Producer Price Index

The Producer Price Index (PPI) looks at the average change in selling prices from the viewpoint of domestic producers of both goods and services. Three areas of production are observed: industry-based, commodity-based, and commodity-based final demand-intermediate demand. Investors look to the producer price index, which is a more relevant way of gauging inflation than CPI because of the large basket …

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. While the report provides detailed information about the condition of the labor market, it is not considered …

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 …

Unemployment Rate

The Employment Situation is a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that gives an overview of the overall employment outlook of the US economy. The report 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 …

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 …

ISM Services Purchasing Managers Index

The ISM Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) 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; …

ADP Nonfarm 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.  In April, private sector employment surged by 742,209 to 121.1 million after rising …

Manufacturing PMI

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 …

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 …

Employment Cost Index

The Employment Cost Index is a quarterly series published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that tracks movement in the cost of labor, as measured by wages and benefits, at all levels of a company. Wages track the amount employers pay in salaries and hourly labor, while benefits measure a combination of health insurance, paid time off, and retirement …

Durable Goods Orders

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 …

Existing Home Sales

Existing Home Sales provide the number of purchases made for homes, condominiums, and co-ops that have already been built, while New Home Sales represent the number of brand-new houses that were purchased or committed to being purchased over the course of a month. Both new and existing home sales give an indication of the demand for housing.  When people purchase a …

Interest Payments

Last March, as the Coronavirus crisis was first beginning to unfold, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to record-low levels. Simultaneously, the Federal Government increased its already high spending through massive stimulus packages intended to reduce the pandemic’s impact on the economy—adding trillions to the national debt. Over the past year, the national debt soared from $23.2 trillion to $27.7 …

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 …

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.   In March, retail sales surged by 9.8% to $619.1 billion after a …

When do I sign up for Medicare?

Health Insurance can feel like a puzzle, where we can eyeball a part, but we won’t know if it’s correct until the pieces around it are found. In a sense, Medicare exists to help eliminate the puzzle aspect. However, the process of starting Medicare can be equally confounding. One of the most critical questions is, when do I sign up …

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 …

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 …

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. While the report provides detailed information about the condition of the labor market, it is not considered …

ISM Services Purchasing Managers 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 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 …

ADP Nonfarm 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. In March, private sector employment surged by 516,797 to 120.4 million, the largest …

Chicago PMI

Chicago PMI is a composite index of business conditions in the Chicago area. Data from Chicagoland firms is collected by the financial news firm, Market News International, through manufacturing and non-manufacturing surveys sent to businesses. A drop in demand for goods is reflected in businesses’ responses in the Chicago PMI survey, which, is in turn, reflected in a lower index …

Personal Consumption Expenditures

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 …

Durable Goods Orders

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 …

Home Sales

Existing Home Sales provide the number of purchases made for homes, condominiums, and co-ops that have already been built, while New Home Sales represent the number of brand-new houses that were purchased or committed to being purchased over the course of a month. Both new and existing home sales give an indication of the demand for housing.  When people purchase a …

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. …

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 …

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. While the report provides detailed information about the condition of the labor market, it is not considered …

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.   In February, retail sales fell by 3.0% to $561.7 billion from January’s …

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 …

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 …

Non-Farm Payrolls

The Employment Situation is a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that gives an overview of the overall employment outlook of the US economy. The report 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 …

ADP Nonfarm 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.  In February, private sector employment increased by 117,108 to a total of 119.8 …

ISM Services Purchasing Managers 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 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 …