Thursday, April 18, 2013

FW: It's The Economy Stupid: Oops! Leading Economic Indicators Go Down

Leading Economic Indicators at -0.1%.  That ain’t good.

Philly Fed Survey 1.3%.  That ain’t great.


The index of U.S. leading indicators unexpectedly declined in March for the first time in seven months, a sign the world’s largest economy will cool.


The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months fell 0.1 percent in March after climbing 0.5 percent in the prior two months, the New York-based group said today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.1 percent increase.


The figures underscore an economy that hit a rough patch at the end of the first quarter as manufacturing eased and higher payrolls taxes began to bite. At the same time, advancing stock prices this year and lower borrowing costs will help keep household spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, from faltering.


The economy is projected to grow at a 1.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter after an estimated 3 percent pace in the first three months of the year, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists from April 5 to April 9.


The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index fell to 1.3 in April from 2.0 the prior month. Readings greater than zero signal expansion in the area covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. The median forecast of economists surveyed by

Bloomberg called for a reading of 3.0.  The numbers suggest a slowing of the pace of economic expansion.



Economic Event


Economic Survey

Actual Reported

Original Prior

Revised Prior

Philadelpia Fed Survey






Leading Economic Indicators






Initial Jobless Claims

APR 13





Continuing Claims








Okay, This is a yawner.  Let’s be real.  Basically the Jobless Claims numbers are flat. 


Jobless Claims Little Changed as U.S. Job Market “Stabilizes “


The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits was little changed last week, signaling the labor market is stabilizing.


Applications for jobless insurance payments increased by 4,000 to 352,000 in the week ended April 13, in line with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. There was nothing unusual in last week’s data and two states, California and Kentucky, were estimated, a Labor Department official said.


The report indicates employers have enough demand to hold on to workers, which means they may be prepared to boost hiring should sales pick up. Gains in consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, will be needed to prevent growth from slowing as automatic cuts in federal spending take effect.


Moody’s was the best forecaster of jobless claims over the past two years according to data compiled by Bloomberg.  


The median forecast of 46 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a rise to 350,000. Estimates ranged from 330,000 to 380,000. The Labor Department revised the previous week’s figure up to 348,000, from an initially reported 346,000.


The four-week moving average of Jobless Calims, what most economists consider the better gauge and a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, rose to 361,250 last week from 358,500. The figures jumped in late March and then retreated as the government had difficulty adjusting claims for the Easter and school spring break holidays that occurred a little earlier than usual this year.


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