Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thursday: Weekly Unemployment Claims, Philly Fed Mfg Survey

by Calculated Risk on 9/19/2012 08:46:00 PM

From Jim Hamilton at Econbrowser: Thresholds in the economic effects of oil prices

As U.S. retail gasoline prices once again near $4.00 a gallon, does this pose a threat to the economy and President Obama's prospects for re-election? My answer is no.
This is now the fourth time we've been near the $4 threshold. It first happened in June 2008, again in May 2011, and again in April of this year. In fact, on each of those previous 3 occasions the average U.S. retail price of gasoline was higher than it is today.
There is quite a bit of empirical support for the claim that the second or third time oil prices move back near a previous high, the economic disruption is significantly less than the first time; see for example the evidence and literature reviewed in my 2003 Journal of Econometrics paper (ungated version here) and two recent surveys [1], [2].

$4/gallon? Been there, done that.
See Professor Hamilton's piece for supporting data and graphs.

The good news is oil prices have fallen sharply over the last few days, with Brent down to $108.96 per barrel. Brent closed at $117.48 last Friday. The peak for the year was $128.14 back in March, and the closing low was $88.69 in June.

• At 8:30 AM ET, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to decrease to 373 thousand from 382 thousand.

• At 9:00 AM, the Markit US PMI Manufacturing Index Flash will be released. This is a new release and might provide hints about the ISM PMI for September. The consensus is for a reading of 51.5, down from 51.9 in August.

• At 10:00 AM, the Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey for September will be released. The consensus is for a reading of minus 4.0, up from minus 7.1 last month (below zero indicates contraction).

• Also at 10:00 AM, the Conference Board Leading Indicators for September. The consensus is for no change in this index.

• At 12:00 PM, the Q2 Flow of Funds Accounts from the Federal Reserve will be released.

• Note: On Thursday, the Census Bureau will release the 2011 American Community Survey estimates.

One more question for the September economic prediction contest (Note: You can now use Facebook, Twitter, or OpenID to log in).