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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Misc: Richmond Fed shows expansion, Consumer confidence increases, FDIC problem banks decline

by Calculated Risk on 2/28/2012 10:48:00 AM

• From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Expanded for the Third Straight Month; Expectations Remain Upbeat

In February, the seasonally adjusted composite index of manufacturing activity — our broadest measure of manufacturing — increased eight points to 20 from January's reading of 12.
Labor market conditions at District plants strengthened further in February. The manufacturing employment index moved up nine points to end at 13, and the average workweek indicator increased six points to 10. In contrast, wage growth eased, losing three points to 7.
Every regional survey showed faster expansion in February compared to January. Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index:

Fed Manufacturing Surveys and ISM PMI Click on graph for larger image.

The New York and Philly Fed surveys are averaged together (dashed green, through February), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through February) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through January (right axis).

The ISM index for February will be released Thursday, March 1st and the regional surveys suggest another increase in February. The consensus is for a slight increase to 54.6 from 54.1 in January.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® Increases
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had decreased in January, increased in February. The Index now stands at 70.8 (1985=100), up from 61.5 in January. The Present Situation Index increased to 45.0 from 38.8. The Expectations Index rose to 88.0 from 76.7 in January.
This was well above expectations of an increase to 64.

• From the FDIC: Quarterly Banking Profile
Fourth-quarter earnings totaled $26.3 billion, an increase of $4.9 billion (23.1 percent) compared with the same period of 2010. ... For the third time in the last four quarters, net operating revenue posted a year-over-year decline. ... Net charge-offs totaled $25.4 billion in the fourth quarter, a decline of $17.1 billion (40.2 percent) from a year ago. The fourth quarter total represents the lowest level for quarterly charge-offs since first quarter 2008. This is the sixth consecutive quarter in which charge-offs have posted a year-over-year decline. Improvements occurred across all major loan types. ... The amount of loan balances that were noncurrent (90 days or more past due or in nonaccrual status) declined for the seventh quarter in a row, falling by $4.3 billion (1.4 percent).
The number of problem institutions decreased to 813 in Q4 from 844 in Q3, and assets of problem institutions declined to $319.4 billion from $339 billion in Q3.