Friday, February 19, 2010

Weekly Indicators: Daily Treasury Statement edition

- by New Deal democrat

I wonder if Trim Tabs will write a report on what the Daily Treasury Statement is showing so far this month? Details below.

Monthly data showed more strong gains in industrial production, as manufacturing is indeed having a V-shaped recovery. The Empire State and Philly Fed indices were also good. Housing starts and permits were higher than expected, and are positive year over year now (another data point that pessimists won't be able to cite anymore). Producer prices increased more than expected, but consumer prices were sedate, and core prices turned negative for the first time in almost 30years, mainly due to the now-downside distortions of Owners' Equivalent Rent.

Turning to the high-frequency weekly data ....

The ICSC reported that for the week ending February 13, YoY same store sales declined -0.7%. Week over week they declined -1.6%.

Similarly, Shoppertrak reported that:
ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate™ (NRSE) today reported that year-over-year GAFO retail sales slipped 2.4 percent for the week ending Feb. 13 while sales increased 8.8 percent versus the previous week ending Feb. 6.
The company’s data shows snowstorms across the Midwest, South and East slowed spending early last week, only to improve later as consumers dug out....
The E.I.A. reported that gas prices fell to $2.62 a gallon, the lowest in several months. Weekly gasoline usage and continues to be lower than last year, and worse, continues to decline whereas last year it was increasing. This may be a harbinger of high prices causing consumer retrenchment, or it may also just be the east coast blizzards. Oil prices closed out the week at about $80, another disheartening development.

Railfax reports that both cyclical and intermodal traffic continues to run ahead of last week in 2009, although those and also baseline traffic declined last week vs. rising last year.

The BLS reported new jobless claims of 473,000, causing some concern by among others my co-blogger Bonddad about a break in the pattern. Personally, I see no break from the longer term patter established beginning last April, although I very much want to see declines from 480,000 in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, as promised, the best has been saved for last. In a continuing surprise, and exactly as NOT promised by Trim Tabs, as of February 17, withholding taxes are running ahead of this month last year for the second week in a row: $95.8B in 2010 vs. $94.0B in 2009. There are 7 reporting days left in the month. This will be very interesting to watch....