• 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.

Comments are closed.