Initial Unemployment Claims

April 18, 2024 Initial unemployment claims were unchanged in  the week ending April 13 at  212,000 after declining 10 thousand in the previous week.   The economy is strong enough and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.  No need to start laying off...

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Housing Starts

April 16, 2024 Housing starts plunged by 14.7% in March to 1,321 thousand after having risen 12.7% in February after having dropped by 12.2% in January.   Clearly, starts have been very volatile in recent months as cold and snowy weather has affected the outcome in...

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Homebuilder Confidence

April 15, 2024 Homebuilder confidence was unchanged in April at 51 after having risen 3 points in March to 51 after climbing 4 points in February, 7 points in January, and 3 points in December.  Thus, confidence has risen 17 points in the past five months as...

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Retail Sales

April 15, 2024 Retail sales rose 0.7% in March after climbing 0.9% in February and declining 0.9% in January.  It is true that the sales gains in February and March were robust and some economists are now suggesting that the next move by the Fed could be to raise...

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Producer Price Index

April 11 2024 The Producer Price Index for final demand  includes producer prices for goods, as well as prices for construction, services, government purchases, and exports and covers over 75% of domestic production. Producer prices for final demand roe 0.2% in...

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Consumer Price Index

April 11 2924 The CPI rose 0.4% in both February and March after climbing 0.3% in January. The year-over-year increase is currently 3.5%.  We expect the CPI to increase 3.5% in 2024.  The March increase of 0.4% was higher than the 0.3% increase that had been...

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Small Business Optimism

April 10, 2024 . Small business optimism fell 0.9 point in March to 88.5 after declining 1.1 points in February.  That is the lowest level for this series since December 2012 which makes the current level even lower than the low point in the March/April 2020...

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