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Retail Spending Posted A Modest Gain In November

Retail Spending Posted A Modest Gain In November

  by Robert Hughes   Retail sales and food-services spending rose 0.3 percent in November following a 1.8 percent gain in October.  Retail sales have posted gains in four consecutive months but November is the slowest pace of the four. The increases put total retail sales up 18.2 percent from a year ago and at […]

Unit Auto Sales Struggle As Shortages Continue

Unit Auto Sales Struggle As Shortages Continue

by Robert Hughes Sales of light vehicles totaled 12.9 million at an annual rate in November, down slightly from a 13.0 million pace in October. The November result was the sixth consecutive month below the 16 to 18 million range, matching the six-month span from March through August 2020 (see first chart). Sales are about […]

Core Capital-Goods Orders Rise In October, To Another New Record High

Core Capital-Goods Orders Rise In October, To Another New Record High

by Robert Hughes   New orders for durable goods decreased in October, falling 0.5 percent, posting a second consecutive decline and the third drop in the last seven months. Total durable-goods orders are still up 14.6 percent from a year ago. The October drop puts the level of total durable-goods orders at $260.1 billion, still […]

Payrolls Gains Reaccelerated In October

Payrolls Gains Reaccelerated In October

by Robert Hughes   U.S. nonfarm payrolls added 531,000 jobs in October, the best results since the addition of 1.091 million jobs in July. The gain follows upwardly revised gains of 312,000 in September and 483,000 in August. The October gain is the tenth in a row and 17th in the last 18 months, bringing the […]

AIER Leading Indicators Index Falls Again, Hitting the Neutral 50 Mark

AIER Leading Indicators Index Falls Again, Hitting the Neutral 50 Mark

by Robert Hughes Summary AIER’s Leading Indicators Index fell for a seventh consecutive month in October, hitting the neutral 50 mark. October was the weakest reading since August 2020. The Roughly Coincident Indicators Index fell for a second consecutive month while the Lagging Indicators Index was unchanged, remaining well below neutral. The string of declines […]

Fading Covid Boosts Consumer Confidence In October

Fading Covid Boosts Consumer Confidence In October

by Robert Hughes The Consumer Confidence Index from The Conference Board rose in October, breaking a string of three consecutive declines. The overall index gained 4.0 points or 3.6 percent to 113.8 (see chart). From a year ago, the index is up 12.4 points or 12.2 percent. Both major components of the index rose for […]

New Single-Family Home Sales Decline in April

New Single-Family Home Sales Decline in April

Robert Hughes Sales of new single-family homes fell in April, decreasing 5.9 percent to 863,000 at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate from a 917,000 pace in March. Sales are still up 48.3 percent from the year-ago level but have fallen in five of the last nine months (see top of first chart). Weakness over the last […]

Fears of Price Instability Pull Down Consumer Sentiment in Early May

Fears of Price Instability Pull Down Consumer Sentiment in Early May

Robert Hughes   The preliminary results from the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers show overall consumer sentiment fell in early May and remains well below pre-lockdown levels. Fears over rising prices were the primary cause. Overall consumer sentiment decreased to 82.8 in early May, down from 88.3 in April, a 6.2 percent decline (see […]

Everyday Prices Rise 6.1 Percent from a Year Ago

Everyday Prices Rise 6.1 Percent from a Year Ago

  Robert Hughes    The AIER Everyday Price Index increased by 0.6 percent in April, the fifth consecutive gain following back-to-back decreases in October and November. The most recent rise puts the 12-month gain at 6.1 percent, the fastest pace since September 2011. The positive contributors to the April rise were led by motor fuels […]

Initial Claims Fall While Continuing Claims Rise

Initial Claims Fall While Continuing Claims Rise

Robert Hughes  – March 11, 2021   Initial claims for regular state unemployment insurance totaled 712,000 for the week ending March 6, down 42,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised tally of 754,000 (see first chart). The latest week is the lowest since results for the week ending November 7, 2020. However, claims remain stuck […]