Current Statistics (8-23-2007)

The Employment Picture

 

 

 

 

Unemployment Rate     ({4.5% May 2007}…{4.5% June})…{4.6% July 2007}

 

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend up (+92,000) in July, and the unemployment rate (4.6 percent) was essentially unchanged, the Bureau of LaborStatistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. 


Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey Data) 
Total payroll employment continued to trend up in July (+92,000), reaching 138.1 million, seasonally adjusted.  Thus far in 2007, employment has increased by an average of 136,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 189,000 in 2006.  Over the month, employment rose in several service-providing industries and changed little in the goods-producing industries.
 


Unemployment (Household Survey Data)
Both the number of unemployed persons (7.1 million) and the unemployment rate (4.6 percent) were about unchanged in July.  The jobless rate has ranged from 4.4 to 4.6 percent since September 2006In July, total employment (146.1 million) and the civilian labor force (153.2 million) were little changed.  The employment-population ratio (63.0 percent) was about unchanged, and the labor force participation rate held at 66.1 percent. 

News Release - http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

 

The Employment Situation for August 2007 is scheduled to be released on Friday,  September 7, at 8:30 A.M. (EDT).

 

 

 

 

      Jobless Claims   (4-wk rolling average: 307,750 Aug – 4, to 313,000 Aug – 11, to 317,750 Aug – 18)

 

In the week ending Feb. 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 311,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 308,000.  The 4-week moving average was 308,250, an increase of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 305,000.

For 2001, the average weekly initial jobless claims were 405,538; in 2006 the average was 312,596. 

News Release - http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ui/current.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

GDP (2nd Quarter 2007 Real GDP: 3.4%)

 

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 3.4 percent in the second quarter of 2007, according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the 1st quarter, real GDP increased 0.6 percent.

 

v   2nd Quarter 2007 is the twenty-third consecutive quarter of economic expansion 

 

The major contributors to the increase in real GDP in the second quarter were:

from Table 2.--Contributions to Percent Change in Real Gross Domestic Product

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) 0.89%
(Durable Goods 0.13% (
Furniture and household equipment 0.09%); Nondurable Goods -0.16%; Services 0.92% change from 1st Quarter)

Gross private domestic investment: 0.49%
(Fixed Investment 0.34%; Change in Private Inventories 0.14%)

Net Exports (Exports – Imports): 1.18%
An increase in Exports contributed 0.73% while Imports improved, accounting for a 0.45% change.

Government Spending (Government consumption expenditures and gross investment): 0.82%

Federal increasing 0.47% and State and Local increasing by 0.35%

 

 

News Release – http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm

 

 

 

 

 

            Leading Indicators

 

According to figures released by the Conference Board on August 20, 2007, six of the ten indicators that make up the leading index increased in July.  The Conference Board announced that the U.S. leading index increased 0.4 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent and the lagging index increased 0.2 percent in July.

 

The leading index now stands at 138.1 (1996=100).  Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 percent in June and increased 0.2 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the leading index increased 0.1 percent, with five out of ten components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50 percent).

 

Next release – Thursday, September 20 at 10:00 AM ET

 

News Release - http://www.conference-board.org/economics/bci/pressRelease_output.cfm?cid=1

 

 

 

 

 

            Construction (put in place)    (June 0.3% below May)

 

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during June 2007 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,175.4 billion, 0.3 percent (±1.4%)* below the revised May estimate of $1,178.4 billion.  The June figure is 2.4 percent (±2.1%) below the June 2006 estimate of $1,204.0 billion.

 

During the first 6 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $550.0 billion, 3.5 percent (±1.6%) below the $570.1 billion for the same period in 2006.


Next release – July 2007 data will be released on September 4, 2007 at 10:00 A.M. EST.

 

News Release - http://www.census.gov/const/C30/release.pdf

 

 

 

              New Housing Starts     (July 4% below June)

 

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,373,000.  This is 2.8 percent (±1.3%) below the revised June rate of 1,413,000 and is 22.6 percent (±1.3%) below the revised July 2006 estimate of 1,774,000. 

 

Single-family authorizations in July were at a rate of 1,003,000; this is 1.6 percent (±1.2%) below the June figure of 1,019,000.  Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 314,000 in July.

 

Next release (for August 2007) – Wednesday September 19, 2007, at 8:30 A.M. EST

 

News Release - http://www.census.gov/const/newresconst.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

            New Residential Sales   (June 6.6% below May)

 

 

 

Sales of new one-family houses in June 2007 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 834,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 6.6 percent (±11.0%)* below the revised May rate of 893,000 and is 22.3 percent (±10.1%) below the June 2006 estimate of 1,073,000.

 

The median sales price of new houses sold in June 2007 was $237,900; the average sales price was $316,200.  The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of June was 537,000.  This represents a supply of 7.8 months at the current sales rate.

 

Next release (for July 2007) – Friday, August 24, 2007, at 10:00 A.M. EST

 

News Release - http://www.census.gov/const/newressales.pdf

 

 

         Durable Goods (June increased 0.6% over May)

Summary

New orders for manufactured durable goods in June, up four of the last five months, increased $2.8 billion or 1.3 percent to $216.7 billion, revised from the previously published 1.4 percent increase. This followed a 2.4 percent May decrease.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in June, down following three consecutive monthly increases, decreased $2.5 billion or 1.2 percent to $211.5 billion, revised from the previously published 1.1 percent decrease. This followed a 0.2 percent May increase.  

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in June, up twenty-five of the last twenty-six months, increased $10.4 billion or 1.4 percent to $736.1 billion, revised from the previously published 1.5 percent increase. This was also at the highest level since the series was first stated on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 0.9 percent May increase. 

Inventories of manufactured durable goods in June, up sixteen consecutive months, increased $0.4 billion or 0.1 percent to $313.1 billion, revised from the previously published 0.2 percent increase. This was also at the highest level since the series was first stated on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 0.1 percent May increase.

Next release (the advance report on durable goods for July) –scheduled for August 24, 2007 at 8:30 a.m.

 

News Release - http://www.census.gov/indicator/www/m3/

 

Capital Goods Industries (June):

Nondefense new orders for capital goods in June increased $3.4 billion or 4.6 percent to $76.2 billion.

Defense new orders for capital goods in June decreased $1.1 billion or 13.9 percent to $7.0 billion.

Next release (for July) – August 24, 2007 at 8:30 A.M. EDT.

 

News Release - http://www.census.gov/indicator/www/m3/adv/

 

 

                  Current Account Balance (Trade Balance)

 

The Current Account Balance consists of the Trade Balance (Net Exports (Exports less Imports) of Goods and Services), the Income Balance (Income Receipts and Income Payments), and net Unilateral Current Transfers.  The Department of Commerce publishes the Current Account Balance data on quarterly basis.


The U.S. Current Account Balance 2003   – $522.1 billion

The U.S. Current Account Balance 2004   – $640.1 billion

The U.S. Current Account Balance 2005   – $754.8 billion

The U.S. Current Account Balance 2006   – $811.5 billion

 

*The U.S. Trade Balance 2003   – $496.9 billion

*The U.S. Trade Balance 2004   – $612.1 billion

*The U.S. Trade Balance 2005   – $714.4 billion

*The U.S. Trade Balance 2006   – $758.5 billion

*Balance on goods and services

 

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that total June exports of $134.5 billion and imports of $192.7 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $58.1 billion, compared with $59.2 billion in May, revised.  June exports were $2.0 billion more than May exports of $132.6 billion.  June imports were $0.9 billion more than May imports of $191.7 billion.

 

In June, the goods deficit decreased $1.0 billion from May to $67.5 billion, and the services surplus was virtually unchanged at $9.4 billion.  Exports of goods increased $1.7 billion to $95.2 billion, and imports of goods increased $0.8 billion to $162.7 billion.  Exports of services increased $0.2 billion to $39.4 billion, and imports of services increased $0.2 billion to $30.0 billion.

 

In June, the goods and services deficit was down $6.4 billion from June 2006.  Exports were up $13.5 billion, or 11.2 percent, and imports were up $7.1 billion, or 3.8 percent.

 

Next release (for July 2007) – September 11, 2007 (8:30 AM EST)

 

News Release - http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/trade/tradnewsrelease.htm 

 

 

 

 

      CPI + 0.1% (July) / PPI + 0.6% (July) (Seasonally adjusted)

 

CPI – The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was virtually unchanged in July, before seasonal adjustment, the Bureau of  Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.  The July level of 208.299 (1982-84=100) was 2.4 percent higher than in July 2006.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI-U advanced 0.1 percent in July, following a 0.2 percent increase in June.  The index for energy declined for the second consecutive month, down 1.0 percent in July.

 

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.2 percent in July, the same as in June. 

 

Next release (for August 2007) – September 19, at 8:30 A.M. (EDT)

News Release - http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm  

 

 

PPI – The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods advanced 0.6 percent in

July, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported.  This increase followed a 0.2-percent decline in June and a 0.9-percent rise in May.

 

Among prices for finished goods, the index for energy goods rose 2.5 percent in July following a 1.1-percent decrease in June.  Prices for finished consumer foods inched down 0.1 percent after declining 0.8 percent in the previous month. 


Next release (for August 2007) – September 18, 2007 at 8:30 A.M. EDT

 

News Release - http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ppi.nr0.htm  

 

 

 

 

 

 

            Productivity, Compensation and Unit Labor Cost (Seasonally Adjusted)

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor today reported preliminary productivity data--as measured by output per hour of all persons--for the second quarter of 2007.  The preliminary seasonally adjusted annual rates of productivity change in the second quarter were:

Business Sector

From the first quarter to the second quarter of 2007, business sector labor productivity increased at a 2.6-percent annual rate. 

 

Hourly compensation increased 5.3 percent in the second quarter of 2007, more than the 3.3 percent gain in the first quarter (seasonally adjusted annual rates).

Note: Real hourly compensation, which takes into account changes in consumer prices, fell 0.7 percent during the second quarter of 2007 as consumer prices increased 6.0 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates).

 

Unit labor costs, which reflect changes in both hourly compensation and productivity, increased 2.6 percent during the second quarter of 2007 after rising 3.1 percent in the previous quarter.

 

Nonfarm Business Sector   

Productivity increased 1.8 percent in the nonfarm business sector during the second quarter of 2007. 

Hourly compensation in the nonfarm business sector increased 3.9 percent in the second quarter of 2007, similar to a 3.7-percent rise one quarter earlier. 

Note: When the 6.0-percent rise in consumer prices is taken into account, real hourly compensation fell 2.0 percent in the second quarter of 2007.  It had fallen 0.2 percent in the first quarter. 

Unit labor costs increased 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2007 and

3.0 percent in the first quarter.  The implicit price deflator for nonfarm business output grew 2.4 percent in the second quarter, following a 3.6-percent increase in the previous quarter.

 

Manufacturing

Productivity increased 1.6 percent in manufacturing. 

Hourly compensation of all manufacturing workers grew 2.8 percent during the second quarter of 2007, reflecting very different growth in the manufacturing subsectors.

Note: When the increase in consumer prices is taken into account, the real hourly compensation of all manufacturing workers fell 3.0 percent in the second quarter after increasing 2.8 percent one quarter earlier. 

Unit labor costs in manufacturing rose 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2007, showing the combined effect of a 3.0 percent decline in durable goods industries and a 7.5 percent increase in nondurable goods industries.

Next Release Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007.  Revised second-quarter measures for business, nonfarm business, and manufacturing will be released at that time, along with preliminary measures for nonfinancial corporations.

 News Release - http://www.bls.gov/news.release/prod2.nr0.htm   

 

 

 

 

 

10-year U.S. Government Bond Rate

 

The 10-year Maturity U.S. Government Security continues to remain trading at a relatively low rate. 

 

 

 

Again…something to pay attention to here…

 

Straight from the FED…

http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/arms/arms_english.htm

 

Lenders base ARM rates on a variety of indexes. Among the most common indexes are the rates on 1-year constant-maturity Treasury (CMT) securities, the Cost of Funds Index (COFI), and the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). 

 

Selected Index Rates for ARMs over an 11-Year Period - This graph shows interest rates from 1996 to 2006, including the one year London Interbank Offered Rate (from 6.2% in 1996 to 5.6% in 2006), the Eleventh District Cost of Funds Index (from 4.8% in 1996 to 4.2% in 2006), and the one year constant maturity treasury securities index (from 5.8% in 1996 to 5.2% in 2006).

 

Bear in mind that the 1-Year Constant Maturity is heavily influenced by Federal Resverve Board Open Market Committee activity. 

 

What does this mean?  If you are unfortunate enough to have been stuck holding an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (unable to refinance due to financial hardship, etc, then you’ve likely watched your mortgage interest payments rise for the past two and a half years).  The real travesty in this situation is that while the longer yield bonds have remained quite stable (note the following graph depicting the 10-year US government security, the shorter term yields have driven dramatically…and the ARMs have happily followed. 

 

Example:

If your original rate was around 4.5% and it has risen to 8.5% (not at all uncommon), then your payments have likely risen by more than 50%

 

(Based on 30-yr, $150,000 mortgage)

Monthly Cost

4.5% = $760

8.5% = $1,153

 

Yearly Cost

4.5% =   $9,120

8.5% = $13,840

 

As a percent of Income

4.5% = 19.7% of total income of $46,326

8.5% = 29.9% of total income of $46,326

 

Median Household Income 2005 = $46,326

http://www.whitehouse.gov/fsbr/income.html

 

Mortgage Status and Selected Monthly Owner Costs:  2000

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/QTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-qr_name=DEC_2000_SF3_U_QTH15&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF3_U

  

 

New York State Controller’s Office

December 19, 2006

“Wall Street is expected to pay out $23.9 billion in bonuses in 2006, surpassing last year’s record of $20.5 billion, according to a forecast released today by State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi.” 

http://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/dec06/121906b.htm

 

Be sure to keep in mind the Fed’s continued role in pressuring up short-term interest rates when you consider the following speech pertaining to the Income Distribution…

 

“That said, we also believe that no one should be allowed to slip too far down the economic ladder, especially for reasons beyond his or her control.  Like equality of opportunity, this general principle is grounded in economic practicality as well as our sense of fairness.”

 

Remarks by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke (Chairman, Federal Reserve Board of Governors)

Before the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Omaha, Nebraska

February 6, 2007

The Level and Distribution of Economic Well-Being

http://www.federalreserve.gov/BoardDocs/Speeches/2007/20070206/default.htm

 

 

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