• Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.2% in the first quarter of 2019, according to the “advance” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 2.2%.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.8% in the first quarter of 2019, compared with an increase of 1.7% in the previous quarter. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased 0.6%, compared with an increase of 1.5% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the personal consumption expenditures price index increased 1.3%, compared with an increase of 1.8%.
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 2.5% in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.1% in the final quarter of 2018.
  • Current-dollar GDP increased 3.8%, or $197.6 billion, in the first quarter, and reached an annual level of $21.063 trillion.
  • Personal income increased 0.1% in March, while personal consumption expenditures increased 0.9%. Real disposable personal income decreased 0.2% in March, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.7%. The personal saving rate – personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income – was 6.5% in March, compared with 7.3% in February.
  • The Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 0.2%. Excluding food and energy, the personal consumption expenditures price index (core index) increased less than 0.1%. The headline price index (PCE) was up 1.5% from March 2018, while the core index was up 1.6%
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 2.7% in March, while shipments increased 0.3%. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4%, while shipments decreased 0.1%. Year-to-date new orders were up 3.0% from the same period a year ago, while shipments were up 4.6%.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for March were up 1.6% from February and were up 3.6% from March 2018. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales in March were up 1.2% from the previous month and were up 3.6% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were up 2.9% from the same period a year ago.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for February were up 0.1% from January and were up 2.4% from February 2018.  Total business inventories for February were up 0.3% from the previous month and were up 4.9% from a year ago.
  • February sales of merchant wholesalers were up 0.3% from the previous month and were up 2.1% from a year ago. Inventories for February were up 0.2% from the previous month and were up 6.9% from a year ago. The February inventories/sales ratio was 1.35, compared with 1.29 in February 2018.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.1% in March following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The index was 2.8% above its March 2018 level.
  • Capacity utilization for the industrial sector edged down 0.2 percentage point in March to 78.8, a rate that is 1.0 percentage point below its long-run (1972-2018) average, but 0.6 percentage point above March 2018 level.
  • Real GDP increased 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Growth was relatively widespread, with 15 of 22 industry groups contributing to the increase. Wholesale trade, mining, and information were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP. Real GDP increased 2.9% in the year 2018.  The private goods‐ and services‐producing sectors, as well as the government sector, contributed to the increase. Growth was widespread, with 19 of 22 industry groups contributing to the increase. Information; professional, scientific, and technical services; and durable goods manufacturing were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP
  • The international trade deficit was $49.4 billion in February, down $1.8 billion from $51.1 billion in January, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Exports of goods and services for February were $209.7 billion, $2.3 billion more than January exports. Imports of goods and services for February were $259.1 billion, $0.6 billion more than January imports.
  • Housing starts in March were down 0.3% from the previous month and were down 14.2% from a year ago. Building permits were down 1.7% from the previous month and were down 7.8% from a year ago.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that average fixed mortgage rates rising for the third consecutive week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.17% for the week ending April 18, up from last week when it averaged 4.12%. A year ago this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.47%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.62%, up from last week when it averaged 3.60%. A year ago this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.94%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 3.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending April 12th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 5 thousand to 192 thousand in the week ending April 13. This is the lowest level for initial claims since September 6, 1969 when it was 182 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 201.25 thousand, a decrease of 6 thousand from the previous week’s average. This is the lowest level for this average since November 1, 1969 when it was 200.5 thousand.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in March in 6 states, higher in 3 states, and stable in 41 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Four states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 2 states had increases, and 44 states and the District of Columbia had little or no change. Over the year, 22 states added nonfarm payroll jobs, and 28 states and the District of Colombia were essentially unchanged.
  • Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 116.1 million full-time wage and salary workers were $905 in the first quarter of 2019 (not seasonally adjusted), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was 2.7% higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.6% in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same period.
  • In 2018, 5.2% of families included an unemployed person, down from 5.8% in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the nation’s 82.5 million families, 80.8% had at least one employed member in 2018.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.4% in March, following an increase of 0.1% in the previous month. Over the six-month span through March, the leading index increased 0.4% (about an 0.7% annual rate). The Conference Board coincident economic index increased 0.1% in March, the same increase as in the previous month. Over the six-month span through March, the coincident index increased 1.0% (about a 1.9% annual rate).
  • The FED’s “Beige Book” indicated that overall economic activity expanded at a slight-to-moderate pace in March and early April.
  • The April Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity grew modestly in New York. The general business conditions index was 10.1 in April, compared with 3.7 in March. The prices paid index decreased 6.8 points, while the prices received index decreased 4.1 points.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for April reported continued growth in manufacturing activity in the region. The indicator for general activity, decreased to 8.5 in April, from 13.7 in March. The prices paid index rose to 21.6, while prices received index decreased to 20.0.

 

  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.5% in February, while shipments increased 0.4%. Unfilled orders decreased 0.3% in February, while inventories increased 0.3%. The inventories to shipments ratio was 1.36, unchanged from January.
  • The federal government budget ran a deficit of $146.9 billion in March, following a deficit of $234.0 billion in the previous month. The cumulative budget deficit for the first six months of fiscal year 2019 was $691.2 billion, compared with a deficit of $599.7 billion for the same period of the previous fiscal year.
  • The import price index increased 0.6% in March, following a 1.0% increase in the previous month.  The export price index increased 0.7%, the same increase as in the previous month. Import prices were virtually unchanged from March 2018 to March 2019, while export prices increased 0.6%.
  • The producer price index for final demand increased 0.6% in March, following an increase of 0.1% in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade held steady in March, following an increase of 0.1% in the previous month.  The producer price index for final demand increased 2.2% from March 2018 to March 2019, while the index excluding foods, energy, and trade increased 2.0%.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.4% in March, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month. The core, all items less food and energy, index increased 0.1%, the same increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.9% for the 12-month period ending in March, while the core index rose 2.0%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.3% from February to March.This result stems from a 0.1% increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.4% increase in the consumer price index.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 8 thousand to 196 thousand in the week ending April 6. This is the lowest level for initial claims since October 4, 1969 when it was 193 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 207 thousand, a decrease of 7 thousand from the previous week’s average. This is the lowest level for this average since December 6, 1969 when it was 204.5 thousand. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending March 30 was 1,713 thousand, a decrease of 13 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,734.5 thousand, a decrease of 11 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.
  • The number of job openings fell to 7.1 million on the last business day of February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.7 million and 5.6 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3% and the layoffs and discharges rate were little changed at 1.2%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average mortgage rates increasing modestly during the week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.12% for the week ending April 11, up from last week when it averaged 4.08%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.42%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.60% for the week ending April 11, up from last week when it averaged 3.56%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.87%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 5.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending April 5th.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for April was 96.9, down from 98.4 in March. The Index was 98.8 in April of last year. The Current Economic Conditions Index increased to 114.2 in April, from 113.3 in March. The Index of Consumer Expectations decreased to 85.8 in April, from 88.8 in March.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 196 thousand in March, following an increase of 33 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 182 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 14 thousand. In March, notable employment growth was realized in health care, and in professional and technical services.
  • The unemployment rate held steady at 3.8% in March. The unemployment rate was 4.0% in March of 2018.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 4 cents to $27.70. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 3.2%.
  • The labor force participation rate, at 63.0%, changed little in March, and the employment population ratio held at 60.6%.
  • the number of unemployed persons decreased by 24 thousand to 6.211 million. At 1.305 million, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in March and accounted for 21.1% of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 31 thousand.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 10 thousand to 202 thousand in the week ending March 30. This is the lowest level for initial claims since December 6, 1969 when it was 202 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 213.5 thousand, a decrease of 4 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending March 23 was 1,717 thousand, a decrease of 38 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,743.25 thousand a decrease of 8 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in February than a year earlier in 283 of the 389 metropolitan areas, higher in 67 areas, and unchanged in 39 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February, 39 metropolitan areas had year-over-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, and 350 had essentially no change.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates held steady after seeing major drops during the week. 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.08% for the week ending April 4, up from a week earlier when it averaged 4.06%. A year-ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.40%. 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.56%, down from last week when it averaged 3.57%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.87%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 18.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending March 29th.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in March, and the overall economy grew for the 119th consecutive month.
  • In March, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 110th consecutive month. Sixteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth, while two industries reported contraction in March.