Consumer Spending

Consumer Spending and Personal Income

June 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 May, …

Durable Goods Orders

Durable Goods Orders

June 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 …

Existing Home Sales

Existing Home Sales

June 21, 2017 – Existing home sales provide the number of purchases made for homes, condominiums, and co-ops that have already been built.  Existing home sales give an indication of demand for housing.  While home resales may not generate new construction jobs like those that housing starts do, they have a similar effect on consumer spending as people purchase items …

Architecture Billings Index

June 21, 2017 – The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is an indicator for commercial and industrial building activity. The Work-on-the-Boards survey is given to architecture firms each month to report how billing activity performed in the previous month. The ABI is a reliable tool for firms to track architectural movements in the market. Billings for May increased to 53.0, up …

Commercial & Industrial

Commercial & Industrial Loans

June 20, 2017 – Commercial & Industrial Loans (C&I), also known as business or commercial loans, are loans made to a business or corporation as opposed to an individual. They represent one of the key funding sources for many business sectors. C&I loans are often made to businesses to fund working capital or capital expenditures. This type of loan is …

Chemical Activity

Chemical Activity Barometer

June 20, 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 …

Housing Starts

Housing Starts

June 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 May came in at …

Import and Exports

Imports and Exports

June 15, 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 May changed -0.3%, 0.2% less than the consensus of a -0.1% change. April’s import price change of -0.5% was revised to 0.2% (-0.3%). These past …

Retail Sales

Retail Sales

June 14, 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 decreased …

Consumer Price Index

Consumer Price Index

June 14, 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 …