Data Updates

Data Updates

February 2007

  • 02.27.2007
  • Existing Home Sales
  • Existing single–family home sales increased 3.5 percent in January—the largest increase for the series in nearly three years. However, sales are down 9.7 percent from their peak in September 2005. Existing single–family home sales, which have been down from year–ago levels in 13 out of the last 14 months, declined 4.2 percent on a year–over–year basis in January. Median single–family home prices fell 5.3 percent during the month—the largest monthly decline in the series, which began in 1968—and are down 3.5 percent from a year–ago levels.
  • 02.27.2007
  • Durable Goods
  • Durable goods orders fell 7.8 percent in January—well below expectations for a 2.5 percent drop—reaching their lowest level since January 2006. New orders excluding transportation fell 3.1 percent, the largest monthly drop since January 2002. Capital goods orders declined dramatically this month, dropping 17.2 percent, while nondefense capital goods orders plummeted 19.9 percent to a level nearly 25 percent down from their peak in September 2006.
  • 02.16.2007
  • Housing Starts
  • Housing starts came in considerably below expectations in January. Total housing starts fell by 14.3 percent to 1.408 million units, after posting gains in November and December. Single–family housing starts declined dramatically in January (down 11.2 percent), due to a combined 17.8 percent decline in starts (161,000 units) throughout the South and the West. Both total and single–family housing starts are currently at their lowest levels in almost 10 years.
  • 02.16.2007
  • Producer Price Index
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) dropped 7.2 percent (annualized rate) in January, reflecting a 42.9 percent fall in energy prices, while the core PPI rose a robust 2.3 percent. On a year–over–year basis, the core PPI was up 1.8 percent in January. Crude energy material prices dropped 88 percent during the month and are down over 25 percent since last January. However, crude nonfood materials less energy prices continued to increase for the third month, rising 21.5 percent, and are up nearly 18 percent since last January.
  • 02.16.2007
  • Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers
  • Expectations for inflation over the next year stayed steady in early February at 3.6 percent, while expectations for inflation over the next 5 to 10 years inched down from 3.5 percent to 3.3 percent—the lowest expectations for this horizon have been since last September. Short–term expectations are down considerably from levels reached in the spring/summer of 2006, while longer–term inflation expectations continue to lie on the high side of the 3 to 3&nash;1/2 percent range in which they've generally been fluctuating for nearly a decade.
  • 02.15.2007
  • Import Prices
  • Import prices fell about 14 percent (annualized rate) in January, reflecting a 60 percent decline in petroleum import prices. Nonpetroleum import prices were unchanged in January and up 1.6 percent on a year–over–year basis. Consumer goods import prices, excluding autos, were up a strong 3.6 percent in January, and the 12–month growth rate for these imports continues to rise, reaching 1.5 percent in January.
  • 02.15.2007
  • Industrial Production
  • Industrial production fell 0.5 percent in January, offsetting the 0.5 percent rise in December, which had followed three straight month of declines. Manufacturing output dropped 0.7 percent, and this decline was relatively broad-based, reflecting a 6 percent decline in motor vehicle and parts manufacturing and an over 4 percent decline in machinery manufacturing. Capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector continues to decline, falling from its most recent peak of 81.1 percent in August 2006 to 79.6 percent in January 2007. Meanwhile, mining production dropped 1.2 percent—its largest monthly decline in over a year—while production at electric and gas utilities jumped 2.3 percent.
  • 02.13.2007
  • Trade Deficit
  • The trade deficit increased $3.1 billion to $61.2 billion in December as moderate export growth was outweighed by strong import growth. Almost half of the month's gain in total imports was due to a rise in petroleum imports, which increased $1.6 billion or 7.6 percent during the month, reflecting an increase in the price of oil. Despite the trade deficit gain in December, the quarterly trade deficit is at its lowest level since 2005:Q2.
  • 02.07.2007
  • Productivity and Costs
  • Output per hour of all persons (productivity) in the nonfarm business sector exceeded expectations, rising 3.0 percent (annualized rate) in IVQ:2006, its fastest pace since the first quarter. On a year–over–year basis, productivity rose 2.1 percent, a bit down from average productivity growth of about 3.0 percent since IQ:2000, but a growth rate still considered to be healthy. Compensation in the nonfarm business sector accelerated in the fourth quarter, rising 4.8 percent (annualized rate) from the third quarter and 4.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2005. However, quarterly nonfarm unit labor cost growth declined a bit in the fourth quarter: Unit labor costs rose only 1.7 percent from the third quarter and 2.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2005, its slowest year–over–year growth rate since IVQ:2005.
  • 02.05.2007
  • Employment Report
  • Nonfarm payroll gains fell short of expectations, adding 110,000 net jobs in January. November and December 2006 payrolls were revised upward a net 103,000 jobs, raising the fourth–quarter (2006) average monthly increase to 170,000. Service–producing industries, which generally account for about four–fifths of monthly job growth, gained 104,000 jobs during the month, down from last quarter's average gain of 205,000 jobs. A 22,000 payroll gain in construction helped goods producers post the first monthly gain in these industries since August 2006. However, weakness in motor vehicles and parts, computers and electronics, furniture, and textile mills helped contribute to a 16,000 job loss in the manufacturing sector.
  • 02.05.2007
  • Factory Orders
  • New orders for manufacturers exceeded expectations, increasing a solid 2.4 percent in December. Following four months of declines, new orders excluding transportation jumped 2.2 percent to $336.5 billion—only slightly down from the recent peak of $347 billion reached in July 2006. Nevertheless, year–over–year growth in new orders excluding transportation has significantly decelerated from the average growth rate of 7.5 percent reached over the past couple of years to 2.4 percent in December.
  • 02.05.2007
  • Consumer Confidence
  • The Reuters/Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was 96.6, slightly below the preliminary read of 98.0, but at its highest level since December 2004. Short–term and longer–term inflation expectations ticked up 0.1 percentage point to 3.6 and 3.5 percent, respectively, in January. Short–term expectations are down considerably from levels reached in the spring/summer of 2006, while longer–term inflation expectations continue to lie on the high side of the 3 to 3–1/2 percent range in which they've generally been fluctuating for nearly a decade.
  • 02.01.2007
  • ISM
  • ISM manufacturing fell to 49.3 from 51.4 in January, the lowest level since April 2003. This fall below 50, which is associated with contractionary manufacturing activity, reflected the largest decrease in inventories (from 48.5 to 39.9 in January) since August 1984. New orders and order backlogs softened this month, while the prices index, which substantially declined between July 2006 and October 2006, inched up slightly in January.
  • 02.01.2007
  • Personal Income and Spending for December
  • Nominal personal income rose 6.8 percent (annualized) in December, its largest increase since last July. The increase reflects a 9 percent rise in private wage and salary income and a large 15 percent rise in current transfers. The rise in current transfers occurred because retroactive social security benefits were paid after the earnings base underlying the benefits for recent retirees was recalculated. Real personal consumption spending rose a solid 4.2 percent during the month, while in 2006, real spending rose 3.2 percent, a bit below its annual average since the early 1990s. The Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCE) jumped 4.5 percent (annualized) in December following three months of no change or declines. The PCE is currently 2.3 percent above last year's levels. The PCE excluding food and energy (Core PCE) and the trimmed–mean PCE (calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas) continued to moderate from their longer–term trends, rising 1.5 percent and 2.0 percent during the month, respectively. The Core PCE and trimmed–mean PCE continue to signal a 12-month inflation trend between 2 and 2 1/2 percent.