Data Updates

Data Updates

January 2014

  • 01.31.2014
  • Personal Income and Consumption
  • Nominal personal income was essentially flat in December, increasing less than 0.1 percent. This follows a 0.1 percent decline in October and a 0.2 percent increase in November. Over the past twelve months, nominal personal income has declined 0.8 percent. Disposable personal income (DPI)—personal income less current personal taxes—was also flat in December, declining less than 0.1 percent, and as fallen 1.7 percent on a year-over-year basis. After controlling for price changes, real disposable personal income declined 0.2 percent in December following a similar decline of 0.2 percent in October and a 0.1 percent increase in November. Since December of 2012, real disposable personal income has fallen 2.7 percent.

    Real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2 percent in December, following a strong 0.6 percent increase in November; and over the past twelve months, consumption has increased 2.5 percent. Consumption of durable goods fell 1.4 percent in December, following an increase of 2.1 percent in November, while consumption of nondurable goods increased 1.0 percent for the month. Services consumption increased 0.2 percent in December, and has been positive for each of the last five months. On a year-over-year basis, durable and nondurable goods consumption have increased 4.8 and 3.7 percent, respectively, while services consumption is up 1.7 percent. The larger increase in consumption relative to income resulted in a third consecutive monthly decline in the personal savings rate, from 4.3 to 3.9 percent, its lowest level since January of last year.

  • 01.31.2014
  • PCE Price Index
  • The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index increased at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent in December. This follows a 0.2 percent increase in November, and on a year-over-year basis, the PCE price index has increased 1.1 percent. Contributing to the monthly increase in the headline index during December was an increase in the volatile price index for energy goods and services, which was up 29.5 percent for the month. The core PCE price index, which excludes food and energy prices, increased 1.1 percent in December, following 1.1 percent increases in each of the prior three months. Over the past year, the core PCE price index has increased 1.2 percent, as the twelve-month percent change in core PCE prices has remained in the narrow range between 1.1 and 1.2 percent since early 2013. The market-based core PCE price index, which also excludes most imputed prices, increased 0.8 percent in December, following increases of 1.1 percent in both October and November, and over the past year, this index has increased 1.2 percent.
  • 01.31.2014
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment was revised up slightly to 81.2 from January’s initial reading of 80.4. The end result was a 1.3 point decline in the index from December to January. The improvement from the January preliminary report was the result of slight upward revisions to both the current conditions and the consumer expectations components. The current conditions component was revised up from 95.2 to 96.8, which marks a 1.8 point decline from December. Meanwhile, the consumer expectations component was revised up from 70.9 to 71.2, a drop of 0.9 point from the previous month. Median short-run (one-year ahead) inflation expectations were revised up slightly to 3.1 percent from 3.0 percent earlier in the month, while longer-term (five-years ahead) inflation expectations remained at 2.9 percent.
  • 01.31.2014
  • Employment Cost Index
  • Employer costs of compensation for civilian workers rose 0.5 percent (nonannualized) in the fourth quarter, following a 0.4 percent increase in the third quarter. The wages and salary component increased 0.6 percent, slightly below the third quarter’s 0.3 percent advance. The benefits component rose 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter. Year-over-year, civilian compensation advanced 2.0 percent in the fourth quarter, right in-line with its average since the recession ended—1.9 percent. Civilian wages and salaries increased 1.9 percent over the past twelve months, while benefits rose 2.2 percent. Private compensation grew 0.5 percent from last quarter. Private wages and salaries increased 0.6 percent, while benefits grew 0.5 percent.
  • 01.30.2014
  • GDP
  • According to the advance estimate, real GDP increased at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Contributing to this increase were improvements to consumption, business investment, inventories, and net exports. The components that decreased in the fourth quarter were residential investment and government spending. During 2013, real GDP increased 1.9 percent overall. Personal consumption expenditures were a primary contributor to the improvement in real GDP during the fourth quarter. Consumption increased 3.3 percent in, which was the result of increases in all three of the major consumption categories. Durable and nondurable goods consumption increased 5.9 and 4.4 percent, respectively, while services consumption increased 2.5 percent. The increase in consumption was the largest since the fourth quarter of 2010, and consumption contributed 2.3 percentage points to real GDP growth, over half of the overall gain.

    Business fixed investment increased 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter, contributing 0.5 percentage points to real GDP growth. Investment in equipment increased 6.9 percent and investment in intellectual property increased 3.2 percent. These gains were partially offset by a 1.2 percent decline in investment in structures. Additionally, inventory investment increased as well, contributing another 0.4 percentage points to the percent change in real GDP. Residential investment declined for the first time since 2010, as it fell 9.8 percent for the quarter. This reduction in residential investment subtracted 0.3 percentage points from overall GDP growth.

    Government spending also fell during the fourth quarter, as it decreased 4.9 percent. The decline in government spending was the result of a 12.6 percent decline in federal government spending, as state and local government spending increased 0.5 percent. This reduction subtracted 0.9 percentage pointa from GDP growth for the quarter. A sizable increase in exports coupled with a modest increase in imports lead to a strong positive contribution from net exports to GDP growth. Exports increased 11.4 percent, the largest increase since the fourth quarter of 2010, while imports increased just 0.9 percent. This resulted in a quarterly contribution from net exports of 1.3 percentage points to GDP growth.

  • 01.28.2014
  • Durable Goods
  • New orders for durable goods fell 4.3 percent in December. Over the past year, new orders are up 4.9 percent. New orders for transportation equipment lead the decline, falling 9.5 percent in October. Excluding volatile transportation equipment orders, new orders were down 1.6 percent, following an increase of 0.1 percent in November. Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, which is used to evaluate the near-term outlook in equipment and software investment, declined 1.3 percent in December. Shipments of durable goods, which are up 3.4 percent over the past year, fell 1.9 percent in December. Perhaps more encouraging is that shipments of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, which map directly into GDP, fell only 0.2 percent in December after increasing 2.3 percent in November. On a year-over-year basis, shipments of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft are up 1.5 percent.
  • 01.28.2014
  • Home Price Indexes
  • In November, the FHFA housing price index rose 0.1 percent for the month and 7.6 percent over the past 12 months. The November housing price purchase-only index change marks the twenty-second consecutive monthly increase. Regionally, monthly price changes ranged from a 0.5 percent increase in the West North and East North Central regions to a 1.4 percent decline in the East South Central. On an annual basis, all areas posted positive growth rates ranging from a 3.2 percent increase in the South Atlantic to a 15.4 percent increase in the Pacific. Overall, the index is back to early-2005 price levels.

  • 01.27.2014
  • New Home Sales
  • New single-family home sales fell 7.0 percent in December, but are up 4.5 percent over the past 12 months to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 414,000 units sold. While most areas showed relatively stable sales growth, the Northeast posted sharp monthly and annual declines, down 36.4 percent and 27.6 percent, respectively. The inventory of new single-family homes available for sale was 171,000, representing a five-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price of new single-family homes was $270,200, up 0.6 percent for the month and 4.6 percent compared to December 2012.
  • 01.23.2014
  • Existing Home Sales
  • In December, existing single-family home sales rose 1.9 percent for the month, but are down 0.7 percent over the past 12 months to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 4.3 million units sold. The median sales price was $197,900, increasing 1.3 percent for the month and 9.8 percent compared to December 2012. The inventory of existing single-family homes stood at 1.6 million units, down 10.4 percent for the month, but up 1.9 percent on an annual basis, representing a 4.6 month supply of homes at the current sales pace.
  • 01.17.2014
  • Industrial Production
  • Industrial production rose 0.3 percent in December for a fifth consecutive monthly increase. In the fourth quarter of 2013, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 6.8 percent. This is the largest quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2010. Manufacturing production increased 0.4 percent in December and has increased at a 6 percent annual rate over the past three months. Production has increased in autos, electronics, and appliances. Breaking down the manufacturing sector into durable and nondurable goods, durable goods production increased 0.1 percent, and nondurable goods output rose by 0.9 percent. Within durable goods, primary metals, electrical equipment, appliances, and components contributed to the increase in durable goods production. Motor vehicle and parts production increased 1.6 percent in December. Within nondurable goods, all major categories except textile and product mills reported gains for December. Mining production rose 0.8 percent in December with a three-month annualized growth rate of 4.3 percent. Utilities production declined 1.6 percent. Overall capacity utilization rose 0.1 percentage points to 79.2 percent.
  • 01.17.2014
  • Housing Starts
  • In December, the groundbreaking of new single-family homes fell 7.0 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 667,000 units started, a 7.6 percent improvement compared to December 2012. On a monthly basis, the rate of housing starts fell across all regions, ranging from a 19.3 percent decline in the West to a 2.7 percent decline the South. Annual growth rates also varied widely, from a 9.1 percent decline in the Northeast to a 13.4 percent increase in the South. The authorization of single-family home building permits fell by 4.8 percent for the month, but has improved by 4.5 percent over the past 12 months to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 610,000 permits issued. All regions made strong double-digit gains on an annual basis, but monthly changes ranged from a 12.3 percent decline in the Midwest to a 12.1 percent increase in the West.
  • 01.17.2014
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • Preliminary numbers show that the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased slightly in January to 80.4 from 82.5 in December. Low- and middle-income households are mainly concerned about lackluster growth in employment and income. Both indexes contributed to the decrease. The current economic conditions index dropped to 95.2 from 98.6 in December. Consumer expectations also dropped to 70.9 from 72.1 percent. The majority of consumers reported that the economy is currently expanding and anticipated economic growth to remain unchanged in the year ahead. Consumers did raise concerns about the longer-term prospects. Finally, buying attitudes toward household durables declined in January, while vehicle-buying plans became even more positive. Long-term gas price expectations fell to a nine-year low this month.

    As for inflation expectations in early January, consumers expect a year-ahead inflation rate of 3.0 percent and a longer-term (five- to ten-year) rate of 2.9 percent.

  • 01.16.2014
  • Consumer Price Index
  • The CPI rose 3 percent in December (with an annualized rate of 3.6 percent). Increases in the energy and shelter indexes were major factors in the increase. The energy index rose 2.1 percent and the shelter index rose 0.2 percent. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Median CPI also rose 0.3 percent, the largest one-month gain in this series since September 2008.

    Core CPI rose 0.2 percent (1.3 percent annualized rate) and the 16 percent trimmed-mean CPI rose 0.2 percent (2.2 percent annualized rate).

    The twelve-month change in the median CPI rose to 2.1 percent after three months at 2.0 percent. Over the twelve months through December, the core CPI rose 1.7 percent and the trimmed-mean CPI rose 1.7 percent. Both figures are similar to what they have been for the prior five months. The twelve-month change in the all-items index rose from 1.2 percent in November to 1.5 percent in December.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistic’s press release included a year-end review of CPI in 2013. The CPI rose 1.5 percent in 2013 and 1.7 percent in 2012, marking the first time since 1997-98 that the CPI rose less than 2.0 percent for two years in a row.

  • 01.15.2014
  • Producer Price Index
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) increased at an annualized rate of 5.0 percent in December and on a year-over-year basis, PPI is up 1.2 percent. Producer price for finished consumer foods decreased 6.8 percent. Energy prices increased 20.6 percent in December, following a decrease of 4.3 percent in November. Energy goods had the biggest gain in six months, with gasoline prices being the main driver of this increase. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, “core” PPI is up 3.3 percent and core crude prices increased 7.2 percent.
  • 01.14.2014
  • Retail Sales
  • Total retail sales increased at a nonannualized rate of 0.2 percent in December and year-over-year sales are up 4.1 percent. Auto sales decreased 1.8 percent and over the past 12 months, retail sales excluding autos are up 3.7 percent. Contributing to the monthly gain in total sales were improvements for food and beverages (up 2.0 percent), clothing and accessories (up 1.8 percent), and gasoline stations (up 1.6 percent). Sectors that saw the largest declines in December were electronics and appliances (down −2.5 percent), motor vehicles and parts (down −1.8 percent), and sporting goods and hobbies (down −0.6 percent). A less volatile indicator of sales growth, “core” retail sales (which excludes sales of autos, building supplies, and gas stations) increased 0.6 percent in December, while year-over-year core retail sales are up 4.2 percent.
  • 01.14.2014
  • Import and Export Prices
  • Import prices were unchanged in December after falling −0.9 percent on a monthly basis in November. Nonpetroleum prices were unchanged as well and petroleum prices edged down −0.1 percent. On a year-over-year basis, import prices fell −1.3 percent, marking the fourth consecutive month of yearly declines. Petroleum prices dropped −1.5 percent on a yearly basis after plummeting −4.3 percent last month. Nonpetroleum prices were down as well by −1.3 percent and marked ten consecutive months of yearly declines. Overall, December’s trade price report extends the weakness seen in October and November.

    Export prices rose 0.4 percent in December after increasing 0.1 percent in December. On a year-over-year basis, export prices fell −1.0 percent, marking five months of consecutive declines.

  • 01.10.2014
  • The Employment Situation
  • In December, the unemployment rate fell from 7.0 percent to 6.7 percent and total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 74,000. On the household side of the survey, the labor force participation rate was 62.8 percent, a decline of 0.2 percentage points for the month and 0.8 percentage points over the past twelve months. Meanwhile, the employment-to-population ratio was unchanged at 58.6 percent on both a monthly and annual basis.

    On the establishment side of the survey, an upward revision to November’s figures amount to a total of 38,000 more jobs added then previously reported. Throughout 2013, job growth averaged 182,000 per month, only slightly higher than the 2012 average of 183,000 jobs added per month. Over the past three months, roughly 172,000 jobs have been added per month.

    In December, retail trade led employment gains with an improvement of 55,000 jobs added, mostly within food and beverage and clothing and accessory stores. Annually, retail trade averaged employment gains of 32,000 jobs per month in 2013. Professional and business services also continued to trend upward with a total gain of 19,000 jobs added in December and an average of 53,000 per month throughout 2013. Within the industry of professional and business services, employment in temporary help surged by 40,000 jobs while employment in accounting and bookkeeping services declined by 25,000.

    Manufacturing added 9,000 jobs for the month and a total of 73,000 throughout the year, yet this number is down sharply compared to an increase of 154,000 jobs added in 2012. Construction led monthly declines (down by 16,000), but averaged an improvement of 10,000 jobs per month in 2013. Driven by seasonal factors, employment within the information industry fell by 12,000 for the month, but was essentially unchanged for the year. Healthcare employment ticked down by 6,000 in December with an average a gain of 17,000 jobs per month, down from the 2012 average of 27,000 per month. On an annual basis, the average weekly earnings for all employees rose by 1.5 percent or $12.07 to $831.45 per week, while the average weekly hour declined by 0.29 percent to 34.4 hours worked.

  • 01.08.2014
  • Consumer Credit
  • In November, outstanding consumer credit increased at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 4.8 percent, compared to a 7.0 percent increase last month. Revolving credit grew 0.6 percent in November, compared to a 5.6 percent decline in October. Nonrevolving credit, which mainly reflects student and auto loans, increased 6.4 percent for the month, rising $11.9 billion after a revised increase of $13.9 billion in the previous month.
  • 01.07.2014
  • International Trade
  • In November, the US trade deficit contracted by $5.0 billion to −$34.3 billion after contracting $3.6 billion in October. November’s trade deficit came in below the consensus forecast of $40.0 billion. The contraction was driven by a 0.9 percent monthly increase in exports and a −1.4 percent monthly decrease in imports. November marks the first monthly decrease in imports since June. On a year-over-year basis, imports fell −1.1 percent, also declining for the first time since June. Exports climbed 5.2 percent on a yearly basis in November after increasing 5.2 percent in October. The overall contraction in the trade deficit in October and November suggests that trade may positively impact fourth quarter GDP.
  • 01.06.2014
  • Factory Orders
  • New orders for manufactured goods rose 1.8 percent (nonannualized) in November, following a decrease of 0.8 percent in October. Excluding transportation, new orders were up 0.6 percent for the month, while new orders of durable goods grew 3.4 percent and nondurable goods fell 0.3 percent. New orders of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders increased 4.1 percent in November, compared to a 0.8 percent decrease in October. Shipments increased 1.0 percent, led by an increase of 1.8 percent in shipments of durable goods. Unfilled orders increased 1.0 percent, while inventories were unchanged from a month ago. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.4, roughly where it has been since late 2009 but still well above the pre-crisis average of 4.3. The inventory-to-shipments ratio was steady at 1.3, roughly where it has been since late 2009.
  • 01.02.2014
  • ISM Manufacturing
  • The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined 0.3 percentage points to 57.0 in December, indicating a general expansion in the manufacturing sector as the index is above the growth threshold of 50. The index has slipped below 50 only twice since July 2009. Three of the five components that constitute the PMI have increased since November. Furthermore, four of the five components were above the growth threshold of 50. New orders increased 0.6 percentage points to 64.2, employment rose 0.4 percentage points to 56.9, supplier deliveries increased 1.5 percentage points to 54.7 percent, production fell 0.6 percentage points to 62.2 percent, and inventories fell 3.5 percentage points to 47.0. The ISM Prices Index rose 1.0 percentage point to 53.5 percent. Prices have decreased by 8.0 percentage points since February 2013’s high of 61.5 percent.
  • 01.02.2014
  • Construction Spending
  • Private construction spending increased 2.2 percent in November to $659.4 billion and is 8.6 percent higher than November 2012. Residential construction spending increased 1.9 percent over the month to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $345.5 billion. New multifamily construction spending increased 0.9 percent in November and is up 36.3 percent on a year-over-year basis. New single-family construction posted a monthly gain of 1.9 percent and is up 16.6 percent since November 2012. Private nonresidential construction spending increased 2.7 percent over the month to $313.9 billion and is up 1.0 percent year-over-year. The communication sector saw the largest monthly increase of 11.2 percent. The educational sector posted the largest monthly decline of 3.1 percent.