Key Economic Indicators – February 9, 2015

  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 257 thousand to 140.849 million in January, following an increase of 329 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 267 thousand in the month, while government employment decreased by 10 thousand.
  • The unemployment rate was little changed at 5.7%. The number of unemployed persons, at 9.0 million, was up slightly in January, and the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.8 million.
  • The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.6 hours in January, while the average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.8 hours.
  • In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 12 cents to $24.75, following a decrease of 5 cents in December. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.2%
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 11 thousand to 278 thousand in the week ending January 31. The 4-week moving average was 292.75 thousand, a decrease of 6.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • Fourth quarter productivity decreased 1.8% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 3.7% increase in the previous period. Unit labor costs increased 2.7% in the fourth quarter, following a 2.3% decrease in the previous quarter. From the fourth quarter of 2013 to the fourth quarter of 2014, productivity was unchanged as output and hours worked both increased 3.1%.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in December than a year earlier in 341 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 25 areas, and unchanged in 6 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Personal income increased 0.3%, in December, while personal consumption expenditures decreased 0.3%.
  • The price index for personal consumption expenditures decreased 0.2% in December, while the core index held steady. The price index (headline index) was up 0.7% from December 2013, while the core index was up 1.3%
  • Sales of domestic cars decreased 6.9% in January, following a 2.7% decrease in the previous month. Total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales decreased 1.4% in January, after a 1.7% decrease in the previous month. Sales were 16.6 million units in January, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 15.2 million in January of 2014.
  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 3.4% in December, while shipments decreased 1.1%. In the year 2014, new orders were up 2.8% from the previous year, while shipments were up 2.3%.
  • December construction spending was up 0.4% from November, and was up 2.2% from December 2013.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of February 5th showed average fixed mortgage rates decreasing, following a slight increase in the previous week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average 3.59% for the week ending February 5th, down from last week when it averaged 3.66%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 1.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending February 4th.
  • In December international trade deficit was $46.6 billion, up $6.8 billion from November. For 2014, the goods and services deficit was $505.0 billion, up $28.7 billion or 6.0% from 2013. As a percentage of GDP, the deficit was 2.9% in 2014, compared with 2.8% in 2013.
  • December consumer credit outstanding increased at an annualized rate of 5.4%. Revolving credits increased at an annualized rate of 7.9%, while non-revolving credits increased 4.5%. December consumer credit outstanding was up 6.9% from December of 2013.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in January for the 20th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 68th consecutive month.
  • In January, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 60th consecutive month.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.