• Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for January were up 5.4% from the previous month and were up 7.4% from January 2020. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, retail sales increased 5.9% from the previous month, and were up 6.1% from a year ago.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales increased 0.8% in December, while inventories increased 0.6%. Sales were up 2.5% from a year ago, and inventories were down 2.6% from December 2019. The total business inventories/sales ratio at the end of December was 1.32, compared with 1.39 in December 2019.
  • Total Industrial production increased 0.9% in January, following a 1.3% increase in the previous month. Total Industrial production was 1.8% lower in January than it was a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 75.6%, a level 4.0 percentage points below its 1972-2020 average, and 1.3 percentage points below its level in January 2020.
  • Housing starts in January were 1,580 thousand, down 6.0% from the previous month and were down 2.3% from a year ago. Building permits in January were 1,881 thousand units, up 10.4% from the previous month, and up 22.5% from January 2020.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed-rate mortgages moving up. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.81% for the week ending February 18th, up from last week when it averaged 2.73%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.49%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.21% for the week ending February 18th, up from last week when it averaged 2.19%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.99%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 5.1% from a week earlier week, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending February 12, 2021.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 1.3% in January, following a 0.3% 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 1.2% in January, after a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The headline index increased 1.7% from January 2020 to January 2021, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 2.0%.
  • The import price index increased 1.4% in January, following a 1.0% increase in the previous month. Import prices increased 0.9% from January 2020 to January 2021. The export price index increased 2.5% in January, following a 1.3% increase in the previous month. Export prices increased 2.3% from January 2020 to January 2021.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 13 thousand to 861 thousand in the week ending February 13. The 4-week moving average was 833.25 thousand, a decrease of 3.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending February 6 was 4,494 thousand, a decrease of 64 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 4,632 thousand, a decrease of 120.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.2% for the week ending February 6, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • There were 111,085,606 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 2,460,726 deaths, and 62,622,053 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 2/21/2021, 02:24 EST). In the United States, there were 28,077,609 confirmed cases, 497,648 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states, including California, 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. It should be noted that there are other countries not reporting the figures for the “recovered”, the most common reason being not enough follow ups after patients are discharged from the hospital. There was a significant drop in the number of recovered for the world on 12/12/2020. 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 most important and pressing problem is that the world is still struggling to control the spread of the virus.

 

  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.3% in January, following a 0.2% increase in the previous month.  The core index, all items less food and energy, held steady for the second consecutive month. The consumer price index increased 1.4% for the 12-month period ending in January, and the core index also rose 1.4%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees were unchanged from December to January. This result stems from a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings being offset by an increase of 0.2% in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The number of job openings was little change at 6.6 million on the last business day of December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, hires decreased to 5.5 million while total separations were little changed at 5.5 million.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 19 thousand to 793 thousand in the week ending February 6. The 4-week moving average was 823 thousand, a decrease of 33.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending January 30 was 4,545 thousand, a decrease of 145 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 4,748.75 thousand, a decrease of 157.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.2% for the week ending January 30, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed-rate mortgages remained flat for the second consecutive week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.73% for the week ending February 11th, unchanged from last week. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.47%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.19% for the week ending February 11th, down from last week when it averaged 2.21%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.97%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 4.1% from a week earlier week, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending February 5, 2021.
  • There were 108,015,884 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 2,374,415 deaths, and 60,451,905 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 2/12/2021, 13:26 EST). In the United States, there were 27,432,711 confirmed cases, 476,628 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states, including California, 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. It should be noted that there are other countries not reporting the figures for the “recovered”, the most common reason being not enough follow ups after patients are discharged from the hospital. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered for the world. 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.
  • The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3% in January, while nonfarm payroll employment changed little, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The labor market continued to reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In January, notable job gains in professional and business services and in both public and private education were offset by losses in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 49 thousand in January, following a decrease of 227 thousand in the previous month. Private-sector payrolls increased by 6 thousand in January, while government employment increased by 43 thousand. In January, notable job gains in professional and business services and in both public and private education were offset by losses in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 6.3% in January, from 6.7% in December; and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 606 thousand to 10.130 million. A year earlier, the jobless rate was 3.5%, and the number of unemployed persons was 5.796 million
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 67 thousand to 4.023 million and accounted for 39.5% of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed increased by 2.860 million.
  • The labor force participation was 61.4% in January, little changed from the previous month, but was 1.9 percentage points lower than its February 2020 level.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.3 hours to 35.0 hours in January.
  • In January, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 6 cents to $29.96. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 5.4%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 33 thousand to 779 thousand in the week ending January 30. The 4-week moving average was 848.25 thousand, a decrease of 1.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending January 23 was 4,592 thousand, a decrease of 193 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 4,881.75 thousand, a decrease of 120 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.2% for the week ending January 23, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate.
  • There were 106,227,670 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 2,318,696 deaths, and 59,250,298 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 2/8/2021, 07:23 EST). In the United States, there were 27,008,565 confirmed cases, 463,482 deaths, and no figure for recovered cases. There are recovered figures for US states, but not for the US (some states, including California, 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. It should be noted that there are other countries not reporting the figures for the “recovered”, the most common reason being not enough follow ups after they are discharged from the hospital. There is a significant drop in the number of recovered for the world. 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.