Data Updates

Data Updates

September 2013

  • 09.27.2013
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • Final numbers show that the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment has risen to 77.5 from the preliminary number of 76.8 posted earlier in September. The Index of Consumer Expectations and Current Economic Conditions contributed to the intramonth gain with a revision of 92.6 (from 91.8) and 67.8 (from 67.2), respectively. September’s final reading was revised up from the preliminary report, but is still the lowest reading in four months.

    As for inflation expectation revisions, consumers now expect a year-ahead inflation rate of 3.3 percent up from 3.0 percent in August, and a longer-term (five- to 10-year) rate of 3.0 percent, up from 2.9 percent in August.

  • 09.27.2013
  • PCE Prices
  • The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index increased at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent in August, following increases of 4.7 and 1.1 percent in June and July, respectively. Over the past twelve months, the PCE price index has increased 1.2 percent. The price index for energy goods and services declined 2.7 percent during the month, putting a little downward pressure on the headline index. The core PCE price index, which excludes food and energy prices, increased 1.9 percent for the month, following an increase of 1.0 percent in July. The twelve-month percent change in the core PCE price index was 1.2 percent, compared with a year-over-year percent change of 1.1 percent in July. This marks the first increase in year-over-year changes (a popular measure of core inflation) since October of last year. The market-based core PCE price index, which also excludes most imputed prices, increased 1.0 percent in August, following an increase of 1.3 percent in July, and has increased 1.2 percent over the past twelve months.
  • 09.27.2013
  • Personal Income
  • Nominal personal income increased at a nonannualized rate of 0.4 percent in August, following increases of 0.3 percent in June and 0.2 percent in July. Over the past year, nominal personal income has increased 3.7 percent. Disposable personal income (DPI)— personal income less current personal taxes—increased 0.5 percent in August, and is up 2.8 percent since August 2012. After controlling for price changes, real disposable personal income increased 0.3 percent, which follows an increase of 0.2 percent in July, and has increased 1.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. Real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2 percent, due to increases in both durable goods and services consumption. Durable goods consumption increased 0.8 percent and is up 8.0 percent over the past twelve months, while consumption of services increased 0.2 percent in August, and is up 1.9 percent since last year. Consumption of nondurable goods declined 0.2 percent for the month. On a year-over-year basis, consumption has increased 2.0 percent. The larger increase in income relative to the increase in consumption caused the personal savings rate, which is measured as personal savings as a percentage of disposable personal income, to increase from 4.5 to 4.6 percent.
  • 09.25.2013
  • New Home Sales
  • In August, the sale of new single-family homes rose 7.9 percent for the month and 12.6 percent on an annual basis to seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 421,000 homes sold. The monthly improvement to home sales was strongest in the Midwest, up 19.6 percent, while the South improved the most on an annual basis, up 28.2 percent. The West was the only area to post declines both monthly and annually, down 14.6 percent and 21.2 percent, respectively. The median sales price of new single-family homes fell slightly for the month, down 0.6 percent, and is up 0.55 percent since last August to $254,600. The inventory of new homes available for sale was at a 5-month supply at the current sales place, with a 3.8 decline for the month and 8.7 percent increase since this time last year.
  • 09.25.2013
  • Durable Goods
  • New orders for durable goods rose 0.1 percent in August. Over the past year, new orders are up 13.7 percent. New orders for transportation equipment increased 0.7 percent following a large decline of 22.0 percent in July. New orders excluding transportation equipment were down 0.1 percent, following a decline of 0.5 percent in July. Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, which is used to evaluate the near-term outlook in equipment and software investment, increased 1.5 percent in August. Shipments of durable goods, which are up 4.9 percent over the past year, were up 0.9 percent in August. Shipments of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, which map directly into GDP, increased 1.3 percent in August. This increase followed a decline of 1.4 percent in July. On a year-over-year basis, shipments of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft are up 2.8 percent.
  • 09.24.2013
  • Home Price Indexes
  • In July, the S&P Case-Shiller 10- and 20-city housing price indexes improved 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. This represents the fourth consecutive month that all 20 cities have posted monthly gains. On an annual basis, the 10-city index was up 12.3 percent and the 20-city index was up 12.4 percent. The Southwest continues to lead year-over-year gains, where Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego are all up more than 20 percent. Both composites are now back to spring 2004 price levels.

    The FHFA housing price index rose 1.0 percent from June to July and 8.8 percent since July 2012. Regionally, monthly price changes ranged from a 0.7 percent decline in the East South Central to a 2.2 percent increase in the Pacific. On an annual basis, all areas posted positive growth rates also trailed by the East South Central, up 3.8 percent, and led by the Pacific, up 20.8 percent. Overall, home prices are back to early 2005 levels.

  • 09.19.2013
  • Current Account
  • The US current account deficit decreased to −$98.9 billion in the second quarter of 2013, a $6 billion decrease from the first quarter’s revised $104.9 billion deficit (−$106.1 billion, previously). The current account deficit has now decreased four of the past five quarters. The contraction in the second quarter was driven by a decrease of $3.8 billion to $175.7 billion in the goods deficit and increases in both the surplus on income ($2.2 billion to $53.1 billion) and the surplus on services ($1.1 billion to $57.9 billion). Exports of goods, services, and income increased 0.9 percent to a level of $756.5 billion, while imports fell −0.1 percent to a level of $821.1 billion. As a percent of GDP, the current account decreased to &minus2.4 percent (from −2.5 percent).
  • 09.19.2013
  • Existing Home Sales
  • Existing single-family home sales were up 1.7 percent in August and 12.8 percent over the past 12 months to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 4.84 million units sold. Regionally, the change in monthly home sales ranged from a 2.6 percent decline in the West to a 3.8 percent increase in the South. Annually, all areas posted positive growth rates with the Midwest leading, up 18.3 percent. The price of existing single-family homes was $212,200—a slight 0.4 percent decline for the month—but is up 14.4 percent since last August. Meanwhile, the inventory and monthly supply of existing home sales rose 2.6 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively in August, but remain down 5.6 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively on an annual basis.
  • 09.18.2013
  • Housing Starts
  • In August, the groundbreaking of new single-family homes rose 7.0 percent and 16.9 percent annually to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 628,000 units started. While this figure was slightly below consensus expectations due to a downward revision to July’s estimate, this was the highest level of housing starts since February. Regionally, all areas posted positive growth rates on both a monthly and annual basis, with the West leading both. The authorization of single-family housing units was up 3.0 percent for the month and 20.6 percent over the past 12 months to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 627,000 units authorized, the highest level since May 2008.
  • 09.17.2013
  • CPI
  • The CPI rose 0.1 percent (1.1 percent annual rate) in August. Energy prices fell for the second month in a row, with both gasoline and energy services from utilities indexes falling at annualized rates of −1.1 percent and −7.6 percent, respectively. Overall, the energy index declined at an annualized rate of 3.5 percent in August.

    The change in the core CPI was essentially the same as that for the all items index, 0.1 percent (1.5 percent annual rate). The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland-based measures of underlying inflation increased at about the same pace in August: 0.2 percent (2.0 percent annual rate) for the median CPI and 0.1 percent (1.5 percent annual rate) for the trimmed-mean CPI. On a year-over-year basis, these three measures of underlying inflation continue to show considerable stability. The twelve-month change in the median CPI has been 2.1 percent since March, while the core CPI and the trimmed-mean CPI have fluctuated in a band of 0.2 percentage points since then. Over the past twelve months, the core CPI rose 1.8 percent and the trimmed-mean CPI rose 1.7 percent. The year-over-year change in the all items index has fluctuated from 1.1 percent in April to 1.5 percent in August.

    In the previous six months, 30 to 50 percent of prices (on a weighted basis) fell between 1 and 3 percent, but only 16.4 percent were in that range in August. The distribution of prices changes increased noticeably in all other ranges.

  • 09.16.2013
  • Industrial Production
  • Industrial production rose 0.4 percent in August. Manufacturing production increased 0.7 percent and the three-month annualized growth rate for overall manufacturing production increased from 0.9 percent to 2.6 percent. When examining both durable and nondurable goods in the manufacturing sector, durable goods increased 1.2 percent and nondurable goods increased 0.1 percent. Within the manufacturing durable goods sector, motor vehicle and parts increased 5.2 percent. Within the manufacturing nondurable goods sector, utilities production decreased 1.5 percent and mining output rose 0.3 percent after experiencing an increase of 2.0 percent in July. The overall capacity utilization increased 0.2 percentage points to 77.8 percent.
  • 09.13.2013
  • Producer Price Index
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose at an annualized rate of 3.71 percent in August. On a year-over-year basis, the PPI is up 1.4 percent. Producer prices for finished consumer foods rose 7.3 percent in August, up from 0.6 percent increase in July. Energy prices increased 10.48 percent in August, reversing a decline of 2.5 percent in July. Year-over-year energy prices are still slightly up, at 0.8 percent. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, “core” PPI was unchanged in August, the first month that has not experienced some type of gain since October 2012. At earlier stages of production, core intermediate goods prices increased 1.9 percent, while core crude prices decreased 5.1 percent.
  • 09.13.2013
  • Retail Sales
  • Total retail sales increased at a nonannualized rate of 0.2 percent in August, the weakest growth the series has seen in the past four months. Year-over-year retail sales are up 4.8 percent. Auto sales were up 0.9 percent in August. Over the past 12 months, retail sales excluding autos have increase 3.3 percent. Contributing to the monthly gain in total sales were furniture and home furnishing stores (up 0.9 percent), motor vehicle and parts (up 0.9 percent), and electronics and appliances (up 0.8 percent). Sectors that saw the largest declines in August were building materials (down 0.9 percent), clothing and accessories (down 0.8 percent), and sporting goods and hobbies (down 0.5 percent). A less volatile indicator of sales growth, “core” retail sales (which excludes sales of autos, building supplies, and gas stations) increased 0.1 percent in August, following an increase of 0.5 percent in July. On a year-over-year basis “core” retail sales are up 4.1 percent.
  • 09.13.2013
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • Preliminary numbers show that the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment dipped to 76.8 in early September, down from 82.1 in August. Current economic conditions’ sub-index fell 3.4 points to 91.8. Consumer expectations also fell 6.5 points to 67.2; both sub-indexes are at their lowest level seen since May. This month the personal financial situation of consumers weakened in early September, mainly due to more reports of income declines than income gains. Home buying attitudes were more favorable and selling conditions were judged less favorably. Finally, buying attitudes toward household durables fell to 143 (from 144 in August).

    As for inflation expectations in early September, consumers expect a year-ahead inflation rate of 3.2 percent and a longer-term (five- to-ten year) rate of 3.0 percent.

  • 09.12.2013
  • Import and Export Prices
  • Import prices remained unchanged in August after ticking up 0.1 percent in July. Petroleum prices rose 0.8 percent while nonpetroleum prices fell −0.2 percent. August marks the fourth consecutive month of nonpetroleum price declines. On a year-over-year basis, import prices fell −0.4 percent after rising 0.9 percent in July. On a yearly basis, import prices fell in eight of the past ten months. Petroleum prices rose 1.9 percent, relative to last year after increasing 7.5 percent in July. With continued weakness in nonpetroleum prices and strength in petroleum prices, August’s report is largely similar to July’s.

    Export prices fell −0.5 percent in August, marking six months of consecutive declines. On a year-over-year basis, export prices decreased −1.1 percent after rising 0.3 percent in July.

  • 09.09.2013
  • Consumer Credit
  • Consumer credit rose at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 4.4 percent in July. July’s consumer credit growth was below both June and May figures (5.1 percent 6.8 percent, respectively). Revolving credit growth fell −2.6 percent in July, compared to a −5.2 percent decline in June. Nonrevolving credit growth decreased from 9.5 percent to 7.4 percent from June to July, rising $12.2 billion after an increase of $16.5 billion in the previous month.
  • 09.06.2013
  • The Employment Situation
  • Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 169,000 in August (coming in slightly below consensus expectations) and the unemployment rate ticked down to 7.3 percent. On the household side of the report, both the civilian labor force participation rate and the employment-to-population ratio edged down modestly to 63.2 percent and 58.6 percent, respectively. This represents a decline of 312,000 jobs in the civilian labor force and 115,000 in the number of employed persons.

    On the establishment side of the report, steep downward revisions to June and July’s figures combine for a total of 74,000 less jobs than previously reported. This brings the average employment growth over the past three months down to 148,000 jobs per month, but employment growth over the past year has averaged about 184,000. Sectors showing the most improvement were retail trade, up 44,000, and healthcare, up 38,300. Declines were reported in information services, down by 18,000, which is the largest decline since August 2011; nondurable goods, down 8,000; and financial services, which fell by 5,000. Notably, government employment increased by 17,000 and manufacturing increased by 14,000. The average workweek for all employees increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours and the average hourly earnings for all employees rose by 5 cents to $24.05, which is an improvement of 2.5 percent over the past year.

  • 09.05.2013
  • Productivity and Costs
  • Nonfarm business sector productivity, which is measured as real output per hour of all persons, was revised up from 0.9 percent to 2.3 percent at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate in the second quarter of 2013. This upward revision to productivity reflects both an upward revision to output and a downward revision to hours worked. Output is now estimated to have increased 3.7 percent during the quarter, compared with a previous estimate of 2.6 percent, while hours increased 1.4 percent compared with a previously estimated increase of 1.7 percent. Over the past year, productivity has increased 0.3 percent, due to year-over-year increases of 2.1 percent and 1.7 percent in output and hours worked, respectively. In the second quarter, compensation per hour increased 2.3 percent (revised down from 4.0 percent), and after controlling for price changes, real compensation per hours increased 2.3 percent (unrevised). Due to the upward revision to productivity and the downward revision to compensation per hour, unit labor costs, which is measured as hourly compensation per hourly output, was revised down from a 1.4 percent increase to a 0.0 percent increase. On a year-over-year basis, real hourly compensation has increased 0.3 percent, and unit labor costs are up 1.5 percent.
  • 09.05.2013
  • Factory Orders
  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 2.4 percent (nonannualized) in July, following an increase of 1.6 percent in June. Year-over-year growth rates for new orders were 1.4 percent, compared to 6.8 percent in June. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.2 percent for the month while new orders of durable goods fell 7.4 percent and nondurable goods rose 2.4 percent. Nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders decreased 2 percent in July, compared to a 0.9 percent increase in June. Shipments increased 1.1 percent in July, led by an increase in shipments of nondurable goods of 2.4 percent. Unfilled orders and inventories increased 0.4 and 0.2 percent, respectively. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.4, roughly where it has been since late 2009, but still well above the pre-crisis average of 4.3. The inventory-to-shipments ratio was steady at 1.3, roughly where it has been since late 2009.
  • 09.03.2013
  • Construction Spending
  • Private construction spending rose to $631.4 billion in July, 0.9 percent higher than the upwardly revised June estimate of $625.6 billion. July’s results are 9.5 percent higher on a year-over-year basis. Residential construction spending rose 0.6 percent over the month, to $334.6 billion. New multifamily construction spending edged up 0.1 percent in July and is up 39.3 percent year-over-year. New single-family construction rose 0.5 percent and is up 29.3 percent since last July. Private nonresidential construction spending was at $296.8 billion, 1.3 percent above the upwardly revised June estimate of $293.0 billion. Eight of the eleven nonresidential sectors saw month-to-month increases in construction spending with the lodging sector posting the largest monthly increase of 6.1 percent. The amusement and recreation and religious sectors reported the largest monthly declines of 3.2 and 3.1 percent, respectively.
  • 09.03.2013
  • ISM Manufacturing
  • The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased 0.3 percentage points to 55.7 in the month of August, 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. Three of the five components that constitute the PMI have increased since July. Furthermore, four out of the five components were above the growth threshold of 50 with inventories being the exception at 47.5 percentage points, which is an increase of 0.5 from the previous month. New orders saw the largest increase of 4.9 percentage points to 63.2, a smaller increase than the 6.4 percent rise that occurred from July to August. Production declined 2.6 percentage points to 62.4 percent, supplier deliveries increased 0.2 percentage points to 52.3 percent, and employment decreased 1.1 percentage points to 53.3 from July to August. The ISM Prices Index increased by 5.0 percentage points to 54.0 percent. Prices have decreased by 7.5 percentage points since February 2013’s high of 61.5 percent.