- by New Deal democrat
Here is this week's look at data that gets reported on a high frequency, weekly basis. While it can be noisier than monthly or quarterly data, it has the virtue of being virtually up to the minute. Amplifications or reversals of trend will show up here before they show up in monthly data, which can already be two months old by the time they are reported.
In the rear view mirror, 4th quarter 2012 GDP was revised up slightly. Monthly data released in the past week included sharp increases in personal income, spending, and saving. Durable goods were up. The Chicago PMI became less positive. Consumer sentiment as measured by the Conference Board declined; as measured by the Univeristy of Michigan it increased. New home sales declined.
Let's start again this week's look at the high frequency weekly indicators by checking what is happening with tax withholding, where we may finally have a reason for the awful YoY adjusted readings:
Daily Treasury Statement tax withholding
- $151.0 B (adjusted for 2013 payroll tax withholding changes) vs. $156.0 B, -3.2% YoY for the last 20 days. The unadjusted result was $175.8 B for a 12.7% increase.
- $175.2 B was collected for the first 20 reporting days of March vs. $142.4 B unadjusted in 2012, a 23.4% increase YoY.
Initial jobless claims
- 357,000 up 21,000
- 4 week average 343,000 up 3,250
- up 1 to 91 w/w up 2.4% YoY
- ICSC -1.7% w/w +1.0% YoY
- Johnson Redbook +2.6%YoY
- Gallup daily consumer spending 14 day average at $83 up $6 YoY
- YoY this week. +4.9%
Real estate loans, from the FRB H8 report:
- up 1 or up less than +0.1% w.w
- up 4 or +0.1% YoY
- +2.1% from its bottom
Mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association:
- +7% w/w purchase applications
- +10% YoY purchase applications
- +8% w/w refinance applications
Interest rates and credit spreads
- 4.85% BAA corporate bonds down -0.06%
- 1.94% 10 year treasury bonds down -0.10%
- 2.91% credit spread between corporates and treasuries up +0.04%
- unchanged w/w
- -2.1% m/m
- +7.3% YoY Real M1
- +0.2% w/w
- declined less than -0.1% m/m
- +4.7% YoY Real M2
Oil prices and usage
- Oil $97.07 up $3.36 w/w
- gas $3.70 down $0.01 w/w
- Usage 4 week average YoY +1.5%
Railroad transport from the AAR
- +600 or +0.2% carloads YoY
- +2200 or +0.8% carloads ex-coal
- +3300 or +1.4% intermodal units
- +3600 or +0.7% YoY total loads
Bank lending rates
JoC ECRI Commodity prices
- up 0.12 to 128.09 w/w
- +3.24 YoY
But in general the weekly indicators have remained positive, but increasingly less so, over the course of the last month or so. Housing prices and mortgage applications remain very positive. Initial jobless claims are still positive even with the marked increase this week. Temporary staffing has turned more neutral though still weakly positive. Rail and shipping are also positive, but just barely so, as are commodities. Overnight bank lending rates remain somnolent.
As with last week, probably the brightest spots are consumer spending, still resilient in the face of the payroll tax increase, and gas prices, which are negative YoY and accomodative, and gas usage, which has been up YoY for several months.
The tone remains positive, but muted. Have a nice weekend.