Topic: Industrial Production
Clarksville, TN – The FOMC minutes from the April 26th-27th policy meeting showed that “most [meeting] participants judged that if incoming data were consistent with economic growth picking up in the second quarter, labor market conditions continuing to strengthen, and inflation making progress toward the Committee’s 2 percent objective, then it likely would be appropriate for the Committee to increase the target range for the federal funds rate in June.”
However, “participants expressed a range of views about the likelihood that incoming information would make it appropriate to adjust the stance of policy at the time of the next meeting.”
Clarksville, TN – The economic data remained consistent with a lackluster to moderate pace of growth in the near term. Building permits and housing starts disappointed in March, reflecting a pullback in multi-family activity (which appears to have been unsustainably strong in 2015).
Single-family permits, the key figure in the report, fell 1.2%, but the first quarter total was 15.2% higher than in 1Q15. Existing home sales rebounded from a soft February (likely reflecting weather effects in the Northeast and Midwest). The Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.2%, following three consecutive monthly declines.
Clarksville, TN – The economic data were mixed, but mostly on the soft side of expectations. Retail sales fell in March, reflecting a pullback in auto sales (dealers noted lean inventories of popular models and a lack of dealer incentives). Ex-autos, gasoline and building materials, sales were flat (+3.2% y/y), but February was revised higher (making it about a wash relative to expectations).
Industrial production fell 0.6% in March, reflecting warm temperatures (another drop in the output of utilities) and a further contraction in oil and gas well drilling (down 72% since the end of 2014).
Clarksville, TN – Real GDP rose at a 3.2% annual rate in the advance estimate for 4Q13, about as expected, but the details were a bit surprising. Consumer spending and business fixed investment, the key components, each rose at a respectable pace.
However, inventory growth, already elevated in 3Q13, rose further (and will likely subtract from GDP growth in 1H14). Net exports (a smaller trade deficit) added. Residential home building and government subtracted. Personal income figures rose meagerly in 4Q13, suggesting that we may see some slowing in spending ahead.
Clarksville, TN – With a thin economic calendar, U.S. investors typically focus on other things. Sometimes, that’s earnings reports (which have been generally good). Other times, it’s overseas developments.
While the economic situation seems to be improving in the United Kingdom and in Europe, the rest of the world is looking a bit shakier. There have been a number of concerns about individual countries in recent weeks (China, Turkey, Argentina, and so on), but these concerns appear to have now gelled into anxieties about emerging economies in general, which has weighed against U.S. stock market sentiment.
Clarksville, TN – There were few surprises in the economic data reports. Retail sales, industrial production, and the Consumer Price Index were all relatively close to expectations. Retail sales slowed in December, reflecting a pullback in unit auto sales, up moderately otherwise (weakness in department store sales were offset by stronger e-tail activity).
Industrial production rose 0.3%, held back by a drop in the output of utilities, but factory output accelerated in 4Q13, following a soft trend in the first three quarters of 2013 (consistent with improving trends in factory payrolls and new orders). Residential construction figures disappointed, but it’s hard to get too worked up about December data (which can be exaggerated due to the weather and seasonal adjustment).
Clarksville, TN – The December Employment Report was a mixed bag. Nonfarm payrolls rose a disappointing 74,000 (median forecast: +195,000, although market participants were anticipating an upside surprise following a stronger-than-expected ADP estimate).
The November payroll figure was revised to +241,000 (from +203,000). Manufacturing rose by 9,000. Construction fell by 16,000, with weakness concentrated in nonresidential and in heavy construction and civil engineering (residential rose 6,200).
Clarksville, TN – The economic data reports of recent weeks contained a few surprises. Consumer spending growth in 3Q13 was stronger than previously estimated, while monthly figures showed acceleration in spending growth in the first two months of 4Q13 (although this is somewhat inconsistent with the pace of income growth).
Right now, inflation-adjusted consumer spending (70% of Gross Domestic Product) appears to be on track for about a 4% annual rate in 4Q13 – impressive, although the current figures may be revised. Durable goods orders rose more than expected in November, with the details suggesting that capital spending plans were delayed due to the government shutdown.
Clarksville, TN – Next week, the ISM Manufacturing Index is expected to be the highlight, although the December figures can be exaggerated by the seasonal adjustment.
Market participants are likely to look ahead to the Employment Report.
Clarksville, TN – Taper, no tantrum. The Federal Open Market Committee decided to reduce the monthly pace of asset purchases from $85 billion to $75 billion in January. The FOMC added that it expects to further reduce the pace of asset purchases “in measured steps” depending on the economic data (that may mean every other Fed policy meeting in 2014).
It also emphasized that the federal funds target rate would remain in its current low range (0-0.25%) even after the unemployment rate falls below 6.5%.
Now playing at the Movies
© 2006-2021 Clarksville, TN Online is owned and operated by residents of Clarksville Tennessee.