• Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 4.1% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 33.4%.
  • Real final sales of domestic product increased 3.0%, following a 25.9% increase in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.8% in the fourth quarter compared with an increase of 3.3% in the previous quarter.  The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 1.6%, compared with an increase of 3.7% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 1.4%, following an increase of 3.4% in the previous quarter.
  • Real GDP decreased 3.5% in the year 2020, compared with an increase of 2.2% in 2019. Current-dollar GDP decreased 2.3%, or $498.3 billion, in 2020 to a level of $20.93 trillion, compared with an increase of 4.0 percent, or $821.3 billion, in 2019.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.2% in 2020, compared with an increase of 1.6% in 2019. The price index for personal consumption expenditures also increased 1.2%, compared with an increase of 1.5% in the previous year. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 1.4%, compared with an increase of 1.7% in 2019.
  • Personal income increased 10.0% in January, following a 0.6% increase in the previous month. Disposable personal income increased 11.4%, following a 0.6% increase in the previous month.  The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 0.3% in January, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The core index (price index for personal consumption expenditures excluding food and energy) also increased 0.3% in January, the same increase in the previous month.  The price index (headline index) was up 1.5% from January 2020 to January 2021. The core index was also up 1.5% from January 2020.
  • Sales of new single-family houses in January were at an annual rate of 923 thousand, 4.3% above December 2020 and 19.3% above January 2020, according estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The median sales price of new houses sold in January 2021 was $346.4 thousand, up 5.3% from January 2020. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 307 thousand. This represents a supply of 4.0 months at the current sales rate.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed-rate mortgages moving higher but remaining at historically low levels. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.97% for the week ending February 25th, up from last week when it averaged 2.81%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.45%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.34% for the week ending February 25th, up from last week when it averaged 2.21%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.95%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 11.4% from a week earlier week, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending February 19, 2021.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 111 thousand to 730 thousand in the week ending February 20. The 4-week moving average was 807.75 thousand, a decrease of 20.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending February 13 was 4,419 thousand, a decrease of 101 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 4,547 thousand, a decrease of 91.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.1% for the week ending February 13, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • From September 2019 to September 2020, employment decreased in 355 of the 357 largest U.S. counties, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In September 2020, national employment (as measured by the Quarterly County Employment and Wages program) decreased to 138.5 million, a 6.8% decrease over the year. Maui + Kalawao, HI, had the largest over-the-year decrease in employment with a loss of 35.4%. Employment data in this release are presented for September 2020, and average weekly wage data are presented for third quarter 2020. Employment was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to contain it. Among the 357 largest counties, 350 had over-the-year increases in average weekly wages. In the third quarter of 2020, average weekly wages for the nation increased to $1,173, a 7.4% increase over the year. San Mateo, CA, had the largest third quarter over-the-year wage gain at 23.2%. Nationally, the increases in average weekly wages largely reflect substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries, as was the case in the second quarter. In the third quarter, employment declines occurring in some higher-paid industries also feature significant wage increases.
  • In 2020, 17.9% of persons with a disability were employed, down from 19.3% in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For persons without a disability, 61.8% were employed in 2020, down from 66.3% in the prior year. The unemployment rates for persons with and without a disability both increased from 2019 to 2020, to 12.6% and 7.9%, respectively. Data on both groups for 2020 reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it.
  • There were 114,067,979 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 2,530,716 deaths, and 64,418,462 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 3/1/2021, 00:23 EST). In the United States, there were 28,605,669 confirmed cases, 513,091 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states, including California, do not report it so there is no figure for the country). The real problem is that the global figure has “zero” for the US, which also makes global “recovered” figures wrong. It should be noted that there are other countries not reporting the figures for the “recovered”, the most common reason being not enough follow ups after patients are discharged from the hospital. There was a significant drop in the number of recovered for the world on 12/12/2020. It was 46,857,548 on 12/12/2020 in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. These are among the well-known data issues. The most important and pressing problem is that the world is still struggling to control the spread of the deadly virus.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for January were up 5.4% from the previous month and were up 7.4% from January 2020. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, retail sales increased 5.9% from the previous month, and were up 6.1% from a year ago.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales increased 0.8% in December, while inventories increased 0.6%. Sales were up 2.5% from a year ago, and inventories were down 2.6% from December 2019. The total business inventories/sales ratio at the end of December was 1.32, compared with 1.39 in December 2019.
  • Total Industrial production increased 0.9% in January, following a 1.3% increase in the previous month. Total Industrial production was 1.8% lower in January than it was a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 75.6%, a level 4.0 percentage points below its 1972-2020 average, and 1.3 percentage points below its level in January 2020.
  • Housing starts in January were 1,580 thousand, down 6.0% from the previous month and were down 2.3% from a year ago. Building permits in January were 1,881 thousand units, up 10.4% from the previous month, and up 22.5% from January 2020.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed-rate mortgages moving up. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.81% for the week ending February 18th, up from last week when it averaged 2.73%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.49%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.21% for the week ending February 18th, up from last week when it averaged 2.19%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.99%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 5.1% from a week earlier week, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending February 12, 2021.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 1.3% in January, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 1.2% in January, after a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The headline index increased 1.7% from January 2020 to January 2021, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 2.0%.
  • The import price index increased 1.4% in January, following a 1.0% increase in the previous month. Import prices increased 0.9% from January 2020 to January 2021. The export price index increased 2.5% in January, following a 1.3% increase in the previous month. Export prices increased 2.3% from January 2020 to January 2021.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 13 thousand to 861 thousand in the week ending February 13. The 4-week moving average was 833.25 thousand, a decrease of 3.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending February 6 was 4,494 thousand, a decrease of 64 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 4,632 thousand, a decrease of 120.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.2% for the week ending February 6, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • There were 111,085,606 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 2,460,726 deaths, and 62,622,053 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 2/21/2021, 02:24 EST). In the United States, there were 28,077,609 confirmed cases, 497,648 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states, including California, do not report it so there is no figure for the country). The real problem is that the global figure has “zero” for the US, which also makes global “recovered” figures wrong. It should be noted that there are other countries not reporting the figures for the “recovered”, the most common reason being not enough follow ups after patients are discharged from the hospital. There was a significant drop in the number of recovered for the world on 12/12/2020. It was 46,857,548 on 12/12/2020 in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. These are among the well-known data issues. The most important and pressing problem is that the world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.

 

  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.3% in January, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month.  The core index, all items less food and energy, held steady for the second consecutive month. The consumer price index increased 1.4% for the 12-month period ending in January, and the core index also rose 1.4%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees were unchanged from December to January. This result stems from a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings being offset by an increase of 0.2% in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The number of job openings was little change at 6.6 million on the last business day of December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, hires decreased to 5.5 million while total separations were little changed at 5.5 million.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 19 thousand to 793 thousand in the week ending February 6. The 4-week moving average was 823 thousand, a decrease of 33.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending January 30 was 4,545 thousand, a decrease of 145 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 4,748.75 thousand, a decrease of 157.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.2% for the week ending January 30, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed-rate mortgages remained flat for the second consecutive week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.73% for the week ending February 11th, unchanged from last week. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.47%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.19% for the week ending February 11th, down from last week when it averaged 2.21%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.97%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 4.1% from a week earlier week, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending February 5, 2021.
  • There were 108,015,884 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 2,374,415 deaths, and 60,451,905 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 2/12/2021, 13:26 EST). In the United States, there were 27,432,711 confirmed cases, 476,628 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states, including California, do not report it so there is no figure for the country). The real problem is that the global figure has “zero” for the US, which also makes global “recovered” figures wrong. It should be noted that there are other countries not reporting the figures for the “recovered”, the most common reason being not enough follow ups after patients are discharged from the hospital. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered for the world. It was 46,857,548 on 12/12/2020 in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. These are among the well-known data issues. The world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3% in January, while nonfarm payroll employment changed little, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The labor market continued to reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In January, notable job gains in professional and business services and in both public and private education were offset by losses in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 49 thousand in January, following a decrease of 227 thousand in the previous month. Private-sector payrolls increased by 6 thousand in January, while government employment increased by 43 thousand. In January, notable job gains in professional and business services and in both public and private education were offset by losses in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 6.3% in January, from 6.7% in December; and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 606 thousand to 10.130 million. A year earlier, the jobless rate was 3.5%, and the number of unemployed persons was 5.796 million
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 67 thousand to 4.023 million and accounted for 39.5% of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed increased by 2.860 million.
  • The labor force participation was 61.4% in January, little changed from the previous month, but was 1.9 percentage points lower than its February 2020 level.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.3 hours to 35.0 hours in January.
  • In January, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 6 cents to $29.96. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 5.4%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 33 thousand to 779 thousand in the week ending January 30. The 4-week moving average was 848.25 thousand, a decrease of 1.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending January 23 was 4,592 thousand, a decrease of 193 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 4,881.75 thousand, a decrease of 120 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.2% for the week ending January 23, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate.
  • There were 106,227,670 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 2,318,696 deaths, and 59,250,298 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 2/8/2021, 07:23 EST). In the United States, there were 27,008,565 confirmed cases, 463,482 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states, including California, do not report it so there is no figure for the country). The real problem is that the global figure has “zero” for the US, which also makes global “recovered” figures wrong. It should be noted that there are other countries not reporting the figures for the “recovered”, the most common reason being not enough follow ups after they are discharged from the hospital. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered for the world. It was 46,857,548 on 12/12/2020 in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. These are among the well-known data issues. The world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 4.0% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 33.4%. Real final sales of domestic product increased 3.0%, following a 25.9% increase in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7% in the fourth quarter, compared to an increase of 3.3% in the previous quarter.  The price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased 1.5%, compared with an increase of 3.7% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.4%, compared with an increase of 3.4% in the previous quarter.
  • Real GDP decreased 3.5% in the year 2020, compared with an increase of 2.2% in 2019. The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.2% in 2020, compared to an increase of 1.6% in 2019. Current-dollar GDP decreased 2.3% in 2020 to a level of $20.93 trillion, compared with an increase of 4.0% in 2019.
  • Personal income increased 0.6%, in December, following a 1.3% decrease in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures decreased 0.2%, after a decrease of 0.7% in the previous month. Real disposable income increased 0.2% in December, while real personal consumption expenditures decreased 0.6%. The personal saving rate, personal saving as percentage of disposable income, was 13.7%, compared with 12.9 in November and 24.7 in May.
  • Personal income increased 6.3% in the year 2020. Disposable personal income increased 7.2% in the year 2020, while personal consumption expenditures decreased 2.7%. The saving rate was 16.4% for the year 2020, compared with 7.5 in the year 2019.
  • The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 0.4% in December, after holding steady in the previous month. The price index excluding food and energy increased 0.3%, after holding steady in the previous month. The price index increased 1.3% from December 2019, while the index excluding food and energy also increased 1.5%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 67 thousand to 847 thousand in the week ending January 23. The 4-week moving average was 868 thousand, an increase of 16.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending January 16 was 4,771 thousand, a decrease of 203 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 4,998 thousand, a decrease of 106.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.4% for the week ending January 16, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate.
  • Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.7%, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending in December 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and salaries increased 0.9% and benefit costs increased 0.6% from September 2020. Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.5% for the 12-month period ending in December 2020, compared to 2.7% in December 2019. Wages and salaries increased 2.6% over the year compared with an increase of 2.9% for the 12-month period ending in December 2019. Benefit costs increased 2.3% over the year compared with an increase of 2.2% for the 12-month period ending in December 2019.
  • From March 2020 to June 2020, gross job losses from closing and contracting private-sector establishments were 20.4 million, an increase of 12.6 million jobs from the previous quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over this period, gross job gains from opening and expanding private-sector establishments were 5.7 million, a decrease of 1.2 million jobs from the previous quarter. The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses yielded a net employment loss of 14.6 million jobs in the private sector during the second quarter of 2020.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in December in 19 states, higher in 12 states and the District of Columbia, and stable in 19 states, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia had jobless rate increases from a year earlier, one state had a decrease, and four states had little or no change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 15 states in December 2020, decreased in 11 states, and was essentially unchanged in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 48 states and the District of Columbia and was essentially unchanged in 2 states.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 0.0% to 0.25 and “expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the Committee’s assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time. In addition, the Federal Reserve will continue to increase its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $80 billion per month and of agency mortgage‑backed securities by at least $40 billion per month until substantial further progress has been made toward the Committee’s maximum employment and price stability goals. ”The Committee stated: ”The COVID-19 pandemic is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world. The pace of the recovery in economic activity and employment has moderated in recent months, with weakness concentrated in the sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic. Weaker demand and earlier declines in oil prices have been holding down consumer price inflation. The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus, including progress on vaccinations. The ongoing public health crisis continues to weigh on economic activity, employment, and inflation, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook.”
  • There were 102,659,554 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 2,221,640 deaths, and 56,870,465 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 1/31/2021, 06:22 EST). In the United States, there were 26,075,932 confirmed cases, 439,536 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states do not report it so there is no figure for the country). The real problem is that the global figure has “zero” for the US, which also makes global “recovered” figures wrong. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered. It was 46,857,548 on 12/12/2020 in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. These are among the well-known data issues. The world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 26 thousand to 900 thousand in the week ending January 16. The 4-week moving average was 848 thousand, an increase of 23.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending January 9 was 5,054 thousand, a decrease of 127 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,126.25 thousand, a decrease of 67 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.6% for the week ending January 9, unchanged from the previous week’s revised rate.
  • Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 111.5 million full-time wage and salary workers were $984 in the fourth quarter of 2020 (not seasonally adjusted), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was 5.1% higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.2% in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers over the same period.  Women had median weekly earnings of $894, or 83.4% of the $1,072 median for men. The women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women earned 82.3% as much as their male counterparts, compared with 95.7% for Black women, 74.9% for Asian women, and 91.8% for Hispanic women.
  • Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,709 thousand, up 4.5% from the previous month and up 17.3% December 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. An estimated 1,452 thousand housing units were authorized by building permits in 2020, up 4.8% from 2019. Housing Starts Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,669 thousand, up 5.8 from the previous month and up 5.2% from a year ago. An estimated 1,380.3 thousand housing units were started in 2020, up 7.0% from 2019.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates moved slightly downward. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.77% for the week ending January 21, down from last week when it averaged 2.79%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.60%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.21%, down from last week when it averaged 2.23%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.04%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 1.9% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 15, 2021.
  • There were 97,746,797 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 2,097,263 deaths, and 53,896,966 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 1/22/2021, 11:22 EST). In the United States, there are 24,656,801 confirmed cases, 411,165 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states do not report it so there is no figure for the country). The real problem is that the global figure has “zero” for the US, which also makes global “recovered” figures wrong. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered. It was 46,857,548 on 12/12/2020 in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. Data issues may be the least of the problems. The world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for December were down 0.7% from November but were up 2.9% from December 2019.  Total sales for the year 2020 were up 0.6% from the year 2019.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for November were down 0.1% from October but were up 1.5% from November 2019. Inventories were up 0.5% from the previous month but were down 3.2% from a year ago. The total business inventories/sales ratio at the end of November was 1.32, compared with 1.39 a year ago.
  • Total Industrial production increased 1.6% in December, following a 0.5% increase in the previous month. The index was 3.6% below the level in December 2019 and was 3.3% below its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. The manufacturing index was up 0.9% in December, while the index for utilities was up 6.2%. The index for mining was up 1.6% in December. Total Industrial production for the year 2020 was down 7.0% from the previous year.
  • The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 74.5% in December, compared with 73.4 in November of 2020, and 77.2 in December of 2019. The average for the index was 79.8 during 1972-2019 period.
  • The federal government budget ran a deficit of $143.6 billion in December, after a deficit of $145.3 billion in the previous month. The cumulative deficit for the first three months of the fiscal year 2021 was $572.9 billion, compared with the deficit of $356.6 billion for the first three months of the previous fiscal year. The cumulative deficit was $3,131.9 billion in the previous fiscal year.
  • The import price index in December was up 0.9% from November but was down 0.3% from December of 2019. The export price index was up 1.1% from November and was up 0.2% from December of 2019.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.3% in December, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.4% in December, after a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The headline index increased 0.8% from December 2019 to December 2020, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 1.1%.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) rose 0.4% in December, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The core index, all items less food and energy, increased 0.1%, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.4% for the 12-month period ending in December, while the core index rose 1.6%. This increase of 1.4% in all items CPI in 2020 was smaller than the 2019 increase of 2.3% and the smallest December-to-December increase since the 0.7% rise in 2015. The index rose at a 1.7% average annual rate over the last 10 years. The food index increased 3.9% in 2020, a larger increase than the 2019 rise of 1.8%. The index for food at home also increased 3.9% in 2020, a larger increase than the 0.7% increase reported for 2019. Over the last 10 years, the food index rose at a 2.0% average annual rate, and the food at home index increased at a 1.5% average annual rate.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.4% from November to December. This result stems from a 0.8% increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.4% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The number of job openings was little changed 6.5 million on the last business day of November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, hires were little changed at 6.0 million, while total separations increased to 5.6 million. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.2%, while the layoffs and discharges rate increased to 1.4%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 181 thousand to 965 thousand in the week ending January 9. The 4-week moving average was 834.25 thousand, an increase of 18.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending January 2 was 5,271 thousand, an increase of 199 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,271 thousand, a decrease of 59 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.7% for the week ending January 2, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates tick up. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.79% for the week ending January 14, up from last week when it averaged 2.65%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.65%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.23%, up from last week when it averaged 2.16%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.09%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 16.7% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 8, 2021. The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the holidays.
  • There were 93,363,092 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,999,849 deaths, and 51,514,474 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 1/15/2021, 12:30 EST). In the United States, there are 23,337,896 confirmed cases, 389,191 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states do not report it so there is no figure for the country). The real problem is that the global figure has “zero” for the US, which also makes global “recovered” figures wrong. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered. It was 46,857,548 on 12/12/2020 in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. Data issues may be the least of the problems. The world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment decreased 140 thousand in December, following an increase of 336 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls decreased by 95 thousand in December, while government employment decreased by 45 thousand. The decline in payroll employment reflects the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and efforts to contain the pandemic. Employment declines in leisure and hospitality, private education, and government were partially offset by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, construction, and transportation and warehousing. In December, nonfarm employment was below its February level by 9.8 million, or 6.5%.
  • The unemployment rate held steady at 6.7% in December, and the number of unemployed persons increased by 8 thousand to 10.736 million. A year earlier, the jobless rate was 3.6%, and the number of unemployed persons was 5.844 million
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 27 thousand to 3.956 million and accounted for 37.1% of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed increased by 2.779 million.
  • The labor force participation rate remained at 61.5% in December. The rate was 63.3 in December 2019.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 to 34.7 hours in December.
  • In December, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 23 cents to $29.81. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 5.1%.
  • Unemployment rates were higher in November than a year earlier in 386 of the 389 metropolitan areas, and lower higher in 3 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment decreased over the year in 242 metropolitan areas and was essentially unchanged in 147 areas.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 3 thousand to 787 thousand in the week ending January 2. The 4-week moving average was 818.75 thousand, a decrease of 18.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending December 26 was 5,072 thousand, a decrease of 126 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,274.75 thousand, a decrease of 177.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.5% for the week ending December 26, unchanged from the previous week’s revised rate.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates hit a new record low the first week of 2021. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.65% for the week ending January 7, down slightly from last week when it averaged 2.67%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.64%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.16%, down from last week when it averaged 2.17%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.07%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 4.2% from two weeks earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 1, 2021. The results include adjustments to account for the holidays.
  • There were 88,885,636 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,913,746 deaths, and 49,427,771 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 1/9/2021, 3:30 EST). In the United States, there are 21,862,983 confirmed cases, 368,777 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states do not report it so there is no figure for the country). The real problem is that the global figure has “zero” for the US, which makes global “recovered” figures wrong. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered. It was 46,857,548 four weeks ago (12/12/2020) in the World and 6,246,605 in the US.  However, Data issues may be the least of the problems. The world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 19 thousand to 787 thousand in the week ending December 26. The 4-week moving average was 836.75 thousand, an increase of 17.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending December 19 was 5,219 thousand, a decrease of 103 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,457.25 thousand, a decrease of 77 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.6% for the week ending December 19, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates remain near record low. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.67% for the week ending December 31, up slightly from last week when it averaged 2.66%, which was the lowest rate in the survey’s history which dates to 1971. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.72%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.17%, down from last week when it averaged 2.19%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.16%.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for December increased to 80.7, from 76.9 in November. The Index was 99.3 in December 2019. The Current Conditions Index increased to 90.0, from 87.0, while the Index of Consumer Expectations increased to 74.6, from 70.5.
  • There were 84,602,857 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,836,136 deaths, and 47,604,898 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 1/3/2021, 3:00 EST). In the United States, there are 20,429,852 confirmed cases, 350,195 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. However, there are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US. There is something wrong with “recovered” figures. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered. It was 46,857,548 three weeks ago (12/12/2020) in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. Regardless of data issues, the world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 33.4% in the third quarter of 2020, according to the “third” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). In the second quarter, real GDP decreased 31.4%.  In the second estimate, released a month ago, the increase in real GDP was 33.1%. It was stated: “The increase in third quarter GDP reflected continued efforts to reopen businesses and resume activities that were postponed or restricted due to COVID-19. The full economic effects of the COVID19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the GDP estimate for the third quarter of 2020 because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.”
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 25.9% in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 28.1% in the previous quarter.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 25.8% in the third quarter, compared with a decrease of 32.6% in the second quarter. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 29.6% in the third quarter, compared with a decrease of 32.0% in the second quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 3.3% in the third quarter, compared with a decrease of 1.4% in the previous quarter. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 3.7%, compared with a decrease of 1.6%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 3.4%, compared with a decrease of 0.8%.
  • Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment and capital consumption adjustment) increased $499.6 billion in the third quarter, compared with a decrease of $208.9 billion in the second quarter. Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $12.1 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of $26.5 billion in the second quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $436.2 billion, compared with a decrease of $89.5 billion. Rest-of-the-world profits increased $51.3 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $89.5 billion.
  • Personal income decreased 1.1% in November, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) decreased 1.2% and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased 0.4%. Real DPI (disposable income in chained 2012 dollars) decreased 1.3%, and real PCE decreased 0.4%. The PCE price index held steady in November for the second consecutive month. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index also held steady in November for the second consecutive month. The PCE price index increased 1.1% from a year ago, while the core (PCE excluding food and energy) price index increased 1.4%. It was noted: “The November estimate for personal income and outlays was impacted by the response to the spread of COVID-19. Federal economic recovery payments slowed as pandemic-related assistance programs continued to wind down. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the personal income and outlays estimate because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.”
  • Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the third quarter of 2020, as real GDP for the nation increased at an annual rate of 33.4%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in real GDP in the third quarter ranged from 52.2% in Nevada to 19.2% in the District of Columbia. Healthcare and social assistance, durable goods manufacturing, and accommodation and food services were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP nationally. Accommodation and food services was the leading contributor to the increase in Nevada.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in November increased 0.9%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, following a 1.8% October increase.  Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4%.  Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.7%.  Shipments of manufactured durable goods in November increased 0.3%, following an increase of 1.5% in the previous month. Year-to-date, new orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 8.0% and shipments decreased 5.9% from the same period in 2019.
  • Sales of new single family houses in November 2020 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 841thousand, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 11.0% below the previous month, but  20.8% above a year ago. The median sales price of new houses sold in November 2019 was $335.8 thousand 2.2% above a year ago. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 286 thousand.  This represents a supply of 4.1 months at the current sales rate, compared with 5.6 months in November 2019.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates hit another record low. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.66% for the week ending December 24, down from last week when it averaged 2.67%. This was the lowest rate in the survey’s history which dates to 1971. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.74%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.19%, down from last week when it averaged 2.21%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.19%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 0.8% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 18, 2020.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 89 thousand to 803 thousand in the week ending December 19. The 4-week moving average was 818.25 thousand, an increase of 4 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending December 12 was 5,337 thousand, a decrease of 170 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,538 thousand, a decrease of 188 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.6% for the week ending December 12, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • There were 79,966,148 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,752,674 deaths, and 45,114,894 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 12/26/2020, 11:00 EST). In the United States, there are 18,768,116 confirmed cases, 330,340 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. However, there are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US. There is something wrong with “recovered” figures. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered. It was 46,857,548 two weeks ago (12/12/2020) in the World and 6,246,605 in the US. Regardless of data issues, the world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.