New Home Sales

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 data is collected from the Selling Office Commission and local building permit offices, under the assumption that new houses built are being built to sell. This indicator has a trickle-down effect, as demand rises for …

Chicago Fed National Activity Index

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a weighted average of 85 existing monthly indicators of national economic activity that are divided into four broad categories of data: production & income; employment, unemployment, & hours; personal consumption & housing; and sales, orders, & inventories. It is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. …

Initial Jobless Claims

US Initial Jobless Claims, provided by the US Department of Labor, provides underlying data on how many new people have filed for unemployment benefits in the previous week. One can gauge market conditions in the US economy around employment; as more new individuals file for unemployment benefits, fewer individuals in the economy have jobs. In normal times, this means people …

Existing Home Sales

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 the demand for housing.  While home resales may not generate new construction jobs as housing starts do, they have a similar effect on consumer spending as people purchase items for their new home.  Sales of …

Retail Sales

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. After declining for three consecutive months, retail sales grew by 5.3% in …

Index of Consumer Sentiment

The US Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS), as provided by the University of Michigan, tracks consumer sentiment in the US, based on surveys on random samples of US households. The index aids in measuring consumer sentiments in personal finances, business conditions, among other topics. Historically, the index displays pessimism in consumers’ confidence during recessionary periods, and increased consumer confidence in …

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

The JOLTs report is the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, which tracks several trends in evaluating the labor market. Through JOLTs, we can see voluntary and involuntary separations from employment in addition to new job openings and hires that have taken place. Job openings increased to 6.6 million in December, a 1.13% jump from the previous month. New hires …

Consumer Price Index

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 be volatile from month …

Survey of Consumer Expectations

The Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) is a monthly survey conducted by the New York Fed that focuses on Americans’ economic expectations and experiences. The survey covers American consumers’ views of how they believe inflation, spending, credit access, and the housing and labor markets will evolve over time—insight that plays an important role in informing policy decisions. The survey follows …

Initial Jobless Claims

US Initial Jobless Claims, provided by the US Department of Labor, provides underlying data on how many new people have filed for unemployment benefits in the previous week. One can gauge market conditions in the US economy around employment; as more new individuals file for unemployment benefits, fewer individuals in the economy have jobs. In normal times, this means people …

ISM Services

The ISM Services Purchasing Managers Index helps determine the overall economic strength of the services sector.  Components evaluated are employment, business activity, new orders, and supplier deliveries, which are then compiled into an index.  The services sector represents a much larger share of the overall U.S. economy when compared to the manufacturing sector, making up approximately 80% of it; the …

Non-farm Payrolls

ADP Nonfarm Payrolls is a measure of non-farm private sector employment, which is obtained by utilizing an anonymous subset of roughly 400,000 U.S. businesses, which are clients of ADP. Typically, an increase in employment fuels growth in the American economy, while a decrease in employment slows growth. Last month, private sector employment increased by 174,188 to a total of 119.8 …

ISM Manufacturing Index

The Manufacturing PMI (formerly the ISM Manufacturing Index) is derived from a survey of purchasing managers and their outlook on overall conditions by looking at factors such as orders for durable goods, industrial production, and hiring. It gives a general direction rather than the specific strength of the factory sector and manufacturing activity in the U.S. A reading above 50 …

Consumer Spending and Personal Income

Consumer spending, measured by Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), makes up approximately two-thirds of the economy and is a direct measure of purchasing activity. PCE is a reliable indication of inflation because it is calculated from data acquired directly from the GDP report and businesses. We see where consumers are spending their dollars, whether it be durable and nondurable goods, or …

US Initial Jobless Claims

US Initial Jobless Claims, provided by the US Department of Labor, provides underlying data on how many new people have filed for unemployment benefits in the previous week. One can gauge market conditions in the US economy around employment; as more new individuals file for unemployment benefits, fewer individuals in the economy have jobs. In normal times, this means people …

Gross Domestic Product

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the broadest measure of economic activity within a country and measures the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country over a certain period.  There are four components GDP is created from: investment (including residential and nonresidential expenditures), consumption (including durable goods, nondurable goods, and services spending), government spending, and net …

Durable Goods

Durable goods orders, which are orders to buy products that are expected to last at least three years, indicate 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 and consumer purchases indicates …

Foreign Currencies

Early on in 2020, most foreign currencies followed similar patterns as they fell against the dollar in March as the Coronavirus panic unfolded and investors flocked to relative safety. However, after the dollar spiked, the trend was reversed, and the dollar began falling against most major currencies as the Fed increased the money supply. The DXY, an index tracking the …

Chicago Fed National Activity Index

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a weighted average of 85 existing monthly indicators of national economic activity that are divided into four broad categories of data: production & income; employment, unemployment, & hours; personal consumption & housing; and sales, orders, & inventories. It is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. …

Existing Home Sales

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 the demand for housing.  While home resales may not generate new construction jobs as housing starts do, they have a similar effect on consumer spending as people purchase items for their new home.  In December, …

Housing Starts

Housing starts track the number of new residential construction projects over a month. This indicator has implications for demand in construction spending/jobs, consumer wages, and complementary sectors such as durable household item sales. Along with building permits, housing starts is considered a leading economic indicator.  Housing starts increased by 91,000 units to 1.67 million in December, a 5.77% jump from …

Contribution Limits for 2021

The IRS announced that employee contribution limits on 401(k)s and other qualified retirement accounts would remain the same in 2021. The deferral limit for individuals under the age of 50 is $19,500. The catch-up for individuals over age 50 will be $6,500. The total contribution limit (from all sources) is increasing by $1,000 to $58,000 in 2021 (and $64,500 including …

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index

The ISM Services Purchasing Managers Index helps determine the overall economic strength of the services sector.  Components evaluated are employment, business activity, new orders, and supplier deliveries, which are then compiled into an index.  The nonmanufacturing sector represents a much larger share of the overall U.S. economy when compared to the manufacturing sector, making up approximately 80%; the sector’s economic …

US Initial Jobless Claims

US Initial Jobless Claims, provided by the US Department of Labor, provides underlying data on how many new people have filed for unemployment benefits in the previous week. One can gauge market conditions in the US economy around employment; as more new individuals file for unemployment benefits, fewer individuals in the economy have jobs. In normal times, these means people …

Beware of Unemployment Fraud

Fraudulent and imposter unemployment claims have become increasingly more prevalent in the wake of the pandemic and the expansion of jobless benefits by the federal government. Even though unemployment insurance offices have systems in place that stop most fraudulent or impostor claims before they are even processed, some filings may fall through the cracks. There is always a chance you …

Consumer Price Index

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 be volatile from month …

We have a winner!

We have a winner! Our base case in this election was following the polling that was consistent over the past several months a Biden presidency, and a Democrat Senate.  While the Presidency will flip, it is looking more unlikely that the Senate will.  It is not a done deal, but the Georgia runoffs has a strong likelihood of keeping the …

Non-farm Payrolls

Non-farm payrolls give an overview of the overall employment outlook of the US economy. The figure does not include those employed in agriculture because of the seasonal nature of their work. This report obtains these numbers from 142,000 businesses and government agencies to track the new jobs added in non-farming sectors of the economy. Throughout October, total non-farm payroll employment …

US Initial Jobless Claims

US Initial Jobless Claims, provided by the US Department of Labor, provides underlying data on how many new people have filed for unemployment benefits in the previous week. Given this, one can gauge market conditions in the US economy concerning employment; as more new individuals file for unemployment benefits, fewer individuals in the economy have jobs. Historically, initial jobless claims …

US Initial Jobless Claims

US Initial Jobless Claims, provided by the US Department of Labor, provides underlying data on how many new people have filed for unemployment benefits in the previous week. Given this, one can gauge market conditions in the US economy concerning employment; as more new individuals file for unemployment benefits, fewer individuals in the economy have jobs. Historically, initial jobless claims …

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index helps determine the overall economic strength of the services sector.  Components evaluated are employment, business activity, new orders, and supplier deliveries, which are then compiled into an index.  The nonmanufacturing sector represents a much larger share of the overall U.S. economy when compared to the manufacturing sector, making up approximately 80%; the sector’s economic weight makes …

Housing Starts

Housing starts track the number of new residential construction projects over a month. This indicator has implications for demand in construction spending/jobs, consumer wages, and complementary sectors such as durable household item sales. Along with building permits, housing starts is considered a leading economic indicator. Housing starts rose to 1.18 million in June 2020, indicating that the number of new …

Retail Sales

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. Food was excluded in the Retail Sales TTM chart above because of …

Consumer Price Index

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 be volatile from month …

Change in Non-farm Payrolls

Non-farm payrolls give an overview of the overall employment outlook of the US economy; non-farm payrolls do not include those employed in agriculture because of the seasonal nature of their work. This report obtains these numbers from 142,000 businesses and government agencies to track the new jobs added in non-farming sectors of the economy. Throughout the month of June, total …