Inflation Contained, Retail Sales down, Mortgage Applications up.

Wholesale Inflation (October 2012)


PPI – Month/Month -0.2 %
PPI – Year/Year  +2.3 %
PPI less food & energy – Month/Month -0.2 %
PPI less food & energy – Year/Year +2.1 %

Inflation at the wholesale level remains well-contained.

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 11/9/2012)

Purchase Index – Week/Week  +11.0%
Refinance Index – Week/Week +13.0%
Composite Index – Week/Week +12.6%

Low rates lifted refinance applications but I don’t see this data as indicative of much other than storm related time-shifting of activity.  The previous week had all three indices down 5%.

Retail Sales (October 2012)

Retail Sales – Month/Month -0.3%. Previous was +1.1%.
Retail Sales less autos – Month/Month  0.0%. Previous was +1.1%.
Less Autos & Gas – Month/Month  -0.3%. Previous was +0.9%.

Several points:  Retail Sales are nominal dollars not adjusted for inflation, Sandy hurt Retail Sales, September Retail Sales had perhaps been boosted by iPhone 5 sales and even those disappointed investors.

Business Inventories (September 2012)

– Inventories – Month/Month +0.7%.  Considering the relatively flat state of the economy, this is a healthy gain and a component of GDP.  With inventories +0.7% and Retail Sales -0.3% a slowing of inventory growth would now seem to be indicated.