• Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for January were up 0.2% from December and were up 2.3% from Januaary 2018. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, sales were up 0.9% from the previous month, and were up 2.8% from a year ago.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for December were down 1.0% from the previous month but were up 2.1% from December 2017. Total business inventories were up 0.6% from the previous month and were up 4.8% from a year ago. The inventories/sales ratio was 1.47, compared with 1.43 in December of 2017.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in January increased 0.4%, while shipments decreased 0.5%. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.1%.  Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.7%.
  • Total Industrial production edged up 0.1% in February, after a decrease of 0.4% in the previous month. Total Industrial production was up 3.5% from February 2018. The capacity utilization rate was 78.2 in February, 1.6 percentage points below the average for the 1972-2018 period, but a percentage point above a year ago.
  • Sales of new single‐family houses in January 2019 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 607thousand, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.   This is 6.9% below the revised December rate of 652 thousand and is 4.1% below the January 2018 estimate of 633 thousand.  The median sales price of new houses sold in January 2019 was $317.2 thousand.   The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 336 thousand.  This represents a supply of 6.6 months at the current sales rate.
  • Construction spending increased 1.3% in January. The January figure is 0.3% above the January 2018 figure. Total private construction increased 0.2% in January, while total public construction increased 4.9%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates dropping. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.31% for the week ending March 14, down from last week when it averaged 4.41%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.44%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.76%, down from last week when it averaged 3.83%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.90%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 2.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending March 8th.
  • The federal budget had a surplus of $8.7 billion in January, compared with a deficit of $13.5 billion in December and a surplus of $49.2 billion in January of 2018. The cumulative deficit for the first four months of the fiscal year 2019 was $310.3 billion, compared with a deficit of $175.7 billion during the same period of the previous fiscal year.
  • The import price index increased 0.6% in February, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The export price index increased 0.6% in February, following a 0.5% decrease in the previous month. The import price index decreased 1.3% from February 2018, while export prices increased 0.3%.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.1% in February, following a decrease of 0.1% in the previous month. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.1%, following an increase 0.2% as in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand (headline index) was up 1.9% from February 2018 to February 2019, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade was up 2.3%.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.2% in February, after holding steady in January. The core index increased 0.1%, following a 0.2% increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.5% for the 12-month period ending in February, while the core index rose 2.1%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.3% from January to February. This result stems from a 0.4% increase in average hourly earnings offset by a 0.2% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 6 thousand to 229 thousand in the week ending March 9. The 4-week moving average was 223.75 thousand, a decrease of 2.5 thousand from the previous week’s average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending March 2 was 1,776 thousand, an increase of 18 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,766.25 thousand, a decrease of a thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • The number of job openings reached a series high of 7.335 million on the last business day of December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, hires and separations little changed at 5.907 million and 5.545 million, respectively.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in January in 3 states, higher in 3 states, and stable in 44 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nine states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 1 state had an increase, and 40 states and the District of Columbia had little or no change. Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 26 states, and essentially unchanged in 24 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in January than a year earlier in 199 of the 389 metropolitan areas, higher in 150 areas, and unchanged in 40 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 53 metropolitan areas, and virtually unchanged in 336 areas.
  • The March Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity grew only slightly. The general business conditions index was 3.7 in March, compared with 8.8 in February.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, preliminary, for March increased to 97.8, from 93.8 in February. The index was 101.4 a year ago. The Current Economic Conditions Index increased from 108.5 in February to 111.2 in March, and the Index of Consumer Expectations rose from 84.4 to 89.2.

Comments are closed.