Data Updates

Data Updates

July 2012

  • 07.31.2012
  • Home Price Indexes
  • On a yearly basis, existing home prices declined. The 10-city composite is down 1 percent from last year, compared with a 2.2 percent decrease last month. The 20-city composite index is down just 0.7 percent. Without seasonal adjustments, both indexes gained 2.2 percent. Without seasonal adjustments, gains for both indexes where at 0.9 percent.

    The FHFA housing price index rose 0.8 percent in May after a 0.1 downward revision to April’s estimate. On an annual basis home prices have increased 3.7 percent since last May, but remain 17.0 percent below the April 2007 peak. Regionally, monthly price changes ranged from a 1.7 percent increase in the Pacific division to a 1.0 percent decline in the West South Central division. Over the past 12-months regional price changes range vary from being flat in the New England division to a 6.3 percent increase in the Mountain division.

  • 07.31.2012
  • Personal Income
  • Nominal personal income increased at a non-annualized rate of 0.5 percent in June, following an increase of 0.3 percent in May, and is up 3.5 percent since June of last year. Disposable personal income—personal income less current taxes—increased 0.4 percent during the month, and is up 3.2 percent over the last 12 months. After controlling for price changes, “real” disposable personal income was up 0.3 percent in June, and on a year-over-year basis, “real” DPI was up 1.7 percent. The near-term (3-month) trend in the year-over-year growth rate accelerated during the second quarter increasing from 0.1 percent at the end of the first quarter to 1.3 percent by the end of the second quarter. This data release also included the BEA’s annual revisions going back to 2009, which showed a downward revision in the year-over-year change in“real” DPI from −2.3 percent to −2.8 percent for 2009, no revision for 2010 (remaining at 1.8 percent), and a slight upward revision for 2011 from 1.2 percent to 1.3 percent. In June, “real” personal consumption expenditures decreased 0.1 percent following an increase of 0.1 percent in May. This marks the first month of negative consumption growth since last August. On a year-over-year basis, “real” personal consumption expenditures are up 2.0 percent. Consumption seems to have slowed a bit over the second quarter, as the 3-month trend in “real” PCE fell from just over 0.2 percent during the first quarter to less than 0.1 percent by the end of the second quarter. The personal savings rate increased to 4.4 percent in June from 4.0 percent in May, and was also revised downward for each of the last three years going from 5.1 percent to 4.7 percent in 2009, 5.3 percent to 5.1 percent in 2010, and from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent in 2011.
  • 07.31.2012
  • PCE Price Index
  • The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index increased at an annualized rate of 1.3 percent in June following a drop of 2.2 percent in May, and is up 1.5 percent since last year. The quarterly average annualized percent change in the headline index dropped from 3.3 percent during the first quarter to -0.3 percent during the second quarter caused primarily by May’s decline. The “core” PCE price index—which excludes food and energy prices—increased 2.5 percent in June, following an increase of 1.4 percent in May. This pulls the near-term (3-month) trend in “core” PCE prices up slightly from 1.7 to 1.8 percent, which is still below the first quarter average of 2.3 percent. On a year-over-year basis, “core” PCE prices are up 1.8 percent. The market-based “core” PCE price index—which excludes most imputed prices—increased 2.2 percent during June, following an increase of 1.8 percent in May, and is up 1.8 percent over the past year.
  • 07.31.2012
  • Employment Cost Index
  • Employer costs of compensation for civilian workers rose 0.5 percent (nonannualized) in the second quarter, following a 0.4 percent increase in the first quarter. Year-over-year growth rates in the compensation series have been slowly declining from 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2011 to 1.8 percent for the current quarter. The wages and salary component also increased 0.4 percent, down slightly from the first quarter’s 0.5 percent advance. Civilian wages and salaries increased 1.7 percent for the year and has remained in the range of 1.5 to 1.7 percent for the past 12 quarters. The benefits component continues to slow; increasing 0.6 percent in the first quarter while year over year growth rates have declined from 3.6 percent during the second quarter of 2011 to 2.1 percent in the current quarter. Stable wage and salary growth along with falling benefits costs point signal minimal wage pressures.
  • 07.30.2012
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment was revised up slightly to 72.3 from July’s initial reading of 72.0. This is a 0.9 point drop from June’s index level of 73.2, and still 7.0 points lower than a recent high in May of 79.3. The current conditions component was revised down slightly from 83.2 to 82.7, which marks a 1.2 point improvement over June. Meanwhile, the consumer expectations component was revised up from 64.8 to 65.6, a drop of 2.2 points from the previous month. Median short-run (one-year ahead) inflation expectations were revised up to 3.0 percent from 2.8 percent earlier in the month, while longer-term (five-years ahead) inflation expectations were revised down slightly from 2.8 percent to 2.7 percent.
  • 07.27.2012
  • GDP
  • Real GDP rose at an annualized rate of 1.5 percent in the second quarter, slowing a bit from a 2.0 percent increase in the first quarter. The deceleration in growth relative to the first quarter was primarily driven by a slower growth rate in real consumption (1.5 percent versus 2.5 percent), and real business fixed investment (7.5 percent to 5.4 percent). The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its annual revision alongside the second quarter release, covering data back to 2009. The year-over-year growth rate in real GDP was revised up for 2009 (from −3.5 percent to −3.1 percent); revised down from 3.0 percent to 2.4 percent growth in 2010; and was nudged up for 2011 (from 1.7 percent to 1.8 percent). Importantly, the four-quarter growth rate now appears to have held fairly constant (around 2.0 percent) during the recovery, rather than exhibit a deceleration from a recent peak of 3.5 percent in mid-2010. Among the components, the largest changes during the revision were to real private nonresidential investment and real government expenditures. The level of real private nonresidential investment as of 2012:Q1 was pushed down 1.7 percent during the annual revision, and the level of real government expenditures was revised up by 1.1 percent as of 2012:Q1 (though most of that came in 2009 and 2010). The trajectory in real personal consumption was largely unchanged during the revision.
  • 07.26.2012
  • Durable Goods
  • New orders for durable goods rose 1.6 percent (nonannualized rate) in June, following a modest upward revision to May’s orders (up from 1.1 percent to 1.6 percent). However, much of the strength in orders over the past few months is just reflecting volatile orders for transportation equipment, which jumped up a 8.0 percent in June. Excluding transportation, new orders for durables actually fell 1.1 percent in June and rose 0.8 percent in May. On a year-over-year basis, the series is up 3.1 percent, a growth rate that has slowed sharply from a local peak of 10.3 percent in February. The near-term outlook for equipment and software investment is often affected by nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, which slipped down 1.4 percent in June, though that was after a 2.7 percent gain in May. Still, nondefense capital goods orders (excluding aircraft) have fallen in four of the past six months, and its 12-month growth rate has slowed from 11.9 percent in February to 0.1 percent as of June. Shipments of durables rose just 0.1 percent in June. However, after excluding transportation equipment, shipments rose 0.5 percent in June and are up 6.2 percent over the past year. Durables inventories continued to expand in June, rising 0.3 percent.
  • 07.25.2012
  • New Home Sales
  • New single-family home sales fell to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 350,000 units sold in June. This is 8.4 percent lower than May’s revised rate of 382,000 units (revised up from 369,000), which drops the near-term (3-month) trend in sales growth down from 1.5 percent to nearly zero. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales are still up 15.1 percent. The largest contributor to the overall monthly decline was sales in the Northeast, which fell 60.0 percent in June to the lowest level in eight months. This follows six straight months of sales increases for the region. The South also posted a monthly decline of 8.6 percent, while sales in the Midwest and West grew 14.6 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively. The median sales price fell 1.9 percent to $232,600, while the average sales price fell 1.5 percent to $273,900. The median price has fallen three out of the last four months and the average price has posted two consecutive months of declines. Finally, the number of new single-family homes for sale increased 0.7 percent in June to 144,000 units on a seasonally-adjusted basis, following a decline of 1.4 percent in May. This represents 4.9 months of supply at the current sales rate.
  • 07.19.2012
  • Existing Home Sales
  • Existing single-family home sales fell 5.1 percent in June to an annualized rate of 3.9 million homes sold. While this represents a 4.8 percent increase over the past 12-months, this is the sharpest monthly decline since February 2011. The median sales price of existing single-family homes in June rose 5.5 percent from May and 8.0 from this time last year to $190,100. The monthly supply of existing single-family homes for sale rose 1.6 percent to a 6.5 month supply—the highest level since November 2011. Despite the modest uptick in the monthly supply, the total inventory of existing single-family homes fell 2.8 percent to 2.12 million available homes. Both the month supply and inventory of existing single-family homes continue to post significant annual declines—down 27.8 percent and 23.7 percent, respectively from last June.
  • 07.18.2012
  • Housing Starts
  • Single-family housing starts rose 4.7 percent from in June to an annualized rate of 539,000 homes under construction. This represents a 21.7 percent increase in housing starts over the past 12-months. Regionally, single-family housing starts have been strongest in the Northeast and West, where annual gains have improved by 42.1 percent and 33.7 percent, respectively. The authorization of building permits, which tend to be less volatile, rose 0.6 percent in June and are up 19.7 percent from June 2011.
  • 07.17.2012
  • CPI
  • The headline CPI was virtually flat in June, rising at an annualized rate of just 0.5 percent in July, as falling energy prices offset increases elsewhere in the marketbasket. The year-over-year growth rate in the headline CPI remained at 1.7 percent in June. Food prices rose 2.1 percent during the month, and we have yet to see any effects from spiking corn prices (cereal and bakery products fell 4.9 percent in June). Excluding food and energy prices, the “core” CPI rose 2.5 percent in June, in line with its near-term (three-month annualized) growth rate of 2.6 percent, and ran slightly ahead of its longer-term (12-month) growth rate of 2.2 percent. Our underlying inflation measures—the median and 16 percent trimmed-mean CPI—came in softer than the core CPI in June, rising 1.5 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. On a year-over-year basis, the median is up 2.3 percent and the trim is up 2.2 percent. The disagreement in June between the core CPI and our trimmed-means is due to the influence of a few relatively large categories on the core CPI. The first was a huge price spike in medical care services prices, jumping up 9.1 percent in June which is its largest price increase since May 1993. The series (which comprises roughly 5 percent of the marketbasket) is now up 4.3 percent on a year-over-year basis. Our trimmed-mean measures treated this unusually large price spike as noise, excluding it from the calculation in June, whereas it was included in the core CPI calculation. A couple of other sizeable components were excluded from the trim in June: lodging away from home (up 11.2 percent) and footwear (up 14.1 percent). Most of the components excluded from the trim on the other side of the distribution were food and energy items (except for a 20 percent drop in public transportation prices, but that was likely related to the drop in fuel prices). This exacerbated the difference between the core CPI and median.
  • 07.17.2012
  • Industrial Production
  • The industrial production index increased 0.4 percent in June following a 0.2 percent decline in May. The near-term trend (three-month annualized growth) of industrial production has increased to 3.8 percent from 0.0 percent in May. From this time last year, industrial production is up 4.6 percent, right in line with readings seen since the beginning of the year. Manufacturing rose 0.4 percent in June after having fallen 0.7 percent in May. Manufacturing production has slowed markedly to 1.4 percent in the second quarter from 9.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012. Breaking down the monthly manufacturing sector, durable and nondurable goods increased 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. Most durable goods industries posted gains in June, with the machinery and motor vehicles and parts exhibiting the largest gains at 2.3 percent and 1.9 percent. Overall capacity utilization edged up 0.2 percent to 78.9 percent of capacity.
  • 07.16.2012
  • Retail Sales
  • After slipping down 0.5 percent in June, retail sales have now fallen for three consecutive months (its worst losing streak since mid-2008. The recent weakness over the past three month has pulled the series’ 12-month growth rate down 2.5 percentage points to 3.8 percent. Unfortunately, that softness has been fairly widespread. Across broad sales categories, only four out of 13 industries posted sales increases, and the largest increase was 0.5 percent (belonging to miscellaneous and nonstore retailers). In May, six of 13 broad components posting increases. Auto sales fell 0.7 percent in June, nearly reversing a 0.9 percent increase in May. Sales at gasoline stations (down 1.8 percent) were the steepest decline in June (and likely price-related), though sales at building material, garden equipment, and supplies dealers (down 1.6 percent) and at sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (1.6 percent) also fell precipitously. “Core” retail sales—a cleaner measure of consumer spending trajectory—which excludes autos, building supplies, and gas stations decreased 0.1 percent during the month, and as been trending down since the beginning of the year. Its near-term (three-month annualized) growth rate fell to 0.7 percent in June, its first foray into negative territory since May 2009. The series’ 12-month growth rate is still up 3.7 percent, though that's down sharply from where it was at the beginning of the year (6.1 percent).
  • 07.13.2012
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment continued to wane in early July, falling 1.2 index points to 72.0 during the month. Sentiment had reached as high as 79.3 back in May, but has plummeted 7.3 points over the past two months. That said, the index is still well above its recent low of 55.8 seen last August. Respondents’ collective judgment over current economic conditions actually improved in July—rising to 83.2 from 81.5 in June. However, the consumer expectations component slipped down 3 points to 64.8, its lowest level since last December. Year-ahead median inflation expectations slipped down 0.3 percentage points to 2.8 percent in July (its lowest level since October 2010), likely on falling gas prices. Longer-term (five-to-ten years ahead) inflation expectations remained at 2.8 percent during the month.
  • 07.13.2012
  • Producer Price Index
  • Producer prices, as measured by the Producer Price Index (PPI), continued to ebb in June, rising at an annualized rate of 0.6 percent in June. Over the past year, the PPI is up just 0.8 percent, compared to its 10-year growth rate of 3.3 percent. Energy prices fell sharply in June (down 10.6 percent), while food prices nearly reversed a 6.5 percent decline in May, rising 6.3 percent in June. Excluding food and energy prices, the index rose 2.7 percent, following three consecutive months of 2.0 percent increases. On a year-over-year basis, the PPI excluding food and energy is up 2.6 percent, down slightly from a recent high of 3.1 percent in January. There was a dearth of pricing pressure further back on the line of production, as core intermediate and core crude goods prices fell sharply (−8.3 percent and −38.8 percent, respectively).
  • 07.12.2012
  • Import and Export Prices
  • U.S. import prices tumbled 2.7 percent in June after falling 1.2 percent in May (1.0 percent, previously). June marks the third consecutive month of declines and the largest monthly drop since December 2008. Both lower petroleum and nonpetroleum prices contributed to the overall all decrease in import prices indicating that foreign prices have the potential to exert downward pressure on domestic prices in the coming months. Petroleum prices plummeted 10.5 percent on a monthly basis—the biggest drop since December 2008—and slid 10.7 percent on a year-over-year-basis. Nonpetroleum prices fell by a more modest 0.34 percent month-over-monthly. On a year-over-year basis, nonpetroleum import prices edged down 0.17 percent marking the first decrease since December 2009. After falling 0.5 percent in May, the overall import price index continued to slide on a year-over-year basis posting 2.6 losses in June.

    Export prices declined by 1.7 percent in June after falling 0.5 percent in May (0.4 percent, previously). Both agricultural prices and nonagricultural price fell, the former plunging 4.0 percent and the later declining 1.4 percent. On a year-over-year basis, export prices decreased by 2.1 percent after falling 0.2 percent last month.

  • 07.11.2012
  • International Trade
  • In May, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed by $1.9 billion to $48.7 billion, down from April’s upwardly revised $50.6 billion deficit ($50.2 billion, previously). May marks the second consecutive month in which the trade deficit contracted. The narrowing was driven by a 0.7 percent decline in imports which dropped $1.6 billion to $231.8 billion ($233.3 billion, previously). The downward path of imports was partly influenced by falling import prices which declined 1.0 percent in May. Also contributing to the contraction of the overall deficit was a modest 0.2 percent expansion in exports by $0.4 to $183.1 billion ($182.7 billion, previously). On a year-over-year basis, imports rose by 3.8 percent, the smallest year-over-year gain since October 2008. Exports climbed 4.2 percent, up slightly from a 4.0 percent yearly gain in March.
  • 07.09.2012
  • Consumer Credit
  • Total consumer credit rose for the ninth consecutive month in May, improving 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. After May’s improvement, total consumer credit balances stand 1.7 percent below their pre-recession peak on a non-inflation adjusted basis. Furthermore, total consumer credit rose 5.3 percent on an annual basis, making it the largest annual increase in total consumer credit since June 2008. The growth in total consumer credit was driven by improvements in both revolving and nonrevolving credit. Nonrevolving credit rose for the ninth consecutive month in May, increasing 0.5 percent. Compared to May 2011, nonrevolving credit is up 7.3 percent, the largest twelve month increase since January 2004. Moreover, revolving credit surged 0.9 percent in May after falling 0.4 percent in April. May’s performance marks the largest monthly increase in revolving credit since November 2007. On a year-over-year basis, revolving credit is up 1.5 percent.
  • 07.06.2012
  • Federal Reserve Balance Sheet
  • At the June Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the committee decided to continue the Maturity Extension Program through the end of 2012. It is estimated that the total additional sales and purchases related to the program will be $267 billion. A tentative schedule for Treasury operations for July was released at the end of June, with purchases expected to outpace sales by $6 billion. Also during the month of June, the Maiden Lane I and Maiden Lane III vehicles completely repaid their outstanding loan balances. All three Maiden Lane vehicles have now repaid their loans, and the combined remaining portfolio value for the three facilities is over $15 billion. Throughout the month, the outstanding amount of dollar liquidity swaps increased from $22.3 billion to $28.0 billion. Finally, the rules for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) were revised in June so that the amount of credit protection provided by the Treasury is now $1.4 billion. The outstanding amount in the TALF now stands at $4.5 billion.
  • 07.06.2012
  • Employment Situation
  • Nonfarm payrolls added a mere 80,000 jobs in June, following a slight upward revision to May’s estimate (up from 69,000 to 77,000), but the gain is well off the 12-month pace of 148,000 per month. On net, revisions to the past two months were a wash. That said, the composition of the revisions shifted roughly 20,000 from public to private payrolls. Payroll growth in the second quarter slowed dramatically relative to its average monthly gain in the first quarter (75,000 vs. 226,000). Even if you were clinging to a story that the first quarter was elevated relative to its underlying trajectory and the second quarter is under-reporting the trend, that still leaves the average monthly gain in payrolls over the last six months at 150,000.

    For context: The average monthly increase in the civilian labor force over the past 30 years is 125,000, so continued employment gains around 150,000 would do little to tamp down the unemployment rate. In June, most of the meager employment gains came from the private service-providing sector, which increased 71,000 compared to a 13,000 increase in goods-producing payrolls. And, of that 13,000 increase in goods-producing employment, roughly half was due to an increase in motor vehicle and parts payrolls (+7,000). Mining and logging employment was flat in June, and payrolls in the construction industry edged up just 2,000 after a relatively large 35,000 decline in May.

    On the service side, temporary employment jumped up 25,000 accounting for 35 percent of the overall sector’s increase in June. Leisure and hospitality payrolls posted the next-largest gain in June, rising 13,000, and reversing losses of 7,000 in May and 4,000 in April. Transportation and warehousing payrolls slipped down 2,000 in June, but that was after a relatively large 32,000 increase in May. Employment losses in June were also seen in retail trade (down 5,400) and the information industry (down 8,000). On the household side of the report; the unemployment rate remained at 8.2 percent in June, as an increase in the civilian labor force of 156,000 slightly outpaced an increase in the number of employed persons (up 128,000). The employment-to-population ratio was also unchanged in June, remaining at 58.6 percent.

  • 07.03.2012
  • Factory Orders
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 0.7 percent (nonannualized) in May, following two reports of monthly declines in March and April. Despite this month’s increase the near term trend (three-month annualized growth rate) remains in negative territory at −8.0 percent. Year over year growth rates have continued to gradually decline from a high of 23.8 percent in April 2010 to a current reading of 3.0 percent. New orders excluding transportation increased 0.4 percent while durable and nondurable new orders rose 1.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders, considered a leading indicator of business investment spending, increased 2.1 percent for the month while its three-month annualized growth rate remains negative at −6.7 percent. Shipments of manufactured goods rose 0.5 percent for the month, while its three-month annualized growth rate, 1.33 percent, has remained relatively level over the past two months. Unfilled orders were unchanged in May. Inventories declined 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month pulling the inventory-to-shipments ratio down to 1.27 from 1.28.
  • 07.02.2012
  • ISM Manufacturing
  • The ISM’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) dropped from 53.5 in May to 49.7 in June. This is the first time since July of 2009 that the index is showing a contraction in manufacturing, which is indicated by an index level below 50. There was a large decrease in the new orders component, which fell from 60.1 to 47.8, a drop of 12.3 points. The production component also fell for the second consecutive month, going from 55.6 in May to 51.0 in June. Both the employment and inventories components also posted declines, dropping from 56.9 to 56.6 and 46.0 to 44.0, respectively, while the supplier deliveries component increased slightly from 48.7 to 48.9. The price index (which is not seasonally adjusted and does not enter into the overall PMI) fell 10.5 points to 37.0, reflecting a drop in the price of raw materials. This component has fallen 24.0 points over the last two months, and is at its lowest level since April of 2009.
  • 07.02.2012
  • Construction Spending
  • Private construction spending rose to $560.4 billion, representing a 1.6 percent increase from April to May and a 13.1 percent over the past 12 months. Upward revisions to April and March showed nonresidential construction increases for both months. Within residential construction there was an overall improvement of 3 percent in May. Spending increases on new single-family homes rose 1.8 percent, new multifamily homes rose 6.3 percent, and residential improvements rose 3.6 percent. Nonresidential construction came in at $299.1 billion, up 18.6 percent from this time last year. The largest section of power and utility fell slightly over May, but is still up 35.2 percent from May 2011. There was improved spending on manufacturing structures, commercial structures, and healthcare structures. Manufacturing showed the largest increase of 2.8 percent for the month to aid the increase in private construction.