Data Updates

Data Updates

November 2013

  • 11.27.2013
  • Durable Goods
  • New orders for durable goods fell 2.0 percent in October. Over the past year, new orders are up 4.8 percent. New orders for transportation equipment lead the decline, falling 5.6 percent in October. Excluding volatile transportation equipment orders, new orders were down only 0.1 percent following an increase of 0.2 percent in September. Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, which is used to evaluate the near-term outlook in equipment and software investment, declined 1.2 percent in October. Shipments of durable goods, which are up 3.3 percent over the past year, were up 0.2 percent in October. Shipments of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, which map directly into GDP, fell 0.2 percent in October after falling 0.2 percent in September. On a year-over-year basis, shipments of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft are up 1.4 percent.
  • 11.22.2013
  • Home Prices Indexes
  • The S&P Case-Shiller national housing price index rose 3.2 percent from the second to third quarter and 11.2 percent over the past four quarters. In September, both the 10-and 20-city composite indexes rose 0.7 percent for the month and 13.3 percent on a year-over-year basis. Overall, both the national and monthly composite indexes are back to mid-2004 price levels.

    The FHFA housing price index rose 1.9 percent in the third quarter of 2013 and 8.4 percent since the third quarter of 2012. This represents the ninth consecutive quarterly price increase. On a monthly basis, the index improved by 0.3 percent in September and 8.5 percent annually. Regional home prices changes ranged from a decline of 0.1 percent in the Mountain, West South Central and Middle Atlantic regions to a 1.9 percent increase in the East South Central. The index is now back to early-2005 price levels.

  • 11.21.2013
  • Producer Price Index
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) decreased at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent in October. On a year-over-year basis, the PPI is up 0.3 percent. Producer prices for finished consumer foods increased 9.9 percent, reversing the decline of 11.6 percent. Energy prices decreased 17.0 percent in October and year-over?year energy prices are down 3.4 percent. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, “core” PPI is up 2.0 percent in October. At earlier stages of production, core intermediate good prices are down 0.6 percent and core crude prices fell for the second month in row 5.5 percent.
  • 11.21.2013
  • Existing Home Sales
  • Existing single-family home sales fell 4.1 percent in October, but are up 5.2 percent over the past 12 months to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of nearly 4.5 million units sold. Regionally, all areas experienced drops in the pace of home sales during the month, ranging from a 1.7 percent decline in the Midwest to 7.2 percent decline in the West. However, the median sales price of existing single-family homes ticked up 0.5 percent for the month and 12.7 percent since last October to $199,500. Meanwhile, the inventory of available homes for sale fell 2.1 percent for the month to 1.8 million units, representing a five-month supply at the current sales pace.
  • 11.20.2013
  • Retail Sales
  • Total retail sales increased at a nonannualized rate of 0.4 percent in October and year-over-year sales are up 3.9 percent. Auto sales increased 1.4 percent. Over the past 12 months, retail sales excluding autos have increased 0.2 percent. Contributing to the monthly gain in total sales were improvements in sporting goods and hobbies (up 1.6 percent), electronics and appliances (up 1.4 percent), clothing and accessories (up 1.4 percent), and motor vehicles and parts (up 1.3 percent). Sectors that saw the largest declines in October were building materials (down −1.9 percent) and gasoline stations (down −0.6). A less volatile indicator of sales growth, “core” retail sales—which excludes sales of autos, building supplies, and gas stations—increased 0.4 percent in October. Year-over-year core retail sales are up 4.0 percent.
  • 11.20.2013
  • Employment Cost Index
  • Employer costs of compensation for civilian workers rose 0.4 percent (nonannualized) in the third quarter, following the prior quarter’s 0.5 percent expansion. The wages and salary component increased 0.3 percent, slightly below the second quarter’s 0.4 percent advance. The benefits component increased from 0.4 percent to 0.7 percent. On a year-over-year basis, civilian compensation advanced 1.9 percent in the third quarter, on par with its average (1.9 percent) since the recession ended. Civilian wages and salaries increased 1.6 percent over the past 12 months, also on par with its average (1.6 percent) since the recession ended. Growth in civilian benefits continues to slow (from 3.7 percent in 2011 to 2.3 percent in the third quarter of 2013). On a year-over-year basis, private compensation growth was 1.9 percent, private wages and salaries increased 1.8 percent, and benefits grew just 2.2 percent. Inflationary impetus from the labor market continues to be minimal as compensation growth has averaged 1.9 percent for the since the recession ended.
  • 11.15.2013
  • Import and Export Prices
  • Import prices fell −0.7 percent in October after rising 0.1 percent in September. Falling −3.6 percent, petroleum prices drove the change in the overall index. Nonpetroleum prices inched up, posting a 0.1 percent monthly gain and slightly offsetting lower petroleum prices. On a year-over-year basis, import prices fell −2.0 percent, marking three consecutive months of yearly declines. Petroleum prices fell −4.1 percent year-over-year for the second consecutive month. Nonpetroleum prices fell on a yearly basis as well (−1.3 percent), which marks eight consecutive months of yearly declines and the greatest decrease since the fall of 2009. After a slight upturn in August and September, October’s trade prices show weakness reminiscent of the first half of the year.

    Export prices declined −0.5 percent from September to October after rising 0.4 percent last month. On a year-over-year basis, export prices fell −2.1 percent, the greatest yearly drop since June 2012.

  • 11.15.2013
  • Industrial Production
  • Industrial production slightly decreased by 0.1 percent in October following a 0.7 percent increase in September. In October, manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent for a third consecutive monthly gain and is 3.3 percent above October 2012 levels. The three-month annualized growth rate increased 2.4 percent relative to the third quarter average. Durable and nondurable goods rose by 0.3 percent. Within durable goods, primary metals, fabricated metal products, furniture and related products, and miscellaneous manufacturing attributed to the increase in goods output. Motor vehicle and parts production dropped 1.3 percent. Within nondurable manufacturing production, printing and support rose by 1.8 percent, while petroleum and coal production and apparel and leather fell 0.3 percent. Mining output decreased 1.6 percent in October due to temporary shutdowns of oil and gas rigs located in the Gulf of Mexico in anticipation of tropical storm Karen. This is the first decline since February 2013 and the greatest decline in approximately three years. Utilities production declined 1.1 percent in October. Overall capacity utilization fell by 0.2 percentage points to 78.1 percent due to the slight decline in overall industrial production.
  • 11.14.2013
  • International Trade
  • In September, the US trade deficit expanded $3.1 billion to $41.8 billion after increasing $0.1 billion in August. September’s trade deficit expanded greater than the consensus forecast of −$39.0 billion. The overall expansion was driven by a 1.2 percent increase in imports and a −0.2 percent decrease in exports. On a year-over-year basis, imports increased 1.0 percent, up from August’s 0.9 percent gain. Exports expanded 1.1 percent on a yearly basis in September after rising 4.0 percent in August. Although import activity picked up after a tepid August, export activity still remains soft, averaging a −0.3 percent monthly decrease over the past three months.
  • 11.14.2013
  • Productivity and Costs
  • According to the preliminary estimate, nonfarm business sector productivity— real output per hour of all persons— increased at an annualized rate of 1.9 percent in the third quarter of 2013. This follows a 1.8 percent increase in the second quarter and a 1.7 percent decline in the first. A 3.7 percent increase in output contributed to the improvement in productivity, which was partially offset by a 1.7 percent increase in hours. On a year-over-year basis, nonfarm business sector productivity has been flat, as both output and hours have increased 1.8 percent. Real hourly compensation, which is compensation per hour after controlling for price changes, declined 1.3 percent in the third quarter, following a 2.3 percent increase in the second quarter. Inflation-adjusted hourly compensation has increased 0.3 percent over the past year. Unit labor costs, which are measured as hourly compensation per hourly output, declined 0.6 percent in the third quarter, following a decrease of 3.5 percent in the first quarter and a 0.5 percent increase in the second. On a year-over-year basis, unit labor costs have increased 1.9 percent.
  • 11.08.2013
  • Personal Income
  • Nominal personal income increased at a nonannualized rate of 0.5 percent in September. This follows increases of 0.2 and 0.5 percent in July and August, respectively. Over the past year, nominal personal income has increased 3.7 percent. Current personal taxes were relatively stable during the month, increasing 0.2 percent, as disposable personal income (DPI)—nominal personal income less current personal taxes—also increased 0.5 percent. After controlling for price changes, real disposable personal income increased 0.4 percent in September, which follows increases of 0.4 percent in August and 0.2 percent in July. Over the past year, real DPI has increased 2.0 percent.

    Contributing to consumption growth in September was a 0.2 percent increase in services consumption and a 0.6 percent increase in nondurable goods consumption. This was partially offset by a 1.2 percent decline in durable goods consumption, the first decline since January. Over the past twelve months, goods consumption has been steady, increasing 3.3 percent, while services consumption has increased just 1.0 percent. The larger increase in income compared with the increase in consumption caused another slight increase in the personal savings rate, which is now at 4.9 percent and has been increasing throughout most of the year.

  • 11.08.2013
  • PCE Price Index
  • The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index increased at an annualized rate of 1.0 percent in September, following increases of 1.1 percent in July and 1.5 percent in August. Over the past year, the headline PCE price index has increased 0.9 percent. Prices for energy goods and services, a volatile component of the PCE price index, increased 10.2 percent, contributing positively to the headline index. The core PCE price index, which excludes food and energy prices, increased 0.7 percent in September and has increased 1.2 percent over the past twelve months. The market-based core PCE price index, which also excludes most imputed prices, increased 0.6 percent for the month, following increases of 1.3 and 1.0 percent in July and August, respectively, and has increased 1.1 percent since September of last year.
  • 11.08.2013
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • Preliminary numbers show that the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment dipped to 72.0 in early November, down from 73.2 in October. This is the fourth consecutive month the index has decreased. Views on present conditions and economic expectations both pulled the index lower. The current economic conditions subindex fell 2.7 points to 87.2. Consumer expectations also fell 0.2 to 62.3, its lowest level since November 2011. The overall decline in the index is due to changes among income groups: low-income households posted declines, while increases were posted by high-income households. Stock price increases drove net wealth gains among high-income households to the highest level in six-years. Finally, buying attitudes toward household durables fell this month to 135 (from 136 in October).

    As for inflation expectations in early November, consumers expect a year-ahead inflation rate of 3.1 percent and a longer-term (five-to-ten year) rate of 2.9 percent.

  • 11.08.2013
  • The Employment Situation
  • In October, nonfarm payrolls increased by 204,000 and the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3 percent. The rise in the household unemployment rate was largely due to a surge those temporarily laid off due to the partial government shutdown. However, federal employees on furlough during the partial government shutdown were still considered employed in the payroll survey. The civilian labor force fell 0.4 percent to 62.8 percent, the lowest level in over three decades (since March of 1978). Meanwhile, the employment-to-population ratio slipped 0.3 percent to 58.3 percent, the lowest level since August 2011.

    On the establishment side of the report, upward revisions to the estimates for both August and September combine for an employment gain of 60,000 payrolls more than previously reported. Over the past 12 months, payroll employment gains have averaged 190,000 per month and 202,000 per month over the past three months. The strongest gains to employment were in leisure and hospitality, up 53,000, as well as retail trade and professional and business services, both up about 44,000. The largest declines came from government, down 8,000, and wholesale trade, down 5,400. There were no discernible impacts of the partial government shutdown on the estimates of hours and earnings, which were little changed for the month.

  • 11.07.2013
  • GDP
  • According to the advance estimate, real GDP increased at an annualized rate of 2.8 percent in the third quarter, following a 2.5 percent increase in the second quarter. Over the last four quarters, real GDP has increased 1.6 percent. Contributions to the third quarter increase in GDP came from consumption, residential and business fixed investment, inventories, exports, and state and local government spending. These contributions were partially offset by an increase in imports and a decline in federal government spending.

    Personal consumption expenditures increased 1.5 percent during the quarter, contributing 1.0 percentage point to GDP growth. The improvement in overall consumption was primarily driven by increases in both durable and nondurable goods consumption, which increased 7.8 and 2.7 percent, respectively. Services consumption remained essentially flat, increasing just 0.1 percent.

    Residential investment increased 14.6 percent in the third quarter, matching a similar gain in the previous quarter. This contributed 0.4 percentage points to overall GDP growth. Business fixed investment increased 1.6 percent, as a 12.3 percent increase in structures and a 2.2 percent increase in intellectual property was offset by a 3.7 percent decline in equipment. Business fixed investment contributed 0.2 percentage point while inventory investment contributed 0.8 percentage point to the third quarter improvement in GDP.

    Exports increased 4.5 percent and imports increased 1.9 percent, leading to a slight reduction in the trade deficit during the quarter. This reduction led to a positive contribution from net exports to GDP growth of 0.3 percentage point. Federal government spending continued to decline, falling 1.7 percent. However, this was offset by an increase in state and local government spending of 1.5 percent. The net result was a slightly positive contribution (0.04 percentage point) to GDP growth from government spending.

  • 11.07.2013
  • Consumer Credit
  • In September, outstanding consumer credit increased at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 5.4 percent, slightly below the revised August increase of 5.6 percent. Revolving credit growth fell 2.9 percent in September, compared to a 1.2 percent decline in August. Nonrevolving credit, which mainly reflects student and auto loans, increased 8.7 percent for the month, rising $15.8 billion after a revised increase of $15.0 billion in the previous month.
  • 11.04.2013
  • Factory Orders
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 1.7 percent (nonannualized) in September, following a decrease of 0.1 percent in August. Year-over-year growth rates for new orders were 2.4 percent, compared to 1.4 percent in August. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.2 percent for the month, while new orders of durable goods increased 3.8 percent and nondurable goods fell 0.2 percent. New orders of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders decreased 1.3 percent in September, compared to a 1.0 percent increase in August. Shipments increased 0.1 percent in September, led by an increase of 0.4 percent in shipments of durable goods. Unfilled orders and inventories increased 0.9 and 0.4 percent, respectively. 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.