ECONOMIC INDICATORS - THE LATEST UPDATES
Key Report Highlights from August 9, 2012 Edition:
U.S. Economic Indicators
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 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012. The increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a negative contribution from state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased. The deceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected a deceleration in PCE, an acceleration in imports, and decelerations in residential fixed investment and in nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by an upturn in private inventory investment, a smaller decrease in federal government spending, and an acceleration in exports. (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis)
+ CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index©, which had declined in June, improved slightly in July. The Index now stands at 65.9 (1985=100), up from 62.7 in June. The Expectations Index improved to 79.1 from 73.4. The Present Situation Index, however, decreased slightly to 46.2 from 46.6 a month ago. Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, "Despite this month's improvement in confidence, the overall Index remains at historically low levels. Consumers' attitude regarding current conditions was little changed in July, but their short-term expectations, which had declined last month, bounced back. However, while consumers expressed greater optimism about short-term business and employment prospects, they have grown more pessimistic about their earnings. Given the current economic environment - in particular the weak labor market - consumer confidence is not likely to gain any significant momentum in the coming months." (Source: Conference Board)
- CEO CONFIDENCE INDEX
The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence™, which improved in the first quarter of this year, decreased in the second quarter. The Measure now reads 47, down from 63 last quarter (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses). Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, "CEOs began the year quite upbeat, but the lackluster performance of the economy so far, and expectations of more of the same, have clearly impacted attitudes. On a positive note, CEOs remain confident profits will continue to increase, driven primarily by market/demand growth." (Source: The Conference Board)
- UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Nonfarm payroll employment continued to edge up in June (+80,000), and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3 percent. Professional and business services added jobs, and employment in other major industries changed little over the month. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The U.S. Census Bureau reported advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $401.5 billion, a decrease of 0.5 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month, but 3.8 percent (±0.7%) above June 2011. Total sales for the April through June 2012 period were up 4.7 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The April - May 2012 percent change was unrevised from -0.2 percent (±0.2%).
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
- PURCHASING MANAGERS INDEX
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in June for the first time since July 2009; however, the overall economy grew for the 37th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. The PMI registered 49.7 percent, a decrease of 3.8 percentage points from May's reading of 53.5 percent, indicating contraction in the manufacturing sector for the first time since July 2009, when the PMI registered 49.2 percent. The New Orders Index dropped 12.3 percentage points in June, registering 47.8 percent and indicating contraction in new orders for the first time since April 2009, when the New Orders Index registered 46.8 percent. The Production Index registered 51 percent, and the Employment Index registered 56.6 percent. The Prices Index for raw materials decreased significantly for the second consecutive month, registering 37 percent, which is 10.5 percentage points lower than the 47.5 percent reported in May. Comments from the panel range from continued optimism to concern that demand may be softening due to uncertainties in the economies in Europe and China. (Source: Institute for Supply Management)
+ FEDERAL FUNDS RATE
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that the economy has been expanding moderately this year. However, growth in employment has slowed in recent months, and the unemployment rate remains elevated. Business fixed investment has continued to advance. Household spending appears to be rising at a somewhat slower pace than earlier in the year. Despite some signs of improvement, the housing sector remains depressed. Inflation has declined, mainly reflecting lower prices of crude oil and gasoline, and longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable. Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects economic growth to remain moderate over coming quarters and then to pick up very gradually. The Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that economic conditions--including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run--are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014. (Source: Federal Reserve)
Sales of existing single-family homes declined 2% in March to 4.0M. Sales of new single-family houses in June 2012 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 350,000, according to estimates jointly released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 8.4 percent (±12.4%) below the revised May rate of 382,000, but is 15.1 percent (±16.7%) above the June 2011 estimate of 304,000. Housing starts in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000. This is 6.9 percent (±13.3%) above the revised May estimate of 711,000 and is 23.6 percent (±16.8%) above the June 2011 rate of 615,000. (Source: National Association of Realtors, U.S. Census Bureau)
+ AUTO SALES
Light vehicle sales totaled 1.3 million in June, up 22% from a year ago on a rolling 12-month basis. (Source: Autodata Corp.)
Boat Manufacturers Economic Indicators
+ WHOLESALE SALES
Advance data indicates that year to date wholesale shipments through April of traditional powerboats were up 18.1% from a year ago; corresponding dollars were up 9.8%. (Source: NMMA Dashboard)
+ RETAIL SALES
New powerboat registrations were up 3% on a rolling 12-month basis through March, compared to a year ago. Advance estimates indicate calendar year 2012 sales of traditional powerboats will be up almost 10% compared to 2011. (Source: NMMA New Powerboat Registrations Report, Info-Link)
First quarter of 2012 recreational boat and marine engine export volumes were up 15% compared to the first quarter in 2011 while dollars were up almost 13%. Corresponding import volumes were down 25% while dollars were up 21%. (Source: NMMA Export/Import Abstract)
Other Top Economic News:
Unemployment at 8.3 percent in July
Reprinted Courtesy Trade Only Today, August 3, 2012
An estimated 163,000 jobs were added in July, but the unemployment rate edged up to 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Employment rose in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, and manufacturing.
In July, the number of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed, at 5.2 million. These individuals accounted for 40.7 percent of the unemployed.
The number of people employed part time because their hours had been cut or they were unable to find full-time work was essentially unchanged, at 8.2 million, in July.
In July, 2.5 million people were marginally attached to the labor force, down from 2.8 million a year earlier. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.
Among them, there were 852,000 discouraged workers in July, a decline of 267,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.
Manufacturing employment rose in July (up 25,000), with nearly all of the increase in durable goods manufacturing. Within durable goods, the motor vehicles and parts industry had fewer seasonal layoffs than is typical for July, contributing to a seasonally adjusted employment increase of 13,000. Employment continued to trend up in fabricated metal products (up 5,000).
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