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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thursday: Unemployment Claims

by Calculated Risk on 8/21/2013 09:13:00 PM

Probably the key sentences in the FOMC minutes released today were:

In considering the likely path for the Committee's asset purchases, members discussed the degree of improvement in the labor market outlook since the purchase program began last fall. The unemployment rate had declined considerably since then, and recent gains in payroll employment had been solid. However, other measures of labor utilization--including the labor force participation rate and the numbers of discouraged workers and those working part time for economic reasons--suggested more modest improvement, and other indicators of labor demand, such as rates of hiring and quits, remained low. While a range of views were expressed regarding the cumulative improvement in the labor market since last fall, almost all Committee members agreed that a change in the purchase program was not yet appropriate.
emphasis added
This is a reminder that the FOMC is looking at more than improvement in the headline payroll numbers and the unemployment rate.

• At 8:30 AM ET, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to increase to 329 thousand from 320 thousand last week.

• At 9:00 AM, the Markit US PMI Manufacturing Index Flash for August. The consensus is for an increase to 53.5 from 53.2 in July.

• Also at 9:00 AM, the FHFA House Price Index for June 2013. This was originally a GSE only repeat sales, however there is also an expanded index that deserves more attention. The consensus is for a 0.6% increase.

• At 11:00 AM, the Kansas City Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for July. The consensus is for a reading of 5 for this survey, down from 6 in July (Above zero is expansion).