THE BASIS POINT

Jobless Claims down, Retail Sales Modestly Recover, Inflation Contained.

Jobless Claims (week ended 12/8/2012)

New Claims – 343,000. Previous week was revised down to 372,000.
4-week Moving Average 381,500
Unadjusted New Claims were 428,814 down 72,117 from the previous week.

Claims have decreased for 4 consecutive weeks.

Initial Jobless Claims data has been distorted: 1) Sandy 2) Christmas hiring and 3) seasonal layoffs due to bad weather. Nonetheless, the data is positive.

Retail Sales (November 2012)

Retail Sales – Month/Month 0.3%
Retail Sales less autos – Month/Month 0.0%
Less Autos & Gas – Month/Month 0.7%

Since Retail Sales in the previous month had been impacted by Sandy and were down 0.3% in both total and less Autos/Gas what we see is a 2 month period of rather modest increase.

PPI (November 2012)

PPI – Month/Month -0.8%
PPI – Year/Year 1.4%
PPI less food & energy – Month/Month 0.1%
PPI less food & energy – Year/Year 2.2%

The 0.8% drop in Month/Month is largely due to the decreased cost of energy. The index for finished energy goods fell 4.6 percent in November.

Business Inventories (October 2012)

Inventories – Month/Month 0.4%. Previous was +0.7%.