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2005issue1 Current Statistics April 2005, Leading Indicators, GDP, Construction, Housing, Inflation, PPI, Producer Price Index, CPI,Consumer Price Index, Trade Deficit, Gross Domestic Product, Productivity Current Statistics (4–29–2005) The Employment Picture Unemployment Rate ({5.2% Jan}…{5.4% Feb})…{5.2% Mar} Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 110,000 in March, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.2 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ofthe U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Several industries added jobs over the month, including construction, mining, health care, and wholesaletrade. Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey Data) Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 110,000 in March to 132.9 million, seasonally adjusted. Industries with over–the–month job gains included construction, mining, health care, and wholesale trade. Payroll employment has risen by 2.1 million over the year and by 3.1 million since its most recent trough in May 2003. Unemployment (Household Survey Data) Both the number of unemployed persons, 7.7 million, and the unemployment rate, 5.2 percent, decreased in March. The jobless rate was down from 5.7 percent a year earlier. News Release – Jobless Claims (4–wk rolling average: 338,750 Apr–9, to 331,000 Apr–16, to 323,000 Apr–23) In the week ending April 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 320,000, an increase of 21,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 299,000. The 4–week moving average was 323,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's revised average of 331,000. For 2001, the average weekly initial jobless claims were running around 405,000; thus far, in 2005, the average has been in the 330,000 range. News Release – GDP (1st Quarter 2005 Real GDP: 3.1%) Real gross domestic product –– the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States –– increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2005, according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 3.8 percent.). It marked the 14th consecutive quarter of economic expansion. The major contributors to the increase in real GDP in the first quarter were: Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) 2.45% (Durable Goods 0.0% (Motor Vehicles and parts –0.42%); Nondurable Goods 0.98%; Services 1.46% change from 4th Quarter) Gross private domestic investment: 2.03% (Fixed Investment 0.82%; Change in Private Inventories 1.21%) Net Exports (Exports – Imports): –1.49% Exports contributed 0.69% while Imports negatively impacted the total by –2.19% Government Spending (Government consumption expenditures and gross investment): 0.1% Federal increasing 0.04% and State and Local up 0.06% News Release – Leading Indicators According to figures released by the Conference Board on Thursday, April 21, 2005, “The leading index declined in March following a small increase in February. The leading index has been essentially flat since October 2004 following a small decline over the previous five months. In addition, there have been more weaknesses than strengths among the components of the leading index in recent months.” The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index decreased 0.4 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent and the lagging index decreased 0.1 percent in March. Next release – Thursday, May 19 at 10:00 AM ET News Release – http://www.conference– Construction (put in place) The most recent data from the Census Bureau shows rising levels of construction put in place. The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during February 2005 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,047.3 billion, 0.4 percent (±1.6%)* above the revised January estimate of $1,043.6 billion. The February figure is 10.0 percent (±2.2%) above the February 2004 estimate of $952.2 billion. Next release – March 2005 data will be released on May 2, 2005 at 10:00 A.M. EDT. News Release – New Housing Starts The most recent joint U.S. Census Bureau and U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development data available show a drop off in new housing starts. Housing starts in March 2005 were 1,837,000, down 17.6% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate from February's revised level and down 8.2% from March 2004. Permits were 2,023,000, down 4% from last month but up 0.2% from one year ago. Next release (for April) – May 17, 2005 at 8:30 A.M. EDT. News Release – New Residential Sales According to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales of new homes (one–family houses) in March were 1,431,000, up 12.2% from last month and up 12.7% from one year ago (on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis). This rate is above the revised February 2005 figure of 1,275,000 units and the March 2004 of 1,270,000. Next release (for April) – May 25,2005 at 10:00 A.M. EDT. News Release – Durable Goods The most recent report from the Commerce Department, Census Bureau shows that New Orders for manufactured durable goods in March decreased $5.6 billion or 2.8 percent to $194.0 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This followed a 0.2 percent February decrease. Shipments of manufactured durable goods in March, down two consecutive months, decreased $0.3 billion or 0.2 percent to $204.0 billion. This followed a 1.8 percent February decrease. Unfilled orders of manufactured goods in March, down two of the last three months, decreased $2.7 billion or 0.5 percent to $551.9 billion. This followed a 0.5 percent February increase. Meanwhile, Inventories of manufactured durable goods in March, up sixteen consecutive months, increased $1.2 billion or 0.4 percent to $291.0 billion. This followed a 0.7 percent February increase. Capital Goods Industries (March): Defense, new orders increased $0.4 billion or 5.2% to $7.3 billion; shipments decreased $0.2 billion or 1.9% to $8.2 billion; unfilled orders decreased $0.9 billion or 0.6% to $144.5 billion; inventories decreased by $0.3 billion or 1.6% to $19.7 billion. Nondefense new orders decreased by $4.3 billion or 6.2% to $64.5 billion; shipments increased by $0.1 billion or 0.1% to $66.7 billion; unfilled orders decreased $1.2 billion or 0.5% to $248.4 billion; and inventories increased $0.4 billion or 0.4% to $113.6 billion. As ever, durable goods measure continues to be a volatile indicator but the trends have been positive (looking over the past several months). Next release (for April) – May 25,2005 at 8:30 A.M. EDT. News Release – Current Account Balance (Trade Balance) The Current Account Balance consists of the Trade Balance (Net Exports (Exports less Imports) of Goods and Services), the Income Balance (Income Receipts and Income Payments), and net Unilateral Current Transfers. The Department of Commerce publishes the Current Account Balance data on quarterly basis. The U.S. Current Account Balance 2003 – $530.7 billion The U.S. Current Account Balance 2004 – $665.9 billion The U.S. Trade Balance 2003 – $496.5 billion The U.S. Trade Balance 2004 – $617.1 billion As reported by the Commerce Department, the trade deficit in February 2005 stood at $61.0 billion, increasing by $2.5 billion from the $58.5 billion (revised) reported for January 2005. February exports were at $100.5 billion up slightly from $100.4 billion revised figure for January. Imports were at $161.5 billion, up $2.6 billion from the revised $158.9 billion reported for January. Next release (for March) – May 11,2005 at 8:30 A.M. EDT. News Release – CPI 0.6% (March) / PPI 0.7% (March) (Seasonally adjusted) CPI – On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI–U (all urban consumers), which had increased 0.4% in February, rose 0.6 percent in March (reflecting a 3.1% unadjusted annual increase from March 2004). Adding to the increase in costs for the month was energy where costs rose 4.0 percent and transportation 1.9%. In the twelve month period, March 2004 – March 2005, energy costs rose 12.4% and transportation by 5.2%. Next release (for April) – May 18, 2005, at 8:30 A.M. (EDT). News Release – PPI – On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Producer Price Index for Finished Goods increased 0.7 percent in March 2005, following a 0.4 rise in February (reflecting a 4.9% unadjusted annual increase from March 2004). Again, from March 2004 to March 2005, prices for finished goods increased 4.9 percent. Among finished goods, the index for energy goods advanced 15.3 percent, prices for consumer foods climbed 3.6 percent, and the index for goods other than foods and energy moved up 2.6 percent. Next release (for April) – May 17,2005 at 8:30 A.M. EDT. News Release – Productivity, Unit Labor Cost and Compensation (Seasonally Adjusted) According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the first three quarters of 2004 Productivity gains amounted to 3.8% for the 1st Quarter, 3.9% for the 2nd, 1.3 for the 3rd Quarter and 2.1 for the 4th Quarter. Unit Labor Costs declined by 1.6% in the 1st Quarter and rose by 1.9% in the 2nd, rose to 4.0% in the 3rd Quarter and dropped to 1.3% in the 4th Quarter 2004; and Compensation grew at 2.1% in the 1st Quarter, 5.9% in the 2nd, 5.4% in the 3rd Quarter and 3.4% in the 4th Quarter. Productivity gains continue to dampen the effect of increasing compensation. 10–year U.S. Government Bond Rate The 10–year Maturity U.S. Government Security continues to remain trading at a relatively low rate. For the month of October 2004, the yield averaged 4.10 percent. Click here to return to Main Page (Opinions expressed on this web page are those of a faculty member or employee and do not necessarily reflect the position of University of Detroit Mercy)