Thursday, October 23, 2014

Philly Fed: State Coincident Indexes increased in 43 states in September

by Bill McBride on 10/23/2014 12:13:00 PM

From the Philly Fed:

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for September 2014. In the past month, the indexes increased in 43 states, decreased in four, and remained stable in three, for a one-month diffusion index of 78. Over the past three months, the indexes increased in 44 states, decreased in five, and remained stable in one, for a three-month diffusion index of 78
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 payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, the unemployment rate, and wage and salary disbursements deflated by the consumer price index (U.S. city average). The trend for each state’s index is set to the trend of its gross domestic product (GDP), so long-term growth in the state’s index matches long-term growth in its GDP.
Philly Fed Number of States with Increasing ActivityClick on graph for larger image.

This is a graph is of the number of states with one month increasing activity according to the Philly Fed. This graph includes states with minor increases (the Philly Fed lists as unchanged).

In September, 45 states had increasing activity (including minor increases). This measure declined sharply during the winter, but is close to normal for a recovery.


Philly Fed State Conincident Map Here is a map of the three month change in the Philly Fed state coincident indicators. This map was all red during the worst of the recession, and is mostly green again.

FHFA: House Prices increased 0.5% in August, Up 4.8% Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 10/23/2014 09:10:00 AM

This house price index is only for houses with Fannie or Freddie mortgages.

From the FHFA: FHFA House Price Index Up 0.5 Percent in August

U.S. house prices rose in August, up 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI). The previously reported 0.1 percent increase in July was revised to reflect a 0.2 percent increase.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From August 2013 to August 2014, house prices were up 4.8 percent. The U.S. index is 5.8 percent below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the August 2005 index level. This is the ninth consecutive monthly house price increase.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from July 2014 to August 2014 ranged from -0.6 percent in the New England and South Atlantic divisions to +1.2 percent in the Mountain division. The 12-month changes were all positive ranging from +1.9 percent in the Middle Atlantic division to +7.8 percent in the Pacific division.
emphasis added

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 283,000, 4-Week Average lowest since May 2000

by Bill McBride on 10/23/2014 08:35:00 AM

The DOL reports:

In the week ending October 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 283,000, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 from 264,000 to 266,000. The 4-week moving average was 281,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since May 6, 2000 when it was 279,250. The previous week's average was revised up by 500 from 283,500 to 284,000.

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims.
The previous week was revised up to 266,000.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 1971.

Click on graph for larger image.


The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased to 281,000.

This was slightly below the consensus forecast of 285,000 and suggests few layoffs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thursday: Unemployment Claims, FHFA House Price Index

by Bill McBride on 10/22/2014 07:41:00 PM

From Kathleen Madigan at the WSJ: Why Rising Rents Haven’t Pumped Up Inflation

For the 12 months ended in September, [owners’ equivalent rent] OER is up 2.7%, up from 2.2% a year ago. (Actual rent paid by tenants is up a faster 3.3%.)

OER is the big gorilla in the inflation room. It accounts for 24% of the total CPI and 31% of the core. So why isn’t the accelerating OER rate pushing up the core? Because other factors are offsetting the upward push.

The biggest drag is the downward pressure on goods prices coming from overseas. ... On the service side, other major categories have seen a slowdown in markups.
Without OER, inflation would be even lower. If we look at shelter1, All times less Shelter is up just 1.1% year-over-year, and All items less food, shelter, and energy is only up 0.9%.

Rents can't keep rising this quickly without rising wages. And without rising rents, inflation would be even lower.

Thursday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to increase to 285 thousand from 264 thousand.

• Also at 8:30 AM, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for September. This is a composite index of other data.

• At 9:00 AM, the FHFA House Price Index for August. This was originally a GSE only repeat sales, however there is also an expanded index. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase.

• At 9:00 AM, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey for October.

1 From the BLS: "Rent of primary residence (rent) and Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (rental equivalence) are the two main shelter components of the Consumer Price Index (CPI)."

QE Timeline Update

by Bill McBride on 10/22/2014 04:31:00 PM

With QE3 expected to end next week, by request, here is an updated timeline of QE (and Twist operations):

November 25, 2008: Press Release: $100 Billion GSE direct obligations, $500 billion in MBS

December 16, 2008 FOMC Statement: Evaluating benefits of purchasing longer-term Treasury Securities

January 28, 2009: FOMC Statement: FOMC Stands Ready to expand program.

March 18, 2009: FOMC Statement: Expand MBS program to $1.25 trillion, buy up to $300 billion of longer-term Treasury securities

March 31, 2010: QE1 purchases were completed at the end of Q1 2010.

August 27, 2010: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hints at QE2: Analysis: Bernanke paves the way for QE2

November 3, 2010: FOMC Statement: $600 Billion QE2 announced.

June 30, 2011: QE2 purchases were completed at the end of Q2 2011.

QE TimelineThis graph show the S&P 500 and the Fed actions. Click on graph for larger image.

September 21, 2011: "Operation Twist" announced. "The Committee intends to purchase, by the end of June 2012, $400 billion of Treasury securities with remaining maturities of 6 years to 30 years and to sell an equal amount of Treasury securities with remaining maturities of 3 years or less."

June 20, 2012: "Operation Twist" extended. "The Committee also decided to continue through the end of the year its program to extend the average maturity of its holdings of securities."

August 31, 2012: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hints at QE3: Analysis: Bernanke Clears the way for QE3 in September

September 13, 2012: FOMC Statement: $40 Billion per month QE3 announced.

December 12, 2012: FOMC Statement: Announced completion of "Operation Twist", expanded QE3 to $85 Billion per month.

May 22, 2013: In Testimony to Congress, The Economic Outlook, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said “If we see continued improvement and we have confidence that that is going to be sustained, then in the next few meetings, we could take a step down in our pace of purchases.” (aka "Taper Tantrum").

June 19, 2013: In Chairman Bernanke’s Press Conference, Bernanke said "If the incoming data are broadly consistent with this forecast, the Committee currently anticipates that it would be appropriate to moderate the monthly pace of purchases later this year."

December 18, 2013: FOMC Statement: Announced "tapering" of QE3. Note: QE3 tapered $10 billion per month at each meeting of 2014.

October 29, 2013: FOMC expected to complete QE3 (next week).

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