Real consumer spending fell 0.4% in July. This is the biggest drop since June 2004. Nominal spending rose 0.2%. Personal income fell 0.7% in July, the biggest drop since August 2005. Real disposable incomes fell 1.7% in July. This is the second straight large monthly drop in the wake of the government stimulus payments. As anticipated U.S. July PCE core inflation was up 0.3%.
Consumer sentiment improved in August. The index rose to 63 in late August, compared with 61.7 earlier in the… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on August 29, 2008 at 10:15am —
Added by Adam Horak on August 28, 2008 at 1:04pm —
Gross domestic product increased at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter. The revised reading was much better than the government's initial estimate of a 1.9 percent pace and exceeded economists' expectations for a 2.7 percent growth rate.
The Labor Department reported that applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 425,000, down 10,000 from the previous week. That was a slightly better figure than the 427,000 analysts… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on August 28, 2008 at 10:36am —
Added by Adam Horak on August 28, 2008 at 9:26am —
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT AND CORPORATE PROFITS: Second Quarter 2008 (Preliminary)
Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 3.3 percent in the second quarter of 2008,
(that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to preliminary estimates released by the
Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.9… Continue
Added by Adam Horak on August 28, 2008 at 9:01am —
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending Aug. 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 425,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 435,000. The 4-week moving average was 440,250, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week's revised average of 446,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending Aug. 16, an… Continue
Added by Adam Horak on August 28, 2008 at 8:41am —
The Treasury Dept. is set to auction off $32 billion worth of 2-year bond notes Wednesday, the largest auction of 2-year notes in history. A big shot of supply typically sends bond prices lower.
The auction for the 2-year note closes at 1 p.m. EST on Wednesday.
Oil prices look to push higher as traders worried whether Tropical Storm Gustav might cut crude supplies that come out of the Gulf Coast of Mexico.
Bond traders always watch oil prices… Continue
Added by Adam Horak on August 27, 2008 at 12:09pm —
The Manager of the System Open Market Account reported on recent developments in foreign exchange markets. There were no open market operations in foreign currencies for the System's account in the period since the previous meeting. The Manager also reported on developments in domestic financial markets and on System open market operations in government securities and federal agency obligations during the period since the previous meeting. By unanimous vote, the Committee ratified these… Continue
Added by Adam Horak on August 27, 2008 at 11:27am —
The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta came down squarely on the side of Fed Chief Ben Bernanke, by arguing that inflationary pressures should ease in coming months. Dennis Lockhart said in a speech at Georgia State University's business school that although recent measures of inflation are higher than he would like to see, he expects “CPI inflation will peak near the July level of 5.6%.”
The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods rose 1.3 percent last month,… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on August 27, 2008 at 10:16am —
Added by Adam Horak on August 27, 2008 at 9:29am —
The August consumer confidence index rose to 56.9 from a July reading of 51.9. Economists expected an August reading of 53. The percentage of consumers saying jobs are "hard to get" increased to 32% in August from 30.2% in July. Meanwhile, the percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to worsen over the next six months fell to 25.8% from 32.4%.
U.S. home sales rose 2.4% in July, but large downward revisions to prior months showed a weaker home sales market than previously… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on August 26, 2008 at 10:32am —
The National Association of Realtors reported that resales of U.S. single-family homes and condos rose 3.1% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.0 million; economists expected sales to rise to 4.91 million. Despite the increase in sales, the inventory of unsold homes on the market rose 3.9% to an 11.2 month supply.
The Lundberg Survey shows gas prices have dropped 15 cents a gallon in the last two weeks. The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline at self-serve… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on August 25, 2008 at 10:29am —
Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
At the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's Annual Economic Symposium, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
August 22, 2008
Reducing Systemic Risk
In choosing the topic for this year's symposium--maintaining stability in a changing financial system--the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City staff is, once again, right on target. Although we have seen improved functioning in some markets, the financial storm that reached gale force some weeks… Continue
Added by Adam Horak on August 22, 2008 at 10:21am —
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said recent developments in commodity prices and the dollar, combined with slow growth, should lead inflation to moderate this year and next year. Bernanke told policymakers and economists at the Fed's annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that the recent decline in commodity prices and the increased stability of the dollar have been welcome trends.
Warren Buffett said the economy continues to be in a recession, by his definition, and will… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on August 22, 2008 at 10:13am —
The Conference Board says its measure of the economy's health fell more than expected in July, pushed lower by declines in the stock market, drops in new building permits and rising unemployment. The forecast of future economic activity fell 0.7 percent, far short of the consensus estimate of a 0.2 percent decline.
The Labor Department reported that initial applications for jobless benefits dropped to 432,000, down by 13,000 from the previous week. It was a bigger improvement than… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on August 21, 2008 at 11:04am —
The Mortgage Bankers Association said mortgage application volume fell last week to its lowest levels in more than six years. The fall in application volume is the latest sign of a struggling housing market.
For the first time in decades, the increasing cost of steel is forcing Toyota Motor Corp (TM) into considering raising prices in Japan without a model makeover. The speculation is Toyota may be forced to announce higher prices in Japan -- a move even Toyota acknowledges could be… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on August 20, 2008 at 9:30am —
Richard Fisher, the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve, said the conventional wisdom that inflation may soon peak as oil prices drop and the economy slows may turn out to be wishful thinking. Fisher said the Fed should remain "poised" to hike rates if slowing growth fails to contain inflation pressure. Fisher said it was too early to tell the likely course of inflation.
According to the former IMF chief economist, Kenneth Rogoff, the worst of the global financial crisis is yet… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on August 19, 2008 at 10:00am —
Fannie Mae (FNE) and Freddie Mac (FRE) fell in trading after Barron's said government officials don't expect the mortgage-finance companies to be able to raise the equity capital they need, potentially forcing a bailout by the U.S. Treasury. The companies have been battered by record delinquencies and rising losses amid the worst housing slump since the Great Depression.
The National Association of Home Builders said U.S. home builders were as gloomy in August as they've ever been… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on August 18, 2008 at 11:00am —
The output of U.S. factories rose 0.4% in July, the best gain in 10 months. Overall, industrial production increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in July as expected, despite a 1.9% drop in output of utilities. Capacity utilization increased a tenth to 79.9% in July, still far below the level that would signal tight supply chains.
The Empire State Index said its monthly survey rose to 2.8 in August, up from negative 4.9 in July. Economists were expecting negative 2.8. The survey had… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on August 15, 2008 at 10:00am —
First-time applications for state unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 in the latest week to 450,000, but the smoothed trend in new claims moved to its highest level in more than six years. Initial claims have increased recently by publicity about a new federal program of extended benefits that has encouraged more unemployed workers to file for claims under regular state programs.
U.S. consumer prices jumped a greater-than-expected 0.8% in July, marked by big increases in energy,… Continue
Added by Jack Lott on August 14, 2008 at 9:21am —