Data Updates

Data Updates

February 2014

  • 02.28.2014
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • Final numbers show that the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment increased slightly to 81.6 from the preliminary the number of 81.2 posted earlier in February. The Index of Consumer Expectations decreased to 72.7 from the preliminary number of 73.0. The Economic Conditions Index increased to 95.4 from the preliminary number of 94.0.

    With regard to inflation expectations in February, consumers expect a year-ahead inflation rate of 3.2 percent and a longer (five- to ten-year) rate of 2.9 percent.

  • 02.28.2014
  • GDP
  • The annualized percent change in real GDP for the fourth quarter of 2013 was revised down from 3.2 percent to 2.4 percent, based on the second estimate. The downward adjustment to GDP growth primarily reflects downward revisions to consumption, inventories, and net exports, which were partially offset by an upward revision to business fixed investment.

    Personal consumption expenditures are now estimated to have increased 2.6 percent for the quarter, compared to a previous estimate of 3.3 percent. This change primarily reflects a downward revision to goods consumption, while services consumption was also adjusted down slightly. The net result was a reduction in the contribution of consumption to GDP growth from 2.3 percentage points to 1.7 percentage points.

    The contribution of business fixed investment to GDP was revised up from 0.5 percentage points to 0.9 percentage points, as business fixed investment is now estimated to have increased 7.3 percent for the quarter. Partially offsetting this was a downward revision to inventory investment, which is now estimated to have contributed 0.1 percentage points, compared with a previous estimate of 0.4 percentage point. Residential investment was largely unchanged from the previous release.

    The increase in exports for the quarter was revised down from 11.4 percent to 9.4 percent, while the increase in imports was revised up from 0.9 percent to 1.5 percent. This resulted in a reduction in the contribution of net exports to GDP growth, from 1.3 percentage points to 1.0 percentage point. Additionally, government spending is now estimated to have subtracted 1.1 percentage points from GDP growth for the quarter, compared with a previous estimate of 0.9 percentage points.

  • 02.27.2014
  • Durable Goods
  • New orders for durable goods fell 1.0 percent in January. Over the past year, new orders are up 4.6 percent. New orders for transportation equipment lead the decline, falling 5.6 percent in January. Excluding volatile transportation equipment orders, new orders were up 1.1 percent, following a decline of 1.9 percent in December. Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, which are used to evaluate the near-term outlook in equipment and software investment, rose 1.7 percent in January. Shipments of durable goods, which are up 3.4 percent over the past year, fell 0.4 percent in January. Shipments of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, which map directly into GDP, fell 0.8 percent in January, but are up 2.6 percent year-over-year.
  • 02.26.2014
  • New Home Sales
  • New single-family home sales rose 9.6 percent in January and 2.2 percent over the past 12 months to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 468,000 units sold—the highest level since July 2008. Regionally, monthly growth rates varied widely from a 73.7 percent increase in the Northeast to a 17.2 percent decline in the Midwest. On annual basis, new homes sales ranged from a 22.7 percent increase in the South to a 23.3 percent decline in the West. The median sales price of new homes sold was $260,100, representing a 2.2 percent decline for the month, but a 3.4 percent increase since January 2013. The inventory of new single-family homes for sale was 184,000 units, which is a 4.7 percent month supply at the current sales pace.
  • 02.25.2014
  • Home Price Indexes
  • The S&P Case-Shiller national housing price ticked down 0.3 percent from the third to fourth quarter of 2013, but was up 11.3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. On a monthly basis, the ten-city composite index showed no change and the twenty-city composite index slipped down 0.1 percent from November to December. On an annual basis, both the ten- and twenty-city composite indexes showed strong improvement, increasing 13.6 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively. While no cities showed sharp monthly price movements, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco posted annual price improvements of over 20 percent. Overall index home prices are back to mid-2004 price levels.

    The FHFA housing price index rose 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 and 7.6 percent over the past four quarters. This represents the eighth consecutive month of growth after 18 consecutive months of declining home prices. On a monthly basis, the index rose 0.8 percent and 7.7 percent on an annual basis. The Pacific and Mountain regions showed the strongest annual gains, up 14.9 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively. This was the highest quarter of growth for home price appreciation since the fourth quarter of 2005, and the total index is roughly the same as mid-2005 price levels.

  • 02.21.2014
  • Existing Home Sales
  • Existing single-family home sales fell 5.8 percent in January and 6.0 percent over the past twelve months to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 4.1 million units sold, the lowest level since June 2012. Regionally, all areas posted negative growth rates on a monthly and annual basis led by the West, which fell 8.3 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively. The median sales price of existing single-family homes was $188,900, a decline of 4.4 percent for the month, but an improvement of 10.4 percent since January 2013. The inventory of homes ticked up 3.0 percent over the month to 1.7 million homes available for sale, which is a 5.0 month supply at the current sales pace.
  • 02.19.2014
  • Producer Price Index
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) increased at an annualized rate 6.9 percent in January. On a year-over-year basis, PPI is up 1.5 percent. Producer prices for finished consumer foods increased at an annualized rate of 13.8 percent. Energy prices increased at an annualized rate of 5.1 percent. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, “core” PPI is up 6.6 percent and core crude prices increased 18.3 percent, the greatest increase since November 2012.
  • 02.19.2014
  • Housing Starts
  • The groundbreaking of new single-family homes fell 15.9 percent in January and 6.7 percent over the past twelve months to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 573,000 units started. This drop represents the lowest level of housing starts since August 2012. The Midwest suffered the largest declines, falling 60.3 percent for the month and 48.9 percent on year over year basis. Meanwhile, the West improved by 10.7 percent on both a monthly and annual basis. The authorization of new single-family housing units ticked down 1.3 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 602,000 permits issued.
  • 02.14.2014
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • Preliminary numbers show that the University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment remained unchanged at 81.2 in early February from January’s reading. The current economic conditions index dropped to 94.0 from 96.8. Conditions of consumer’s personal finance were viewed less favorably, which was due in part to higher prices and weaker income growth. The index of consumer expectations increased in February to 73.0 from 71.2. Consumers are somewhat more optimistic about the long-term prospects for the national economy. The survey noted that news reaching consumers of recent economic development grew more negative. Mentions of the scarcity of jobs and negative references to the government’s economic policies both rose this month. Finally, buying attitudes toward household durables decreased to 146 from 147 in February’s preliminary results.

    As for inflation expectations in early February, consumers expect a year-ahead inflation rate of 3.3 percent and a longer-term (five- to ten-year) rate of 2.9 percent.

  • 02.14.2014
  • Import and Export Prices
  • Import prices inched up by 0.1 percent in January after rising 0.2 percent on a monthly basis in December. Nonpetroleum prices posted a 0.4 percent monthly gain, slightly offsetting lower petroleum prices, which fell by −1.2 percent in January. On a year-over-year basis, import prices fell −1.5 percent, marking the fifth consecutive month of yearly declines. Petroleum plummeted by −4.0 percent on a yearly basis, after a more modest drop in December of −0.6 percent. Nonpetroleum prices were down as well by −0.9 percent and marked eleven consecutive months of yearly declines. Overall, January’s trade price report extends the weakness seen in last quarter of 2013.

    Export prices rose 0.2 percent in December after increasing 0.4 percent in December. On a year-over-year basis, export prices fell −1.2 percent, marking six months of consecutive declines.

  • 02.14.2014
  • Industrial Production
  • Industrial production decreased 0.3 percent in January due to the decline in auto production and extreme winter weather conditions in parts of the United States. The three-month annualized growth rate dropped from 4.7 percent to 2.6 percent. Manufacturing output decreased 0.8 percent, the largest decrease experienced in the past five years. Breaking down the manufacturing sector into durable and nondurable goods, both durable and nondurable goods production decreased 0.8 percent. Auto production fell 5.0 percent, the first time decrease in three months. The decline in auto production accounted for about one-third of the decrease in manufacturing output. Due to the cold weather, utilities production increased for a fourth time in the last five months to more than 1.0 percent. Mining production fell 0.9 percent for January. However, mining is up at a 7.3 percent annualized rate over the past three months. Overall capacity utilization fell to 78.5 percent.
  • 02.13.2014
  • Retail Sales
  • Total retail sales decreased at a nonannualized rate of −0.4 percent in January, but year-over-year sales are up 2.6 percent. Auto sales decrease 2.1 percent, but over the past 12 months retail sales excluding autos are up 2.2 percent. Contributing to the monthly gain in total sales were improvements for building materials (up 1.4 percent), gasoline stations (up 1.1 percent), and electronics and appliances (up 0.4 percent). Sectors that saw the largest declines in January were motor vehicles and parts (down −2.1 percent), sporting goods and hobbies (down −1.4 percent), and clothing and accessories ( down −0.9 percent). A less volatile indicator of sales growth, “core” retail sales (which excludes sales of autos, building supplies, and gas stations) decreased −0.2 percent in January. Year-over-year, core retail sales are up 2.4 percent.
  • 02.07.2014
  • The Employment Situation
  • In January, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 113,000, coming in well below consensus estimates. The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.6 percent. This report includes annual benchmark revisions to both seasonal adjustments and population controls, which have averaged revisions of plus or minus 0.3 percent to employment estimates over the past ten years. On the household side of the report, the labor force participation rate edged up 0.1 percent, while the employment-to-population ratio rose by 0.2 percent.

    On the establishment side of the report, revisions to November and December figures have increased payroll employment by 34,000 more than previously reported. Throughout 2013, the average monthly employment gain was 194,000, with the average monthly change over the past three months was 154,000. The sectors with the largest employment gains include construction, up 48,000; manufacturing, up 21,000; and wholesale trade, up 14,000. The greatest declines came from retail trade, down 13,000, and government, down 12,000, where cuts to postal service employment accounted for most of the decline. The average weekly hours for all employees remained unchanged, while average hourly earnings ticked up $0.05 to $24.21 and average weekly earnings ticked up by $1.72 to $832.82.

  • 02.07.2014
  • Consumer Credit
  • In December, outstanding consumer credit increased at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 7.3 percent, compared to the 4.8 percent increase in November. Revolving credit grew 7.0 percent in December, compared to the 0.7 percent increase in November. Nonrevolving credit, which mainly reflects student and auto loans, increased 7.4 percent for the month, rising $13.7 billion after a revised increase of $12.0 billion in the previous month.
  • 02.06.2014
  • International Trade
  • In December, the US trade deficit expanded by $4.1 billion to −$38.7 billion after contracting by a revised $4.5 billion in November ($5.0 billion previously). December’s expansion came in greater than consensus forecasts, which had predicted a $1.0 billion increase to a level of −$35.5 billion. December’s expansion was driven by a −1.8 percent decrease in exports and a 0.3 percent increase in imports. On a year-over-year basis, exports advanced 1.4 percent after increasing 5.2 and 5.9 percent on a yearly basis in November and October, respectively. Imports increased 1.3 percent year-over-year after falling 1.0 percent the month prior. December’s expansion in the trade deficit may reduce the positive impact October and November had on fourth quarter GDP.
  • 02.06.2014
  • Productivity and Costs
  • In the fourth quarter of 2013, nonfarm business sector productivity—real output per hour of all persons—increased at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent according to the preliminary estimate. This follows two consecutive quarterly increases in productivity during the middle half of the year, and since the fourth quarter of 2012, productivity has increased 1.7 percent. The increase in the last quarter of 2013 was driven by stronger output growth relative to the increase in hours. Real output increased 4.9 percent for the quarter, while hours increased just 1.7 percent. Real hourly compensation, which is measured as compensation per hour after controlling for price changes, increased 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter after declining 1.0 percent in the previous quarter. On a year-over-year basis, hourly compensation has decreased 0.9 percent. Unit labor costs, which are measured as the ratio of hourly compensation to hourly output, fell 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, as they have declined in three of the past four quarters. Since the end of last year, unit labor costs are down 1.3 percent.
  • 02.04.2014
  • Factory Orders
  • New orders for manufactured goods fell at a nonannualized rate of 1.5 percent in December, following an increase of 1.5 percent in November. Orders for nondurable goods increased 1.1 percent, while orders for durable goods fell 4.2 percent. Since December of 2012, orders for manufactured goods have increased 0.8 percent. After excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.2 percent in December and are up 2.0 percent over the past twelve months. New orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft declined 0.6 percent in December, following a similar decline of 0.6 percent in October and a 3.0 percent increase in November. On a year-over-year basis, orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft have increased 7.4 percent.

    Shipments of manufactured goods declined 0.2 percent in December, as a 1.1 percent increase in shipments of nondurable goods was offset by a 1.7 percent decline in shipments of durable goods. Unfilled orders increased 0.4 percent and inventories increased 0.5 percent for the month. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio increased from 6.4 to 6.5 and the inventory-to-shipment ratio remained at 1.3, roughly where it has been since late 2009.

  • 02.03.2014
  • Construction Spending
  • Private construction spending rose in December to $663.9 billion, 1.0 percent above the revised November estimate of $657.1 billion. December’s results are 8.0 percent higher on a year-over-year basis. Residential construction spending rose 2.6 percent over the month to $352.6 billion. New multifamily construction spending grew 0.5 percent in December and is up 27.3 percent year-over-year. New single-family construction rose 3.4 percent and is up 21.6 percent since last December. Private nonresidential construction spending was at $311.3 billion, 0.7 percent below the revised November estimate of $313.4 billion. Six of the eleven nonresidential construction sectors saw month-to-month declines in spending with the amusement and recreation sector posting the largest monthly decline of 6.0 percent. The power sector registered the largest monthly increase of 1.9 percent.
  • 02.03.2014
  • ISM Manufacturing
  • The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell 5.2 percentage points to 51.3 in January, which indicates 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. Four of the five PMI components declined in January. New orders posted the largest monthly decline, falling 13.2 percentage points to 51.2. This is the largest monthly decline in the new orders index since December 1980. The inventory index fell for the third consecutive month to 44.0 from 47.0 in December. Employment fell 3.5 percentage points to 52.3 and production fell 6.9 percentage points to 54.8 percent. Supplier deliveries increased 0.6 percentage points to 54.3 percent. The ISM Prices Index rose 7.0 percentage points to 60.5 percent. Prices have decreased by 1.0 percentage point since February 2013’s high of 61.5 percent.