Opinions Uncensored

Five Economic Reasons to be Thankful

With a Hat Tip to Neil Irwin (he started doing this a several years ago) ... here are five economic reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving ...1) Low unemployment rate.The unemployment rate declined to 4.1% in October.  The unemployment rate is down from 4.8% in October 2016 (a year ago),...

Vehicle Forecast: Sales Expected to Exceed 17 million SAAR Again in November

A WardsAuto forecast calls for U.S. automakers to deliver 1.36 million light vehicles in November
The report puts the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales for the month at 17.1 million units, below last year’s 17.6 million and last month’s exceptionally high 18.0 million. Sales had been below 17 million SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) for six consecutive months, until September (18.5 million SAAR) and October (18.0 million SAAR), when sales spiked due to buying following Hurricane Harvey. Sales in November were probably also a little elevated...

Philly Fed: State Coincident Indexes increased in 41 states in October

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for October 2017. Over the past three months, the indexes increased in 40 states, decreased in nine, and remained stable in one, for a three-month diffusion index of 62. In the past month, the indexes increased in 41 states, decreased in seven, and remained stable in two, for a one-month diffusion index of 68. Note: These are coincident indexes constructed from state employment data. An explanation from the Philly Fed: The coincident indexes combine four state-level indicators to summarize current economic conditions in a single statistic. The four state-level variables in each coincident index are nonfarm...

MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase Slightly in Latest Weekly Survey

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Slightly Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Surve
Mortgage applications increased 0.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 17, 2017. The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 4 percent higher than the same week one year ago...

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 239,000

The DOL reported:In the week ending November 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 239,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 3,000 from 249,000 to 252,000. The 4-week moving average was 239,750,...

Wednesday: Durable Goods, Unemployment Claims, FOMC Minutes

Wednesday:• At 7:00 AM ET, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.• At 8:30 AM, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for 240 thousand initial claims, down from 249 thousand the...

Chemical Activity Barometer Increased in November

Note: This appears to be a leading indicator for industrial production.From the American Chemistry Council: Chemical Activity Barometer Continues Solid Gains Into 3rd Quarter The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC),...

FDIC: Fewer Problem banks, Residential REO Declined in Q3

The FDIC released the Quarterly Banking Profile for Q3 today: Higher net interest income, reflecting modest growth in interest-bearing assets and wider net interest margins, helped earnings increase in the third quarter. Quarterly net income at the 5,737 commercial banks and savings...