Consumer Spending

Consumer Spending and Personal Income

May 30, 2017 – Consumer spending, measured by Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), makes up approximately two-thirds of the economy and is a direct measure of purchasing activity.  We see where consumers are spending their dollars, whether it be durable and nondurable goods, or on services.  Changes in the personal income level dictate consumer spending. Personal income rose 0.4% in April, …

Durable Goods Orders

Durable Goods Orders

May 26, 2017 – Durable goods orders, which are orders to buy products that are expected to last at least three years, indicates how busy factories will be in the near future.  As the name suggests, durable orders provide a look into demand for equipment along with other big-ticket purchases, such as vehicles and appliances. An increase in capital spending …

Chemical Activity Barometer

Chemical Activity Barometer

May 23, 2017 – The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) is a composite index, which is comprised of indicators drawn from a range of chemicals and sectors, including chlorine and other alkalies, pigments, plastic resins and other selected basic industrial chemicals. It has been shown to provide a lead of 2 to 14 months, with an average lead of 8 months …

Single-Family Homes

New Home Sales

May 23, 2017 – 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 has a trickle-down effect as demand rises for durable goods and consumer spending increases, boosting GDP.  It is also a sign of strength in the consumer balance sheet to …

Industrial Production Index

Industrial Production Index

May 18, 2017 – The Industrial Production Index (IPI) measures the manufacturing, electric, mining, and gas industries output on a monthly basis. Industrial output is up 1.0%, above the consensus of 0.4% and well above March’s revised 0.4% increase. Manufacturing rose 1.0%, above expectations of 0.3% while the capacity utilization rate came in at 76.7%, above estimates. Utility output rose …

Housing Starts

Housing Starts

May 16, 2017 – Housing starts track the number of new residential construction projects underway over the course of a month. This indicator has implications for demand in construction spending/jobs, consumer wages, and complimentary sectors such as durable household item sales. Along with building permits, housing starts is considered a leading economic indicator. Housing starts in April came in at …

Consumer Price Index

Consumer Price Index

May 12, 2017 – The Consumer Price Index (CPI) tells us of any inflationary pressures in the economy.  The CPI measures the 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.  As with many economic indicators, it can …

Retail Sales

Retail Sales

May 12, 2017 – Retail Sales are the total amount of merchandise and related services sold to consumers.  It is considered a sign of strength of U.S. Consumer spending, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of the economy.  This indicator also provides insight into which areas of the retail space are experiencing strong sales, such as auto sales. Retail sales increased …

Exports

Imports and Exports

May 10, 2017 – 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. Import prices in April rose 0.5%, 0.4% more than the general consensus of a 0.1% rise. March’s import price change of -0.2% was revised to 0.1% (+0.3%). These …