Commentaries

February 02, 2018

Personal Income increased at 0.4% for December, approximately as expected. The Price Index was up 0.2% for the month and up 1.7% for the year. The Employment Cost Index was up 0.6% for the fourth quarter and up 2.6% for all of 2017. No interest rate hike arose from the January FOMC meeting. The Chicago Purchasing Manager's Index came in at a strong 65.7 for January 2018. This was well above the 50 neutral level, and decently above consensus of 64.0. The overall U.S. Purchasing Manager's Index came in at 55.5 for January 2018, which while expansionary, was unchanged from December. The ISM Manufacturing Index was stronger still, at 59.1 for January. Construction Spending was up 0.7% for December and up 2.6% for all of 2017. U.S. Non-Farm Productivity was flat for the fourth quarter while unit labor costs were up 2.0%. U.S. Factory Orders were up 1.7% for December. Finally, the U.S. Unemployment Rate was flat, at 4.1% for January.
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January 29, 2018

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales came in at a 625,000 annualized unit rate for December. This was decently below expectations for a 680,000 unit rate and the 733,000 unit rate in November. The U.S. Index of Leading Indicators was up 0.6% for December, approximately as expected, with most strength in the new orders index. Durable Goods Orders were up 2.9% for December, for a yearly gain of a strong 11.5%. Finally, U.S. Real GDP growth came in at an annualized rate of 2.6% for the fourth quarter of 2017, a bit softer than expected. The price index was up 2.4% on an annualized basis for December.
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