Initial Unemployment Claims

May 19, 2022 Initial unemployment claims for the week of May 14 rose 21 thousand to 218 thousand after having fallen 5 thousand in the previous week. The 4-week average for claims rose 21 thousand to 218 thousand.  The level has risen slightly in the past couple of...

Housing Starts

May 18, 2022 Housing starts  fell 0.2% in april to 1,724 thousand after declining 2.8% in March after climbing by 6.7% in February. Starts have far surpassed the levels where they were in February of 2020 — prior to the recession.  Starts would be at an even...

Homebuilder Confidence

May 17, 2022 Homebuilder confidence fell 8 points in May to 69 after declining 2 points in April, 2 points in March and 0.1 point in January.  Despite the consecutive declines, the index remains at a fairly lofty level.  Keep in mind that any number over 50 indicates...

Industrial Production

May 17, 2022 Industrial production climbed 1.1% in April after rising 0.9% in March, 1.0% in February and 0.8% in January.  It is flying. Breaking industrial production down into its three basis categories — manufacturing, mining, and utilities –the Fed...

Retail Sales

May 17, 2022 Retail sales rose 0.9% in April after having risen 1.4% in March and 1.7% in February.  In the past year retail sales have climbed by 16.1%.  .  Despite higher inflation and higher interest rates the consumer appears to be unfazed. Motor vehicle sales...