Ignore Today’s Data


This is one of those days where economic fundamentals say little about the economy.  Read on.

Jobless Claims (week ended 1/26/2012)
– New Claims (seasonally adjusted) 368,000.
– Previous was 330,000.
– Unadjusted Claims 366,596
– 4-week Moving Average 352,000.

It may be the case that the week-to-week variations are induced by the seasonal corrections rather that the actual data. Last week unadjusted claims were 436,766 and adjusted claims were 330,000.

Challenger Job-Cut Report (January 2013)
– Announced Layoffs 40,430
– Previous month was 32,556.

Personal Income and Outlays (December 2012)
– Personal Income Month/Month +2.6%
– Consumer Spending Month/Month  +0.2%

In BEA’s words: “Personal income in November and December was boosted by accelerated and special dividend payments to persons and by accelerated bonus payments and other irregular pay in private wages and salaries in anticipation of changes in individual income tax rates.  Personal income in December was also boosted by lump-sum social security benefit payments.”

Employment Cost Index (4thQ2012)
– ECI Quarter/Quarter +0.5%
– ECI Year/Year +1.9%
– Wage inflation remains well under control as the unemployment rate remains high.

Chicago PMI (January 2013)
– Business Barometer Index 55.6.
– Previous was 51.6 revised down to 50.0. 
– Most of the other regional reports have been negative.

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