March 2018

Consumer Confidence

The Consumer confidence index rolled-back 2.3 points in March according to the Conference Board. The index now stands at 127.7. Despite the decline, the index remains at elevated levels with a positive trend line. Businesses report being somewhat more pessimistic about current conditions as expectations fell across the board. On the other-hand, the labor market [...]

Automotive Sales

Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), shows that total light (cars and light truck/SUVs), vehicle sales in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, (SAAR) of 17.505 million (M), units, down 724,000 units or 4.0% from December. On a three month moving average (3MMA), basis sales were tracking at 17.867M, down 1.7% [...]

Job Turnover and Openings Report

Businesses have a mountain of jobs to fill, another data point on just how strong the economy is at the present time. Job openings increased to 6.31 million, (+645,000) on the last business day of January according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the increased openings, 608,000 were in the private sector. The job [...]

Employment by Industry

The economy created 313,000 jobs in February greatly exceeding analysts’ expectations. There were good gains in both construction and manufacturing. The total number of seasonally adjusted (SA), non-farm people employed in the U.S. in February was 148.177 million (M), an increase of 0.21% month on month, (m/m). Over the past 12 months the U.S. economy [...]

Employment: Initial, Continuous Jobless Claims

February seasonally adjusted, (SA) initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 21,000 to 231,000. Despite the increase the total remains near the lowest level in nearly 50 years. The non-seasonally adjusted, (NSA) four week moving average (4WMA) was 216,850, 7.9% lower than for the same period last year. Layoffs are low and hiring statistics continue [...]

U.S. Non-farm Employment Net Job Creation

Total non-seasonally adjusted, (NSA) nonfarm payroll employment increased by 313,000 in February and the December and January figures were revised higher, to 175,000 and 239,000 respectfully. A total of 148,177,000 people were employed in non-farm jobs as the unemployment rate held steady according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS) report. Employment growth has averaged [...]

Consumer Credit

Consumer credit continued to climb but the pace of growth has slowed somewhat. Total consumer credit increased by $13.9 billion, (B) in January, well below the consensus estimate of $17.8B. Non-revolving credit advanced by $13.2B or 95% of the gain, while revolving credit moved-up by just $0.7B, its lowest level since July 2103. On a [...]

The Baltic Dry Index

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), for February tumbled 123 points to 1,125 month on month (m/m), a 10% decline. Changes on a m/m comparison can be exhibit wild swings as was the case in February. Looked at on a three month moving average, (3MMA) comparison the BDI fell 7.7% to 1,309 m/m. On a 3MMA [...]

Currency Report

The dollar Broad Index posted a reading of 94.05 for February, up 0.4% month on month yet still close to its lowest level in two years. The rate of decline has moderated over the past month likely because of the FEDs indication that there will be three and perhaps four interest rate hikes this year. [...]

Oil and Gas Rotary Rig Counts

Active U.S. rigs climbed for the sixth week in a row per Baker Hughes. The total number of operating rigs in the U.S. the week as of March 2nd was 981, 800 oil and 181 gas. In percentage terms, on a month on month, (m/m) basis, oil rigs were up 4.6%, (+35 rigs) as gas [...]