Data Updates

Data Updates

May 2014

  • 05.30.2014
  • PCE Price Index
  • The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index increased at an annualized rate of 2.4 percent in April. This follows an increase of 2.3 percent in March and over the past twelve months, the PCE price index has increased 1.6 percent. The core PCE price index, which excludes both the food and energy components, increased 2.1 percent in April and has increased 1.4 percent over the past year. The market-based core PCE price index, which also excludes most imputed prices, also increased 2.1 percent in April. This follows increases of 1.0 percent in February and 1.9 percent in March. On a year-over-year basis, the market-based core PCE price index has increased 1.3 percent.
  • 05.30.2014
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • Final numbers show that the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment increased slightly to 81.9 from the preliminary number of 81.8 posted earlier in May. The Index of Consumer Expectations increased to 73.7 from the preliminary number of 73.2. The economic conditions index decreased to 94.5 from the preliminary number of 95.1.

    As for inflation expectations in May, consumers expect a year-ahead inflation rate of 3.3 percent and a longer rate (5- to 10-year) of 2.8 percent.

  • 05.30.2014
  • Personal Income and Consumption
  • Nominal personal income increased at a nonannualized rate of 0.3 percent in April following increases of 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent in February and March, respectively. Over the past year, nominal personal income has increased 3.6 percent. Disposable personal income (DPI)—personal income less current personal taxes—increased 0.3 percent in April, and is also up 3.6 percent since March of last year. After controlling for price changes, real disposable personal income increased 0.2 percent in April. This follows increases of 0.3 percent in each of the previous two months, and on a year-over-year basis, real DPI has increased 2.0 percent.

    Real personal consumption expenditures declined 0.3 percent in April. This follows increases of 0.5 percent in February and 0.8 percent in March. On a year-over-year basis, real consumption has increased 2.7 percent. The decline in April was the result of declines in both goods and services consumption. Durable goods consumption declined 0.5 percent, while consumption of nondurable goods declined 0.3 percent and services consumption declined 0.2 percent. On a year-over-year basis, durable and nondurable goods consumption have increased 6.1 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively, while services consumption has increased 2.2 percent. Both the increase in income and the decline in consumption contributed to an increase in the personal savings rate from 3.6 percent to 4.0 percent.

  • 05.29.2014
  • GDP
  • The annualized percent change in real GDP for the first quarter of 2014 was revised down from a 0.1 percent increase to a 1.0 percent decline, based on the second estimate. The revision to GDP growth in the first quarter primarily reflects a downward revision to inventory investment, while most other categories had slight positive revisions. The change in private inventories, which was originally estimated to have subtracted 0.6 percentage points from GDP growth in the first quarter is now estimated to have subtracted 1.6 percentage points.

    Personal consumption expenditures were revised up slightly, from a 3.0 percent increase to a 3.1 percent increase. Consumption is now estimated to have contributed 2.1 percentage points to GDP growth for the quarter. Business fixed investment, which was originally estimated to have declined 2.1 percent, is now estimated to have declined 1.6 percent, while residential investment, which was originally estimated to have declined 5.7 percent, is now estimated to have declined 5.0 percent. The declines in business fixed investment and residential investment each subtracted 0.2 percentage points from GDP growth in the first quarter.

    Both exports and imports were revised up in the second estimate of first quarter GDP. Exports are now estimated to have declined 6.0 percent in the first quarter, compared to an original estimate of 7.6 percent, while imports, which were originally estimated to have declined 1.4 percent, are now estimated to have increased 0.7 percent. The net result was a downward revision to the contribution of net exports to GDP growth from −0.8 percentage points to −1.0 percentage point. Additionally, government spending was revised down slightly, from a 0.5 percent decline to a 0.8 percent decline, and contributed −0.2 percentage points to first quarter GDP growth.

  • 05.27.2014
  • Durable Goods
  • New orders for durable goods increased 0.8 percent in April, following an increase of 3.6 percent in March. Over the past year, new orders are up 4.9 percent. New orders for defense aircraft and parts lead the monthly increase, rising 13.1 percent in April. Excluding volatile transportation equipment orders, new orders were up 0.1 percent, following a 1.4 percent increase in March. Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, which is used to evaluate the near-term outlook in equipment and software investment, fell 1.2 percent in April after growing 4.7 percent in March. Shipments of durable goods, which are up 3.8 percent over the past year, fell 0.2 percent in April. Shipments of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, which map directly into GDP, fell 0.4 percent in April, and are up 3.0 percent year-over-year.
  • 05.27.2014
  • Home Price Indexes
  • In March, the S&P Case-Shiller 10-city and 20-city composite housing price indexes rose 0.8 percent and 0.9 percent for the month and posted year-over-year increases of 12.6 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively. In the first quarter of 2014, the national index gained 0.2 percent and 10.3 percent over the past four quarters. Nineteen of the 20 cities showed positive returns in March —New York was the only city to decline. Dallas and Denver reached new index peaks. Annual price increases for the two composites have slowed in the past four months and 13 cities saw annual price changes moderate in March. Chicago showed its highest year-over-year return of 11.5 percent since December 1988. Meanwhile, Cleveland showed the slowest growth, improving just 3.9 percent over the past 12 months. Overall, home prices are back to mid-2004 price levels.

    The FHFA housing price index rose 0.7 percent in March and 6.5 percent annually. In the first quarter of 2014 the index improved 1.3 percent and 6.6 percent over the past four quarters. Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division experienced the strongest increase in the first quarter, posting a 2.1 percent increase and a 13.2 percent increase since last year. House prices were weakest in the Middle Atlantic division, where prices increased 0.1 percent from the previous quarter. Modest inventories of homes available for sale likely played a significant role in driving the price increase, which was similar to appreciation in the preceding quarter. Overall, mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are back to mid-2005 price levels.

  • 05.23.2014
  • New Home Sales
  • In April, sales of new single-family homes rose 6.4 percent for the month, but are down 4.2 percent annually to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 433,000 units sold. Regionally, the Northeast posted the sharpest declines, down 26.7 percent for the month and 31.3 percent over the past 12 months. Meanwhile, the Midwest showed solid improvement with a 47.4 percent increase for the month and 35.5 percent on a year-over-year basis. The median sales price of new single-family homes ticked down 2.1 percent during the month and 1.3 percent annually to $275,800. The inventory of new single-family homes available for sale was 192,000, representing a 5.3 month supply at the current sales pace.
  • 05.22.2014
  • Existing Home Sales
  • In April, sales of existing single-family homes rose 0.5 percent for the month, but are down 7.7 percent over the past 12 months to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 4.06 million units sold. Regionally, monthly growth rates ranged from a 2.1 percent decline in the Midwest to a 4.4 percent increase in the West. On a year-over-year basis, all areas posted declines ranging from a 4 percent drop in the South to an 11.3 percent decline in the West. The median price of existing single-family homes sold was $201,100, an increase of 2.3 percent for the month and 4.7 percent annually. The inventory of existing single-family homes available for sale rose sharply to 2.01 million units, representing a 5.9 month supply at the current sales pace.
  • 05.16.2014
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • According to the May preliminary results from the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment, consumer confidence fell 2.3 points to 81.8, down from April’s reading of 84.1. Declines in the overall index were due to decreases observed in both subindexes: current economic conditions and consumer expectations. Current economic conditions fell 3.6 points to 95.1 in early May, down from 98.7 in April. Consumer expectations fell 1.5 points to 73.2 (from 74.7 in May). However, a repeat high of 58 percent of consumers indicated that they believed the current state of the economy had improved, up 9 percentage points from April. The overall decline likely can be attributed to consumers’ assessment of their personal finances. Only 34 percent of those survey reported gains, as higher prices were mentioned repeatedly. Finally, buying attitudes toward household durables decreased from 143 to 146 in May’s preliminary results.

    Inflation expectations remained nearly unchanged. In early May, consumers again expect prices to increase 3.2 percent within a year and 2.8 percent over the long-term.

  • 05.16.2014
  • Housing Starts
  • In April, the groundbreaking of new single-family homes rose 0.8 percent for the month and 9.8 percent over the past 12 months to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 649,000 units started. Regionally, new home construction in the Northeast was flat for the month and declined 13.6 percent since last April, while the West was up 5.8 percent for the month and 10.5 percent over the past year. The authorization of single-family building permits rose 0.3 percent in April, but fell 3.2 percent annually to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 602,000 permits issued.
  • 05.15.2014
  • Industrial Production
  • Industrial production decreased 0.6 percent in April. Manufacturing output also decreased 0.4 percent. Breaking down the manufacturing sector into durable and nondurable goods production, durable and nondurable goods output fell 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. Within the durable goods sector, primary metals, machinery, and furniture declined at least 1 percent. Motor vehicles and parts production increased 0.1 percent. Within the nondurable goods sector, chemical products and paper products also fell 1 percent. Mining production increased 1.4 percent and utility production increased 1 percent. Mining production has increased 8.3 percent over the past year. The overall capacity utilization rate dropped to 78.6 percent.
  • 05.15.2014
  • CPI
  • The headline CPI index rose at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent in April after increasing 2.4 percent in March and 1.2 percent in February. Excluding food and energy, the “core” CPI index posted gains of 2.9 percent after rising 2.5 percent in March and 1.4 percent in February. On a year-over-year basis, the headline CPI increased 2.0 percent, up from its first quarter average of 1.4 percent to post its highest year-over-year gain since July of 2013. After increasing 1.6 percent in every month of the first quarter of 2014, the core CPI advanced 1.8 percent on a yearly basis in April, which was also its largest increase since summer 2013. The 16 percent trimmed-mean increased 2.9 percent on a monthly basis and the median CPI rose 3.2 percent in April. Both indicators came in above their respective first quarter averages of 1.9 and 2.3 percent. The median CPI rose 2.2 percent on a year-over-year basis after posting a 2.1 percent average increase throughout the first quarter of 2014. The trimmed-mean increased 1.8 percent on a yearly basis after averaging 1.6 percent in the first quarter.
  • 05.14.2014
  • Producer Price Index
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) increased at an annualized rate of 8.8 percent in April. On a year-over-year basis, PPI is up 2.1 percent. This is the largest 12-month advance since March 2012. Producer prices for finished consumer foods increased at an annualized rate of 31.5 percent. Meat and dairy prices maintain strong momentum, and poultry prices rose in April. Energy prices increased at an annualized rate of 5.7 percent. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, “core” PPI is up 3.3 percent and core crude prices increased 11.9 percent.
  • 05.13.2014
  • Import and Export Prices
  • Import prices fell −0.4 percent in April after rising by a revised 0.4 percent in March. Petroleum prices fell by −0.7 percent in April, driving the overall price change. Nonpetroleum prices saw no change after increasing 0.3 percent in March. On a year-over-year basis, import prices decreased −0.3 percent, marking the eighth consecutive month of declines. Petroleum prices inched up by 0.1 percent on a yearly basis after falling −2.2 percent in March. Nonpetroleum imports decreased by −0.3 percent in April after falling by a revised −0.1 percent in March.

    Export prices declined by −1.0 percent in April following an increase of 1.0 percent in March. On a year-over-year basis, export prices increased 0.1 percent after rising by a revised 0.5 percent in March.

  • 05.13.2014
  • Retail Sales
  • Total retail sales increased at a nonannualized rate of 0.2 percent in April and year-over-year sales are up 4.2 percent. April’s retail sales report confirms that the increase in sales seen in March was not a single occurrence as the trend continued into April. Excluding autos, retail sales are up 0.1 percent and 2.7 percent year-over-year in April. Contributing to the monthly gains in total sales were clothing and accessories (up 1.2 percent), gasoline stations (up 0.8 percent), and sporting goods and hobbies (up 0.7 percent). Sectors that saw the largest declines in April were electronics and appliances (down 2.3 percent), food service and drinking places (down 0.9 percent), and nonstore retailers (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 0.1 percent in April. On a year-over-year basis, core retail sales are up 3.1 percent.
  • 05.07.2014
  • Consumer Credit
  • In March, outstanding consumer credit increased at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 6.7 percent. This follows increases of 5.2 percent and 5.0 percent in January and February, respectively. On a year-over-year basis, consumer credit has increased 5.8 percent. Revolving credit increased 1.6 percent in March after falling 3.8 percent in February, while nonrevolving credit, which mainly reflects student and auto loans, increased 8.7 percent for the month after rising 8.4 percent in the prior month. Over the past year, revolving consumer credit has increased 0.9 percent, and nonrevolving credit has increased 7.8 percent.
  • 05.07.2014
  • Productivity and Costs
  • Nonfarm business sector productivity—real output per hours of all persons—declined at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014 according to the preliminary estimate. This follows increases of 3.5 percent and 2.3 percent in the third and fourth quarters of 2013, respectively. On a year-over-year basis, productivity has increased 1.4 percent. The decline in productivity in the first quarter was due to both a slowdown in output growth and an increase in hours worked. For the quarter, real output increased just 0.3 percent, while hours were up 2.0 percent. In nominal terms, compensation per hour increased 2.4 percent; however, after controlling for price changes, hourly compensation only increased 0.5 percent. Since the first quarter of 2013, real hourly compensation has increased 0.9 percent. Unit labor costs, which are measured as hourly compensation per hourly output, increased 4.2 percent in the first quarter, following two consecutive quarterly declines during the second half of 2013. On a year-over?year basis, unit labor costs have increased 0.9 percent.
  • 05.06.2014
  • International Trade
  • In March, the US trade deficit contracted by $1.5 billion to −$40.4 billion after expanding by a revised 2.6 billion in February to −$41.8 billion. March’s contraction was just above the consensus forecast of −$40.3 billion. March exports increased by a 2.1 percent to $193.9 billion and imports increased by 1.1 percent to $234.3 billion. The increase in exports outpaced the increase in imports, driving the overall contraction of the US trade deficit. On a year over year basis, exports increased by 5.0 percent after increasing by a revised 1.7 percent in February and 3.0 percent in January, marking the twelfth consecutive month of increases on a year-over-year basis. Imports increased by 5.9 percent in March following a revised increase of 0.8 percent in February and a 1.2 percent increase in January.
  • 05.02.2014
  • Factory Orders
  • New orders for manufactured goods rose at a nonannualized rate of 1.1 percent in March, following a decrease of 1.5 percent in February. Orders for nondurable goods fell 0.6 percent, while orders for durable goods grew 2.9 percent. Since March of 2013, orders for manufactured goods have increased 1.9 percent. After excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.6 percent in March. New orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft grew 3.5 percent, following a decline of 0.9 percent in February and a 0.8 percent increase in January. On a year-over-year basis, orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft have increased 1.4 percent.

    Shipments of manufactured goods declined 0.3 percent in March. Unfilled orders and inventories were up 0.6 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively for the month. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio remained at 6.5, and the inventory-to-shipment ratio remained at 1.3, roughly where it has been since late 2009.

  • 05.02.2014
  • The Employment Situation
  • In April, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000 and the unemployment rate ticked down to 6.3 percent. On the household side of the report, the labor force participation rate fell by 0.4 percent to 62.8 percent, while the employment-to-population ratio remained unchanged at 58.9 percent.

    On the establishment side of the report, revisions to figures from February and March combine for a total of 36,000 more jobs added than previously reported. Over the past 12 months, job growth has averaged 190,000 per month and 209,000 per month over the past three months. Sectors with the strongest gains were professional and business services (up 75,000), health and education (up 33,000), retail trade (up 35,000), and education and health services (up 40,000). The largest employment decline was within the information sector (down 3,000). The average workweek and hourly earnings for all employees remained unchanged at 34.5 hours and $24.31, respectively. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.9 percent.

  • 05.01.2014
  • Personal Income
  • Nominal personal income increased at a nonannualized rate of 0.5 percent in March, following increases of 0.4 percent in both January and February. Over the past year, nominal personal income has increased 3.4 percent. Disposable personal income (DPI)—personal income less current personal taxes—also increased 0.5 percent in March, and DPI has increased 3.3 percent over the past twelve months. After controlling for price changes, real disposable personal income increased 0.3 percent in March, which follows similar increases of 0.3 percent in both January and February. Since March of 2013, real DPI has increased 2.2 percent.

    Real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.7 percent in March. This follows increases of 0.1 percent in January and 0.4 percent in February. On a year-over-year basis, real consumption has increased 2.9 percent. Contributing to the monthly increase in consumption was a 1.4 percent increase in goods consumption, which consisted of a 2.7 percent increase in consumption of durable goods consumption and a 0.9 percent increase in consumption of nondurable goods. Services consumption was also higher in March, increasing 0.4 percent. Services consumption has picked up some momentum recently, averaging monthly increases of 0.4 percent so far in 2014 compared with monthly averages of 0.2 percent in 2013 and 0.1 percent in 2012. A large source of the recent increase in services consumption is coming from consumption of health care services, which has averaged monthly increases of 0.7 percent so far in 2014. Since March of 2013, consumption of services has increased 2.4 percent.

  • 05.01.2014
  • PCE Price Index
  • The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index increased at an annualized rate of 2.3 percent in March, following increases of 1.3 percent in January and 0.8 percent in February. On a year-over-year basis, the PCE price index has increased 1.1 percent. The core PCE price index, which excludes both the food and energy components, increased 2.1 percent in March and 1.2 percent over the past year. The market-based core PCE price index, which also excludes most imputed prices, increased 1.8 percent in March. This follows increases of 1.1 percent in January and 0.9 percent in February. Over the past year, this index has increased 1.1 percent.
  • 05.01.2014
  • Construction Spending
  • Private construction spending rose in March to $679.6 billion, 0.5 percent above the downwardly revised February estimate of $676.3 billion. March?s results are 12.5 percent higher year-over-year. Residential construction spending increased 0.8 percent over the month, to $369.8 billion. New single-family construction rose 0.2 percent and is up 13.3 percent since last March. New multi-family construction spending grew 4.4 percent in March and is up 32.5 percent year-over-year. Private nonresidential construction spending was at $309.8 billion, 0.2 percent above the downwardly revised February estimate of $309.3 billion. Eight of the eleven nonresidential construction sectors saw month-to-month increases in spending with the transportation sector posting the largest monthly increase of 5.3 percent. The amusement and recreation sector registered the largest monthly decline of 4.9 percent.
  • 05.01.2014
  • ISM Manufacturing
  • The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose 1.2 percentage points to 54.9 in the month of April, 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 once since July 2009. Three of the five components of the PMI increased since March. Furthermore, all five components were above the growth threshold of 50. The employment index posted the largest monthly increase of 3.6 percent. Supplier deliveries increased 1.9 percent and inventories rose 0.5 percent. New orders were unchanged over the month and production fell 0.2 percent. The ISM prices index fell 2.5 percentage points to 56.5 percent. Prices have decreased by 5.0 percentage points since February 2013’s high of 61.5 percent.