Consumer Sentiment

August 16, 2019 The initial estimate of consumer sentiment for August fell 6.3. points to 92.1 after having risen 0.2 point in July .  Even with the August drop sentiment  remains at a lofty level.  It has fluctuated in a range from 90.0-100.0 for the past five...

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Housing Starts

August 16, 2019 Housing starts fell 4.0% in July to 1,191 thousand after having declined 1.8% in June and 0.5% in May.   Because these data are particularly volatile on a month-to-month basis, it is best to look at a 3-month moving average of starts (which is the...

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Homebuilder Confidence

August 15, 2019 .Homebuilder confidence rose 1 point in August to 66 after having risen 1 point in July.   A level of 66 is indicative of a solid level of confidence going forward although, admittedly, it is below readings of 70-75  at this time last  year. NAHB...

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Industrial Production

August 15, 2019 Industrial production declined 0.2% in July after having risen 0.2% in both May and June.   During the past year industrial production has risen 0.5%, but one year ago it was climbing at a 3.9% pace. Breaking industrial production down into its...

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Nonfarm Productivity

August 15, 2019 Non-farm productivity climbed 2.3% in the second quarter after having jumped 3.5% in the first quarter.   During the course of the past year productivity has risen 1.8%.  The 2.3% increase in the second quarter consists of a 1.9% increase in output...

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Unit Labor Costs

August 15, 2019 Unit labor costs might be a term that is not familiar to you.  Unit labor costs represent the increase in compensation adjusted for the gains in productivity.  You might think that if labor costs are rising that would put upward pressure on...

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Hourly Compensation

August 15, 2019 The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that hourly compensation rose 4.7% in the second quarter after having surged 8.9% in the first quarter.  This means that over the past year hourly compensation has climbed by a solid 4.3%.  That is the...

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Retail Sales

August 15, 2019 Retail sales rose 0.7 in July after having risen 0.3% in June and 0.5% in May..    While relatively soft late last year and in the first two months of 2019, sales are coming on strong.  During the past year retail sales have risen a solid 3.4%. but...

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