Greece’s Problem is Kleptocracy.

Most discussion about Greece misses the underlying cause of the economic crisis there. The fact is that Greece is a kleptocracy. “Kleptocracy” means, more or less, rule by thieves. I am not suggesting that most of this thievery is illegal. Most of it is legal. This nation which is supposed to be the birthplace of […]

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