December 29, 2017

The last week in 2017 was a slow one in terms of economic releases. The Chicago Purchasing Manager's Index ended the year at 67.6, which was a 6-1/2 year high. Production was at a 34-year high, while new orders were at a 3-1/2 year high.
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December 15, 2017

U.S. Final Demand Producer Prices were up 0.4% for the month of November, and up a healthy 3.1% for the past year. Core PPI was up 2.4% for the year. Consumer Prices, which sometimes lag Producer Prices, were up 0.4% for November, but up only 2.2% for the past year. Core CPI was up 1.7%. Retail Sales surged 0.8% for November, far above consensus of +0.3%. Automobile sales and Electronics sales looked like the standouts for the month. Finally, the FOMC had their December meeting and decided to increase the Federal Funds Rate to 1.25%-1.50%. The vote was 7-2.
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