Thursday, February 14, 2013

Friday: Industrial Production, Consumer sentiment, Empire State Mfg Survey

by Bill McBride on 2/14/2013 07:29:00 PM

I'd like to mention a few key economic themes that I will write more about soon:

• Residential investment (RI) has bottomed and is now contributing to economic growth. Since RI is usually the best leading indicator for the economy, the economy will probably continue to grow for the next couple of years.

• House prices bottomed in early 2012, and will increase further in 2013 - although not all areas are the same. A key this year will be how much inventory comes on the market (something I will track closely). More inventory would mean smaller house price increases.

• The drag from state and local governments is probably over following four years of austerity.

• Construction employment should pick up in 2013.

• The Federal deficit is declining fairly rapidly, and will decline further over the next few years - before starting to increase again due to health care costs.

Not much has changed, but here were my 10 questions for 2013:

Question #1 for 2013: US Fiscal Policy
Question #2 for 2013: Will the U.S. economy grow in 2013?
Question #3 for 2013: How many payroll jobs will be added in 2013?
Question #4 for 2013: What will the unemployment rate be in December 2013?
Question #5 for 2013: Will the inflation rate rise or fall in 2013?
Question #6 for 2013: What will happen with Monetary Policy and QE3?
Question #7 for 2013: What will happen with house prices in 2013?
Question #8 for 2013: Will Housing inventory bottom in 2013?
Question #9 for 2013: How much will Residential Investment increase?
Question #10 for 2013: Europe and the Euro

Friday economic releases:
• At 8:30 AM ET, the NY Fed will release the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for February. The consensus is for a reading of minus 2.0, up from minus 7.8 in January (below zero is contraction).

• At 9:15 AM, the Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for January. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in Industrial Production in January, and for Capacity Utilization to increase to 78.9%.

• At 9:55 AM, the Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (preliminary for February) will be released. The consensus is for a reading of 75.0, up from 73.8.

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