- by New Deal democrat
In the rear view mirror, second quarter GDP was revised upward. Corporate profits hit a new record. July monthly data included personal income and spending, both up slightly and flat in real, inflation-adjusted terms. The savings rate was also unchanged. Chicago area manufacturing improved slightly. Home price increases accelerated. Consumer confidence increased in August, but the two reporting series conflicted as to whether expecations were improved or declining.
This week's edition of the high frequency weekly indicators has been delayed a bit, due to a little holiday vacation enjoyment. Here they are:
Steel production from the American Iron and Steel Institute
- -0.9% w/w
- -1.9% YoY
Steel production over the last several years has been, and appears to still be, in a decelerating uptrend. Obviously there is some noise in the weekly numbers. It has been negative YoY for the last 3 weeks.
Initial jobless claims
- 331,000 down -2,000
- 4 week average 331,2500 up +750
The American Staffing Association Index gained +1 to 97. It is up +4.4% YoY
- $145.7 B for the first 21 days of August vs. $135.3 B last year, up +10.4 B or +7.7%
- $130.8 B for the last 20 reporting days vs. $1116.8 B last year, up +14.0 B or +12.0%
Initial claims remain firmly in a normal expansionary mode. Like each of the last three years that this same, a good, downside breakout has occurred.
Temporary staffing had been flat to negative YoY for a few months, but has now also broken out positively. Tax withholding is back within its normal range for most of this year, although towards the weak end.
- ICSC +0.2% w/w +1.9% YoY
- Johnson Redbook +3.7% YoY
- Gallup daily consumer spending 14 day average at $86 up $11 YoY
Oil prices and usage
- Oil up +1.23 to $107.65 w/w
- Gas unchanged at $3.55 w/w
- Usage 4 week average YoY up +1.0%
Interest rates and credit spreads
- 5.55% BAA corporate bonds up +0.11%
- 2.86% 10 year treasury bonds up +0.13%
- 2.69% credit spread between corporates and treasuries down -0.02%
Mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association:
- +2% w/w purchase applications
- +6% YoY purchase applications
- -5% w/w refinance applications
- YoY this week +10.7%
Real estate loans, from the FRB H8 report:
- up +14 or +0.4% w/w
- up +0.4% YoY
- +1.5% from its bottom
- -0.1% w/w
- -0.8% m/m
- +6.7% YoY Real M1
- -0.2% w/w
- +0.4% m/m
- +4.7% YoY Real M2
Railroad transport from the AAR
- -5000 carloads down -1.7% YoY
- +300 carloads or +0.2% ex-coal
- +7700 or +3.5% intermodal units
- +3800 or +0.7% YoY total loads
Bank lending rates
JoC ECRI Commodity prices
- down -0.49 to 124.04 w/w
- +2.86 YoY
The paradigm for the last several months remained intact this past week. Negatives included a further increase in interest rates, a decrease in mortgage refinancing, and the still elevated price of Oil. Steel production was also a negative, as were commodity prices. Purchase mortgages and real estate loans were slightly positive, as were tax withholding payments. Money supply also weakened a little bit, although it is still positive.
Positives included consumer spending, temporary staffing, jobless claims, gas usage, bank rates, interest rate spreads, both rail and shipping transportation, and house prices.
So the story remains that several of the long leading indicators - interest rates and housing - are problematic, while two others - corporate profits and money supply - are still trending up. Shorter leading indicators also remain generally positive. Have a nice long holiday weekend.