Data Updates

Data Updates

August 2011

  • 08.31.2011
  • Factory Orders
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased 2.4 percent (nonannualized) in July, pulling its 3-month annualized growth rate up to 10.8 percent, from −2.8 percent in June. Year-over-year new order growth rose 13.9 percent compared to 13.5 percent in June. Excluding transportation, new orders inched up 0.9 percent in July and are up 14.7 percent over the past year. The 3-month annualized growth rate for new orders excluding transportation rebounded slightly from its slow 2.3 percent growth in June, increasing to 5.4 percent in July. Nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders fell 0.9 percent. Durable goods orders rose 4.1 percent while nondurable goods orders added 1.0 percent in July. Shipments of manufactured goods grew 1.6 percent in July, pulling its 3-month annualized growth rate up from 0.6 percent in June to 9.0 percent. Inventory accumulation continued to recent slow pace, increasing just 0.5 percent in July and 6.6 percent over the past three months, well below its 12.8 percent pace since last July.
  • 08.30.2011
  • Housing Price Indexes
  • The S&P Case-Shiller national home price index increased by 3.6 percent in the second quarter of 2011, after having deceasing 4.1 percent in the first quarter. On an annual basis home prices declined 5.9 percent when compared to the second quarter of 2010. For the last three consecutive months both the 10- and 20-city composites have increased, showing positive increases for the Spring home buying season. As of June 2011, 19 of the 20 MSA’s covered posted monthly gains and all cities where above their record lows. Nationally, home prices area back to their 2003 levels.

    The FHFA purchase-only housing price index was not as strong in second quarter, whereas prices fell 0.6 percent from the first three months of the year and are down 5.9 percent from the second quarter of 2010. Notably, purchase prices in Pittsburgh were up 3.6 percent over the last four quarters, which represents the largest increase in the nation. Across the nine Census regions, New England and the West South Central posted the strongest gains of 0.7 percent, while the Mountain region fell 2.3 percent. On a monthly basis from May to June the index rose 0.9 percent to a level nearly 19 percent below the peak of April 2007.

  • 08.29.2011
  • Personal Income
  • Nominal personal income ticked up 0.3 percent (non-annualized) in July following an upwardly revised 0.2 percent gain in June, and is now up 5.3 percent over the past year. Disposable personal income rose 0.3 percent in July, though after adjusting for price changes, “real” disposable income slipped down 0.1 percent (its first monthly decrease since September 2010). Over the past 12 months, real disposable income has risen just 1.2 percent its slowest nominal monthly growth since last May. Real personal consumption expenditures jumped up 0.5 percent in July, after three roughly flat readings. Most of July’s jump-up was due to autos purchases, which pushed up durables consumption 2.0 percent after falling 1.3 percent in June. Apart from durables, nondurables consumption almost completely offset a 0.4 percent increase in June, slipping down 0.3 percent in July. However, consumer spending on services rose 0.5 percent in July, its strongest monthly gain since December 2009. The 12-month growth rate rose to 2.3 percent after included July's strength, up from 2.0 percent in June.
  • 08.29.2011
  • PCE
  • The Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index jumped up 4.5 percent in July, after a 1.5 percent decrease in June. Rising gasoline prices accounted for a large part of the overall increase. Over the past 12 months, PCE prices are up 2.8 percent. Excluding volatile food and energy price increases, the “core” PCE price index rose 2.4 percent in July, in line with its growth rate over the prior three months, though slightly above its 12-month percent change of 1.6 percent. The market-based core PCE—a subgroup of the core index that only excludes most imputed prices—rose 2.3 percent in July, consistent with the increase in the overall core PCE. The market-based core measure is up 1.5 percent over the past year, though is trending at a somewhat elevated 2.7 percent growth rate over the past 3 months.
  • 08.26.2011
  • Real GDP
  • Real GDP was revised down by 0.3 percentage points to 1.0 percent in the second quarter, bringing its 4-quarter growth rate down to 1.5 percent (its slowest growth rate since 2009:Q4), though the details aren’t as bad as the top-line number looks. Much of the downward revision came from exports and inventories, two series the BEA has scant data on as of the advance release. Second quarter real export growth was roughly chopped in half during the revision—from 6.0 percent to 3.1 percent—subtracting 0.4 percentage points from the initial estimate. Imports were nudged up slightly to a 1.9 percent increase in the second quarter. Private inventories (the other major source of the downward revision) were knocked down by roughly $9 billion, switching its contribution to output growth from adding 0.2 percentage points to subtracting 0.2 percentage points in the second quarter. Real personal consumption expenditures were revised up from an initial flat reading to a slight 0.4 percent increase in the second quarter, but that added a little over two tenths to real GDP growth. Another positive was the upward revision to nonresidential investment. Overall BFI was revised up from a 5.8 percent increase to a 9.9 percent gain in the second quarter, as the estimates for both structures and equipment & software investment were boosted. Interestingly, structures investment growth was nearly doubled—from an 8.2 percent gain to a 15.8 percent increase—and now more than offsets its first quarter decrease of 14.4 percent. On a year-over-year basis, structures investment is up 3.4 percent, its strongest growth rate since 2008:Q3. Along with the second estimate of real GDP, we get our first glance at Gross Domestic Income (GDI)—which is calculated using an income approach instead of an expenditure approach. The signal coming from real GDI is actually a shade better than real GDP. Real GDI rose 1.5 percent in the second quarter, following a 2.4 percent increase in the first. And, over the past 4 quarters is up 2.0 percent, compared to just a 1.5 percent growth rate from real GDP.
  • 08.26.2011
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment was revised up slightly in late August, from 54.9 to 55.7, but that is still an 8 point drop from July’s level. Sentiment, which has fallen nearly 20 points from a cyclical high of 77.5 in February, sits a mere 0.4 points above its low during the depths of the recent financial crisis (55.3 in November 2008). While consumers’ judgment over the current conditions has weakened considerably as of late, the majority of the the downward plunge in the overall sentiment index has come from the consumer expectations component—which has fallen 22.1 points over the past three months. Consumer expectations, at a level of 47.4, are at a 31-year low. Shorter-term median inflation expectations (one-year ahead) were revised up from 3.4 percent to 3.5 percent in late August, 0.1 percentage points above July’s reading. However, longer-term inflation expectations (five-years ahead) remained flat at 2.9 percent.
  • 08.24.2011
  • Durable Goods
  • New orders for durable goods jumped up 4.0 percent (nonannualized) in July, rebounding from an 1.3 percent decrease in June (that was revised up from a 2.1 percent drop). A strong July reading combined with upward revisions have turned its 3-month annualized growth rate from a 7.1 percent decline to a 20.3 percent increase. The 12-month growth rate in durables orders improved from 8.6 percent in June to 9.2 percent in July. Much of July’s increase was driven by new orders for autos, which spiked up 11.5 percent during the month. Still, excluding transportation equipment, new orders rose 0.7 percent in July, pushing its near-term (3-month) annualized trend up from 5.1 percent to 8.5 percent, just slightly softer than its 12-month trend of 9.6 percent. An important signal of future equipment and software investment—new orders of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft—fell 1.5 percent in July, following a modest 0.6 percent gain in June. This led to a slight loss of momentum in its near-term trend, but its year-over-year growth rate still stands at a robust 10.8 percent. Shipments of durables, increased 2.5 percent in July, following an upwardly revised 1.1 percent gain in June, and are now up up 7.0 percent over the past year. As was the case with new orders, shipments of autos comprised much of the overall gain. Though after excluding transportation equipment, shipments still increased 0.9 percent in July. Durables inventories continued to swell in July, increasing 0.8 percent and, at a year-over-year growth rate of 12.6 percent, remain near its current cyclical high.
  • 08.23.2011
  • New Home Sales
  • Sales of new single-family homes fell 0.7 percent in July to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 298,000. July’s decline follows a downwardly revised 2.9 percent decline in June. On a year-over-year basis, sales of new single-family homes increased 6.8 percent in July. In July, sales of new single-family homes surged in the Northeast, increasing 100 percent while sales rose 2.4 percent in the Midwest, and fell 7.4 and 5.9 percent in the South and West, respectively. The median sales price of new single-family home fell 6.3 percent to $222,000. The number of new single-family homes for sale continued to slide in July, falling 1.2 percent to a seasonally-adjusted 165,000 units, representing 6.6 months of supply at the current sales rate.
  • 08.18.2011
  • CPI
  • The headline CPI jumped up at an annualized rate of 6.2 percent in July, surprising expectations to the upside. Increases in food at home (up 7.2 percent) and a rebound in motor fuel prices (up 72 percent after falling 56 percent in June) accounted for a little over half of the overall gain. Though on a not seasonally-adjusted basis, motor fuel fell 16.5 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the core CPI rose 2.7 percent in July. Over the past three months, the core CPI is trending at an annualized growth rate of 3.1 percent, above its 12-month growth rate of 1.8 percent. The headline CPI is still running at an elevated 3.6 percent over the past year. The median CPI rose 2.9 percent in July, while the 16% trimmed-mean CPI jumped up 3.3 percent. The two measures are ranging between 2.2 percent and 2.4 percent over the past three months. Over the past year, the trim is up 2.1 percent and the median CPI is up 1.8 percent. A slightly more subdued signal of underlying inflation is coming from the sticky CPI, which increased 2.1 percent in July, but is up only 1.5 percent over the past year. Excluding shelter, the index rose just 1.4 percent during the month, matching its 3-month growth rate.
  • 08.18.2011
  • Exisiting Home Sales
  • Existing single-family home sales fell 4 percent in July from an upwardly revised June to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 4.1 million units sold. Although down for the month, total sales of existing single-family homes are up a substantial 21.5 percent higher than they were this time last year. The median price of homes fell 4.5 percent on a year over year basis to $174,800 in July. Sales prices declined in all five census regions from 1.6 percent in the South to 7.9 percent in the Northeast. While the affordability of housing this year is the most favorable it has been in over thirty years, many creditworthy buyers are still unable to secure traditional bank financing. In addition to high levels of contract failures due to low appraisal values, the market for existing home sales remains sluggish throughout the country.
  • 08.17.2011
  • PPI
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods rose at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent in July, following a 4.3 percent decline in June. Over the past year, producer prices are up 7.2 percent. Energy prices fell 7.2 percent in July after a near 30 percent drop in June, while producer prices for finished consumer foods rose 7.1 percent during the month. Excluding food and energy items, (“core”) producer prices jumped up 5.5 percent in July, though the release noted that an outsized jump in tobacco prices accounted for roughly 25 percent of the increase. Over the past three months, the annualized growth rate in the core PPI is 3.9 percent, modestly above its 12-month growth rate of 2.5 percent. Further back on the production line, pricing pressure was relatively subdued for these series, as core intermediate goods rose just 2.5 percent, and core crude goods—which are up 27 percent over the past year—rose 8.2 percent in July.
  • 08.16.2011
  • Industrial Production
  • Industrial production jumped up 0.9 percent (nonannualized) in July, following upwardly revised gains in June and May, rising 0.4 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Over the past year, industrial production is up 3.4 percent. Manufacturing production rose 0.6 percent in July, bolstered by 5.2 percent spike up in autos production. Over the previous three months, autos production—interrupted by supply chain issues in the wake of the Japanese earthquake—fell 7.7 percent. Excluding autos, manufacturing production increased by 0.3 percent in July; and is trending at an annualized growth rate of 3.3 percent over the past three months, slightly below its year-over-year growth rate of 4.1 percent. Outside manufacturing, electric and gas utilities output jumped up 2.8 percent in July (likely as unusually warm weather encouraged a greater than normal reliance on air conditioning). Mining output continued its consecutive growth streak to five months, rising 1.1 percent in July and is now up 6.6 percent over the past year. Capacity utilization jumped up 0.6 percentage points to 77.5 percent of capacity in July, its highest level since August 2008.
  • 08.16.2011
  • U.S. Trade Prices
  • In July, U.S. import prices increased 0.3 percent, rebounding from June’s 0.5 percent decline. Still, import prices are up 14 percent from a year ago, its highest growth rate since August 2008. The monthly gain was broad based across most major categories with a 0.6 percent gain in fuel driving the increase after declining 2.1 percent in June. Petroleum prices continued to post double-digit gains on a year-over-year basis with July marking a 48.9 percent increase.

    Non-oil import prices advanced 0.2 percent after declining 0.1 percent in June. July’s increase can be attributed to higher prices for consumer goods (up 0.4 percent) and nonfuel industrial supplies and materials (up 0.7 percent). While most import price categories posted gains for July, imported auto prices fell by 0.3 percent, the first decline since the beginning of the year. On a year-over-year basis, non-oil import prices advanced 5.5 percent, its strongest growth rate since September 2008.

    U.S. export prices fell 0.4 percent in July, its first decrease since July 2010. Gains in nonagricultural prices (up 0.2 percent) were offset by declining prices for agricultural commodities (down 4.3 percent). Although export prices declined on a monthly basis, they were up 9.8 percent from a year ago.

  • 08.16.2011
  • Single-Family Housing Starts and Permits
  • Single-family housing starts retreated in July, falling 4.9 percent to 425,000 annualized units. July’s decline follows downwardly revised 7.5 percent increase in single-family housing starts in June. On a year-over-year basis, single-family housing starts were down 0.9 percent in July. Moreover, with the downward revisions in June (447,000 from 453,000), single-family housing starts have not improved on a year-over-year basis since May 2010. Single-family housing starts improved in the Northeast and West regions, increasing 7.5 percent and 4.6 percent respectively while declining 22.6 percent in the Midwest region 4.2 percent in the South region. Authorized permits for single-family housing improved in July, increasing 0.5 percent to 404,000 annualized units; however, single-family housing permits were down 1.2 percent from July 2010’s pace.
  • 08.12.2011
  • Retail Sales
  • Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in July, following an upwardly revised 0.3 percent (from 0.1 percent) increase in June. Nominal sales were up across most broad categories, except building material and supply dealers (down 0.4 percent), sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (down 1.5 percent), and food services and drinking places (down 0.1 percent). Some of the largest gainers in July include miscellaneous store retailers (up 2.4 percent), gasoline stations (up 1.6 percent), and electronics and appliance stores (up 1.4 percent). The near-term (3-month) annualized growth rate rebounded to 2.8 percent through July, after slowing from a recent high of 11.8 percent in March to 1.7 percent in June. Over the past year, retail sales are up 8.5 percent. An alternative gauge of retail spending—“core” retail sales (sales excluding autos, building supplies, and gas stations)—increased 0.3 percent in July, following a 0.4 percent increase in June (that was revised up by 0.3 percentage points). Given July’s increase and the strong upward revision to June’s data, the 3-month annualized growth rate in “core” retail sales rose to 4.1 percent, though remains below its year-over-year growth rate of 6.4 percent.
  • 08.12.2011
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment plummeted in August, falling 8.8 points (or 13.8 percent) to a level of 54.9, and is now slightly lower than its level of 55.3 during the depths of the recent financial crisis (November 2008). The last time sentiment was this low was during the 1980 recession. Consumer pessimism has grown over the past four months, as the sentiment index has fallen nearly 20 points since May. While consumers’ judgment over the current conditions has weakened considerably as of late, the majority of the the downward plunge in the overall sentiment index has come from the consumer expectations component—which fell 10.3 points in August to a level of 45.7 (within a few tenths from its all-time low). As for a possible driver of such pessimism, the release noted: “More importantly, consumers have shifted from being optimistic about the potential impact of monetary and fiscal policies to a sense of despair and pessimism about the role of the government. Never before in the history of the surveys have so many consumers spontaneously mentioned negative aspects of the government’s role, and never before have consumers rated economic policies so unfavorably.” While consumers’ sentiment weakened in August, inflation expectations remained unchanged. Shorter-term inflation expectations (1 year ahead) were flat at 3.4 percent and longer-term inflation expectations (5 years ahead) remained at 2.9 percent.
  • 08.12.2011
  • Federal Reserve Balance Sheet
  • Payments were made by all three Maiden Lane vehicles on their outstanding loans this month, but Maiden Lane II continues to pay down its outstanding loan at a relatively rapid pace. The Maiden Lane portfolios were also revalued according to second-quarter security prices. Maiden Lane I showed almost no movement, but both Maiden Lane II and Maiden Lane III saw declines in their portfolio values. Maiden Lane II dropped from $11.3 billion to $10.2 billion, and Maiden Lane III dropped from $23.2 billion to $21.5 billion. Both portfolios are still expected to be profitable for the Fed.

    A Term Deposit auction in the middle of July was met with much less demand than previous auctions, garnering a bid-to-cover ratio of just 1.26. The New York Fed announced that it would be accepting applications for a new set of reverse repo counterparties, this time allowing banks and savings associations into the mix. Perhaps the biggest requirement is a reserve balance of no less than $10 billion.

    There seemed to have been some strange moves related to the debt ceiling debate as well. In the latter half of July, the Treasury’s General Account spiked, its Supplemental Financing Account dropped down to $0, and the balance of deposits at Federal Reserve banks from government-sponsored enterprises rose to an all-time high, topping $56 billion. In spite of these shifts and the downgrade of U.S. debt by Standard and Poor’s, the Federal Reserve Board announced that it will make no change in the treatment of any type of government-backed debt in its risk-weighting. Perhaps another sign of turmoil in the financial markets, this time in Europe, was a jump in foreign official and international accounts reverse repurchase agreements, which hit their highest mark since early 2009.

  • 08.11.2011
  • International Trade
  • The U.S. trade deficit widened 4.5 percent to $53.1 billion in June, increasing $2.3 billion from May’s revised $50.8 billion ($50.3 billion, previously). Exports (down $4.1 billion to $170.9 billion) fell more than imports (down $1.9 billion to $223.9 billion) causing the overall deficit to widen. June’s 0.8 percent decline in imports stems from decreases across most categories including industrial supplies and materials (down 1.3 percent), capital goods and consumer goods (down 0.4 percent), and automotive vehicles, parts and engines (down 1.2 percent). Food and beverages were the only major category to post gains (up 4.6 percent). Year-over-year, imports rose 13 percent in June, down from May’s 16.2 percent gain. Exports dropped 2.3 percent in June, posting the largest decline since January 2009. Additionally, the decrease in exports for both May and June marked the first back-to-back decline since the recovery began. Although exports fell in June, they were up 12.9 percent on a year-over-year basis. Gains in consumer goods exports (up 4.7 percent) were offset by decreases in food and beverages (down 8.2 percent), industrial supplies and materials (down 4.2 percent), and capital goods (down 3.9 percent).
  • 08.09.2011
  • Productivity and Costs
  • Nonfarm business sector productivity—real output per hour of all persons—decreased 0.3 percent in the second quarter of 2011. Output increased 1.8 percent from 0.9 percent in the first quarter. Hours also continued to increase, 2.0 percent, from the first quarter estimate of 1.5 percent. Compensation and unit labor costs increased 1.9 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively in the second quarter. The NIPA revisions were incorporated into this release which show the first quarter of 2011 was revised down to −0.6 percent from an initial estimate of 1.8 percent. For 2010, nonfarm business sector productivity growth was revised up to 4.1 percent from 3.9 percent. However the 2010 unit labor cost revision to −2.0 percent, marks the largest annual decline in the series since it began in 1948. Productivity was also knocked down in 2009 and 2008 falling from 3.7 percent to 2.3 percent and 1.0 percent to 0.6 percent, respectively.
  • 08.05.2011
  • The Employment Situation
  • Nonfarm payrolls rose 117,000 in July, following an upwardly revised 46,000 in June and 53,000 in May. The revisions added 56,000 on net. Private payrolls were a little stronger than the headline as the government sector shed 37,000 workers (mostly state and local). Since last July government payrolls are down 547,000 workers. Private payrolls rose 154,000 in July and are averaging 111,000 over the past three months (though thatandrsquo;s still well short of its average of 204,000 over the first four months of the year). Goods-producing payrolls rose 42,000 in July, in line with its average over the first four months of the year, after posting two consecutive gains of 20,000 or less. Manufacturing employment rose 24,000 in July, accounting for most of the overall increase in goods-producing payrolls. The gain was bolstered by a 12,000 jump up in motor vehicles and parts employment, likely as supply chain disruptions dissipated. Private-sector employment rose 112,000 in July, following a 64,000 increase in June. Gains were mixed across most major categories, with the largest gains in health care and social assistance (up 37,000), professional and business services (up 34,000), and retail trade (up 26,000). Interestingly, temporary help services, which had been a large part of the initial recovery in employment, were roughly flat in July and have actually fallen roughly 18,000 over the past four months. On the household side, the unemployment rate edged down to 9.1 percent, though that appears to largely be a function of a decrease in the labor forceandmdash;which slipped down roughly 200,000 in July. The labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 63.9 percent (a fresh cyclical low). Importantly, the employment-to-population ratio also edged down 0.1 percentage point to 58.1 percent (also a new cyclical low).
  • 08.05.2011
  • Consumer Credit
  • Total consumer credit outstanding continued to increase in June, improving 0.6 percent. The improvement follows a 0.2 percent increase in May. On a year-over-year basis, total consumer credit outstanding rose for the third consecutive month, increasing 1.7 percent. June’s improvement was driven by increases in both revolving and nonrevolving accounts. For the period, revolving accounts increased 0.7 percent while nonrevolving accounts rose 0.6 percent. Up 4.3 percent on a year-over-year basis, the nonrevolving credit segment continues to be the main driver in total consumer credit outstanding, which partially reflects a improvement in sales for automobiles and other expensive items that require financing.
  • 08.03.2011
  • Factory Orders
  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.8 percent (nonannualized) in June, pulling its 3-month annualized growth rate down to −4.5 percent, from 14.5 percent in May. Year-over-year new order growth rose 12.9 percent compared to 13.1 percent in May. Excluding transportation, new orders edged up 0.1 percent in June and are up 13.4 percent over the past year. However, the 3-month annualized growth rate for new orders excluding transportation, 1.3 percent in June, is markedly down from 13.1 percent in May. Nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders rose 1.1 percent. Durable goods orders decreased 1.9 percent while nondurable goods orders were flat (0.0 percent) for June. Shipments of manufactured goods increased 0.2 percent in March, pulling its 3-month annualized growth rate down to -1.0 percent from 11.0 percent in May. Inventory accumulation has slowed increasing only 0.2 percent for the month.
  • 08.02.2011
  • Personal Income
  • Nominal personal income ticked up 0.1 percent (non-annualized) in June, following a 0.2 percent gain in May. On a year-over-year basis, personal income is up 5.0 percent. Disposable personal income rose just 0.1 percent in June, its slowest nominal monthly growth since last November. However, after adjusting for price changes, “real” disposable personal income rose 0.3 percent, its strongest monthly increase since last October. Still, real disposable income has been relatively weak lately, and has risen just 0.8 percent over the last 6 months and 1.1 percent over the last year. Real personal consumption expenditures were virtually flat in June, following two consecutive declines. While falling motor vehicles and parts purchases accounted for most of May and June’s softness, consumption of nondurables and services have been roughly flat over that time period. Over the past year, real consumption is up 1.8 percent, though the series has lost momentum lately and has slowed to a sluggish 0.6 percent annualized growth rate over the past 6 months.
  • 08.02.2011
  • PCE
  • The Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index slipped down 2.0 percent in June, brought down in large part by decreasing energy prices (which fell at an annualized rate of 42.5 percent). Over the past 12 months, PCE prices have risen 2.6 percent. Underlying inflation—as measured by the core PCE—decelerated in June, rising 1.4 percent compared to 3.0 percent jump up in May. Over the past year, core PCE prices are up just 1.3 percent, though have risen at an annualized rate of 2.1 percent. Interestingly, the market-based core PCE—a subgroup of the core index that only includes observable price measures—followed a 3.2 percent jump up in May by rising 2.6 percent in June, pushing its 6-month annualized growth rate up to 2.3 percent.
  • 08.01.2011
  • ISM Manufacturing
  • The ISM’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) continued to show signs of slowing, after a slight tick up in June, as the PMI fell from 55.3 to 50.9 in July (just above the ISM’s growth threshold of 50). Every sub-index that comprises the PMI lost ground in July. Notably, the index for new orders slipped down 2.4 index points to a level of 49.2, below the diffusion index&rsqo;s growth threshold of 50 for the first time since June 2009. The employment index decreased the most in July, falling from 59.9 to 53.5, its steepest monthly decline since October 2008. Also, the production index, which had reached a cyclical high of 69.0 in March has now fallen all the way to 52.3 as of July. The prices index (which is not seasonally adjusted and does not enter into the overall PMI) continued its recent decline, slipping from 76.5 in May to 59.0 in June (its lowest level in a year).
  • 08.01.2011
  • Construction Spending
  • Private construction spending rose slightly in June to an annualized rate of $493.4 billion, which is a 0.8 percent increase from May. Nonresidential spending drove the gain, increasing 1.8 percent over the month while residential was essentially flat (down 0.3 percent). Within nonresidential, all sectors gained over the month with the exception of religious and amusement and recreation. The largest percentage gains were in commercial (+3.1 percent), communication (+4.0 percent), and manufacturing (+4.0 percent). Manufacturing and commercial have managed to post monthly gains on a somewhat consistent basis; this was the fifth straight month of gains for manufacturing spending and the third straight month for commercial spending. Other sectors have been on erratic up and down trajectories. Looking at a more detailed level, within commercial spending, warehouse, and multi-retail are the sectors that have consistently posted gains over the past several months.

    Spending is down from June last year in all sectors with the exception of Commercial, Communication, and Power. With the exception of Power and Transportation, construction spending is still significantly below pre-recession levels.