Data Updates

Data Updates

October 2007

  • 10.31.2007
  • Real GDP (advance release)
  • Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at a 3.9 percent annualized rate in the third quarter of 2007, after rising 3.8 percent in the second quarter. Growth in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) accelerated in the third quarter, from 1.4 percent in the second quarter to 3.0 percent in the third. Also contributing to the rise in real GDP was an increase in exports, from 7.5 percent to 16.2 percent, which was driven by a 23.0 percent spike in goods exports. Imports rose from -2.7 percent to 5.2 percent. Gross private fixed investment was somewhat weaker in the third quarter, rising only 0.8 percent, as residential investment fell 20.1 percent and the growth rate in business fixed investment dropped from 11.0 percent in the second quarter to 7.9 percent in the third. However, investment in equipment and software rose 5.9 percent during the quarter, reaching its highest growth rate in six quarters.
  • 10.31.2007
  • Employment Cost Index
  • The Employment Cost Index (ECI) rose 3.1 percent (annualized rate) in the third quarter of 2007, following a 3.5 percent increase in the second quarter, roughly in line with increases seen over the past six quarters. On a year-over-year basis, the ECI edged down to 3.3 percent in the third quarter from 3.5 percent last quarter. Wages and salary cost appreciation remained at 3.1 percent, while growth in benefits fell from a 10-quarter high of 5.1 percent in the second quarter to a more moderate 3.1 percent increase.
  • 10.31.2007
  • Private Construction
  • Total private construction fell a slight 0.2 percent in September after falling a combined 1.9 percent in the previous three months. Spending on private nonresidential construction increased 1.5 percent over the month but was more than offset by a 1.4 percent decline on the residential side. The decline in private residential construction spending was the nineteenth consecutive monthly decline. During that period, private spending on residential construction has fallen 26.5 percent, making it the largest period of decline on record, just slightly larger than the period beginning February 1989. In this earlier period, spending fell in 23 of 27 months for a total decline of 26.4 percent.
  • 10.29.2007
  • Consumer Confidence
  • The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment fell to 80.9 in October, following a 83.4 reading in September. The consumer expectations component dropped 3.0 points to 70.1, while the current economic conditions component dipped down 0.3 point to 97.6 and is now down 13.7 points from January’s recent high of 111.3 points. Both short-term and longer-term inflation expectations ebbed slightly in October, but both are still slightly elevated. Over the coming year, consumers expect a 3.7 percent rate of inflation, dropping to 3.1 percent over the next 5 to 10 years.
  • 10.26.2007
  • New Home Sales
  • New single-family home sales increased 4.8 percent in September, after falling 7.9 percent in August. Despite the increase, new single-family home sales remain weak, at levels last seen in 1997. On a year-over-year basis, sales are down 23.3 percent while the median price of a new single-family home has risen 5.0 percent. The inventory of new homes for sale relative to the current sales pace fell somewhat in September, from 9.0 months to 8.3 months, but still remains elevated.
  • 10.25.2007
  • Existing Home Sales
  • Existing single-family home sales fell 8.6 percent in September, after falling a combined 18.5 percent over the previous six months. September's decline was the second largest since 1989, the only larger decline having occurred in March 2007. Year to date in 2007, existing single-family home sales have fallen at an annualized rate of 26.2 percent. Sales peaked 24 months ago in September 2005 and have since fallen at an annualized rate of 16.6 percent. However, the current downturn is not the steepest on record; over the 47 month period between June 1978 and May 1982, existing single-family home sales fell at an annualized rate of 18.0 percent. Inventories of existing single-family homes on the market jumped from an already high 9.3 months to 10.2 months, their highest level since 1986.
  • 10.25.2007
  • Durable Goods
  • New orders for durable goods fell 1.7 percent (nonannualized) in September, following a 5.3 percent drop (revised down from -4.9 percent) in August. However, orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 0.4 percent during the month and were revised up from -0.8 percent to -0.1 percent in August. Shipments of durable goods decreased 2.0 percent in September but are still up 1.2 percent on a year-over-year basis. Inventories posted a slight monthly increase and are 2.9 percent above September 2006.
  • 10.17.2007
  • Housing Starts
  • Total housing starts fell 10.2 percent in September, but the numbers were distorted by a 34.3 percent decline in multi-unit starts. Single-family starts, which tend to be less volatile than their multi-unit counterpart, fell a less shocking 1.7 percent over the course of the month. Even so, the decline brings single-family starts down to their lowest level since 1993. Permits for single-family homes, which generally tend to track starts fairly well, fell 7.1 percent in September to their lowest level since 1992.
  • 10.17.2007
  • CPI
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 3.4 percent (annualized rate) in September, after having fallen 1.7 percent in August, pushing up the 12-month growth rate from 2.0 percent to 2.8 percent. Increases were broad based, as the CPI excluding food and energy prices (core CPI) jumped up from 1.8 percent to 2.7 percent in September. Over the past 12 months, the core CPI has advanced 2.1 percent. Both the median and 16 percent trimmed-mean inflation measures outpaced their longer-term trends, rising 3.0 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.
  • 10.16.2007
  • Industrial Production
  • Industrial production increased 0.7 percent (annualized rate) in September, following a 0.6 percent gain in August and an 8.1 percent jump in July. Year-to-date industrial production has risen at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent, down slightly from last year’s 4.0 percent growth. Production in the manufacturing and mining sectors rose slightly, but utilities production fell 0.8 percent. Motor vehicle and parts production, hampered by slow sales and high dealer inventory, decreased 32.9 percent during the month, the largest decrease in the series since January.
  • 10.15.2007
  • Retail Sales
  • Import prices rose 12.6 percent (annualized rate) in September because of an upswing in petroleum prices, following a 3.9 percent decrease in August. On a year-over-year basis, import prices jumped up 5.3 percent, the largest jump since August 2006. Nonpetroleum import prices fell 2.2 percent in September, their largest decrease in a year. Export prices increased 4.2 percent during the month, following a 2.1 percent rise in August. Capital goods export prices increased 1.2 percent in September, rising at that rate for the fourth month in a row.
  • 10.15.2007
  • PPI
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 14.7 percent (annualized rate) in September, due primarily to unexpectedly large price increases among finished food and energy products. Prices excluding food and energy (core PPI) for finished goods only rose 0.7 percent, compared with a 2.3 percent increase in August. Further back on the production line prices were less stable, as core intermediate and core crude goods increased 1.4 percent and 20.5 percent respectively.
  • 10.14.2007
  • Import Prices
  • Import prices rose 12.6 percent (annualized rate) in September because of an upswing in petroleum prices, following a 3.9 percent decrease in August. On a year-over-year basis, import prices jumped up 5.3 percent, the largest jump since August 2006. Nonpetroleum import prices fell 2.2 percent in September, their largest decrease in a year. Export prices increased 4.2 percent during the month, following a 2.1 percent rise in August. Capital goods export prices increased 1.2 percent in September, rising at that rate for the fourth month in a row.
  • 10.14.2007
  • International Trade
  • The nominal trade deficit fell $1.4 billion in August to $57.6 billion, its lowest level since January. Export growth was fairly weak in August, increasing only 0.4 percent. But when combined with a 0.4 percent decline in imports, the total effect on the deficit was fairly significant. Around this time last year the trade deficit fell sharply from its all-time high of $67.6 billion. In the 11 months since, the deficit has held relatively steady around $59.0 billion.
  • 10.05.2007
  • Employment Report
  • Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 110,000 in September, in line with expectations. Over the past four months, job growth has averaged 90,000 per month, compared with an average of 147,000 per month during the first five months of the year. Gains in September were broad-based among service-providing industries (+143,000), while goods-producing industries lost 33,000 jobs. There was a sharp revision to August’s employment numbers (?4,000 to +89,000). Much of the revision was due to a seasonality issue in measuring local government education workers, a category which was adjusted up 89,900 jobs. The BLS also released a benchmark revision in September covering the time period from March 2006 to March 2007, during which employment was revised down by 297,000 jobs or 0.2 percent of the annual nonfarm level (within the ten-year average revision range). The previous benchmark revision added 752,000 jobs.
  • 10.01.2007
  • ISM Manufacturing Index
  • The ISM manufacturing index fell from 52.9 in August almost 1 point, to 52.0, in September, its lowest reading since March. While the production index fell from 56.1 to 54.6 during the month, the employment index increased to 51.7 from 51.3. The prices paid index, which has been falling steadily since April, dropped 4 points in September, to 59.0. The speed of inventory contraction increased, as the inventories index fell 3.8 points to 41.6 in September, the lowest it has been in nine months.