THE BASIS POINT

Manufacturing Improving but Flat. Employment Cost Contained.

Mortgage Applications data for last week is not available.  Data for this week will have little meaning because of the storm.

Employment Cost Index (3rdQ2012)

ECI – Quarter/Quarter change 0.4%. Previous was +0.5%
ECI – Year/Year change +2.0%. Previous was +1.7%.

Looking at the components of Employment Cost: Year/Year wages and  salaries are up 1.7% and benefits are up 2.6%.

Chicago PMI (October 2012)

– Index was 49.9.  Previous was 49.7. Contraction is any level below 50.0.

In general, manufacturing in the U.S. remains weak.  In last week’s report for 3rdQ2012 GDP, inventories were -0.12%.  This is where we would see changes in manufacturing.