Consumer Sentiment

July 31, 2020 The final estimate of consumer sentiment for July fell 5.6 points in July 72.5.  That compares to an initial reading of  73.2.  Thus, sentiment appears to have declined somewhat in the second half of the month as the more rapid pace of spread of the...

Employment Cost Index

July 31, 2020 The employment cost index for civilian workers climbed at a 2.0% rate in the second quarter after having risen at a 3.2% pace in the first quarter.   Over the course of the past year it has risen 2.7%. With the unemployment rate having climbed to 14.7%...

Personal Income and Consumption Expenditures — Monthly

July 31,  2020 Personal consumption expenditures rose 5.6% in June after having risen 8.5% in May after having plunged by 12.9% in April after having dropped by 6.7% in March.     What we are really interested in is consumption spending in real terms (i.e., after...

GDP

July 30, 2020 The preliminary estimate of second quarter GDP growth came in a -32.9% compared to a first quarter drop of 5.0%.  That was roughly in line with what had been expected.  But that is history and what we are really interested in is what happens next.  Given...

Final Sales

July 30, 2020 When the economy is slowing down, firms will accumulate unwanted inventories.   Those inventories still show up in GDP, but they are unsold.  Hence, GDP will be biased upwards.  Similarly, in good times businesses will reduce inventory levels to satisfy...