• 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.

Comments are closed.