New Home Sales

New Home Sales

May 24, 2016 – New single-family home sales represent the number of brand new houses that were purchased or committed to being purchased over the course of a month.  This indicator provides insight into the demand for housing which has a significant impact on GDP and the overall economy.  New home sales require a house to actually be built, causing …

Consumer Price Index

May 18, 2016 – The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, tells us of any inflationary pressures in the economy.  The CPI measures average price levels of a basket of goods and services purchased by consumers.  The index starts with a base time period (1982-1984, currently) and shows the overall increase since that time.  Interest rates are directly impacted by inflation, …

Retail Sales

Retail Sales

May 13, 2016 – When looking at retail sales, we are looking at the total amount of merchandise and related services sold to consumers.  In other words, we are looking at the strength of consumer spending.  Due to the fact that consumer spending is such a large component of the overall economy (accounting for more than two-thirds of the economy), …

JOLTs Since 2000

JOLTs

May 12, 2016 – The JOLTs report is the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey that enables us to track several trends in evaluating the labor market.  Through JOLTs we are able to see voluntary and involuntary separations from employment in addition to new job openings and hires that have taken place.  By tracking separations, we are able to see …

Imports and Exports

Imports and Exports

May 12, 2016 – Import and export prices are an inflationary gauge for us to track that tells us whether prices are increasing or decreasing.  Import prices tell us the cost of products that are produced abroad and purchased in the U.S., while exports are goods produced in the U.S. but purchased abroad.  Increasing import prices signal inflationary trends in …

Change in Nonfarm Payrolls

Change in Nonfarm Payrolls

May 6, 2016 – The employment situation gives us the most comprehensive look at the labor market in the U.S. as we are able to track new jobs, additions or subtractions from the labor force, and the unemployment rate.  An increasing workforce keeps the economy moving forward with more people employed and being paid a wage, which leads to an …

ISM Nonmanufacturing

ISM Nonmanufacturing

May 4, 2016 – The ISM Nonmanufacturing Index helps us in determining overall conditions in the services sector.  When breaking down the services sector, there are many different components we evaluate, namely employment, business activity, new orders, and supplier deliveries.  The nonmanufacturing sector represents a much larger share of the overall economy when compared to the manufacturing sector, making up …

ISM Manufacturing Index

ISM Manufacturing

May 4, 2016 – The ISM Manufacturing Index gives us clues as to the strength of the factory sector and manufacturing activity in the U.S. by looking at factors such as orders for durable goods, industrial production and hiring.  A reading above 50 is an indicator that the manufacturing sector is growing, reflecting an increase in demand and an increase …

Consumer Spending

Consumer Spending and Personal Income

May 3, 2016 – Consumer spending makes up approximately two-thirds of the economy and is a direct measure of purchasing activity over the course of time.  We are able to see where consumers are spending their dollars, whether it be durable and nondurable goods, or on services.  An increase in consumer spending bodes well for the overall economy as corporate …