Gasoline Demand Up 6.2% Year-Over-Year

October 7, 2009

The Energy Industry Association reported that gasoline demand in the United State is up 6.2 percent compared to its year-ago level.  Energy consumption has historically been correlated to economic activity.  This report hints at strong consumer activity.

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Home Purchase Applications Up 13.2% Over Prior Week

October 7, 2009

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that home purchase applications were up 13.2 percent over the prior week.  The U.S. Government’s program that assists first-time homebuyers is set to expire on November 30th.  To qualify for the assistance program, buyers must close escrow prior to that date.

Retail Chain Store Sales Up 1.0% Year-Over-Year

October 7, 2009

Goldman Sachs’ weekly survey of retail chain store sales saw last week 1.0 percent over the year prior level.  Retail chain store sales account for roughly 10 percent of all consumer spending.  Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of the economy (as measured by consumption).

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Indicates Economic Expansion

October 7, 2009

The Institute for Supply Management released the figure for its Non-Manufacturing Index for the month of September.  The index measures whether service industries — which account for 80 percent of all businesses in the United States — are expanding or contracting.  A level below 50 indicates contraction.  A level above 50 indicates expansion.  September’s number came in at a level of 50.9.  New orders came in at a healthy level 54.2.

Job Losses Unexpectedly Rise In September

October 2, 2009

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that the overall number of jobs held by Americans declined by 263,000 in September.  That figure was 201,000 in August.  Economists had expected job losses to be on the order of 170,000.  The Department also reported that average hourly wages paid were up 2.3 percent year-over-year.

U.S. Factory Order Dip In August But Within Consensus Range

October 2, 2009

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that U.S. factor orders declined 0.8 percent in August.  Economists had expected a range of -0.8% to +1.6%, with an average expectation of +1.0%.

Pending Home Sales Up Sharply In August

October 2, 2009

Pending home sales in August were 6.4 percent higher than July.  Compared with the year-ago-period, pending home sales were up 12.4 percent.

August Construction Spending Comes In Well Ahead of Consensus

October 2, 2009

Construction spending — which is one element of capital investment — was up 0.6 percent in August, whereas economist anticipated a decline of 0.1 percent.

Manufacturing Index Shows Growth But Lower Than Expected

October 2, 2009

The Institute for Supply Management released its figure for the U.S. Manufacturing Index.  While showing expansion two months in a row, the level was lower than expected.

Initial Jobless Claims Bump Up While Continuing Claims Continue To Fall

October 2, 2009

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims increased 17,000 from the week prior while continuing claims fell by 70,000.