Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated that the economy continued to expand at a modest pace across most regions from late November through the end of the year. Manufacturers in most Districts reported increased sales with several citing a turnaround versus earlier in 2016. Growth in the energy industry was mixed; two Districts reported weakness in coal production but others reported improvements in coal, oil, or gas activity. Most Districts said that non-auto retail sales had expanded, but several noted that sales over the holiday season were disappointing and reports in more than one District suggested that growth in e-commerce had come at the expense of bricks-and-mortar retailers. All Districts reported varying degrees of growth in employment and a majority described their labor markets as tight. Residential construction and sales were generally mixed, although San Francisco reported strong real estate market activity throughout the 12th District. Financial conditions were stable. Firms across the country and industries were said to be optimistic about growth in 2017.And on residential real estate for Boston:
Continuing recent trends, residential real estate markets in the First District showed robust increases in sales and prices relative to last year. ... Home prices also rose year-over-year. For single-family homes, the median sales price increased in every reporting region. ... Overall, contacts were optimistic about the outlook for the end of the year and into 2017.Real estate is solid.
It commonplace to blame the weather for sub-par economic performance, but it’s rare to see reports give weather its due when when things look good. Today, the latter happened.
Sometimes, when you lose a debate, you have to just let it go. That seems to be a problem for those who are unwilling to accept the complex realities of what actually caused the financial crisis. I have been saying for a long time that many elements contributed to the global financial meltdown. From ultralow…
The post To Find the Cause of the Crisis, Answer These Questions! appeared first on The Big Picture.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (2.5% annualized rate) in December. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index also rose 0.2% (2.5% annualized rate) during the month. The median CPI and 16% trimmed-mean CPI are measures of core inflation calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland based on data released in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) monthly CPI report.Note: The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI details for December here. Motor fuel was up 42% annualized in December.
Earlier today, the BLS reported that the seasonally adjusted CPI for all urban consumers rose 0.3% (3.4% annualized rate) in December. The CPI less food and energy rose 0.2% (2.8% annualized rate) on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Click on graph for larger image.
This graph shows the year-over-year change for these four key measures of inflation. On a year-over-year basis, the median CPI rose 2.6%, the trimmed-mean CPI rose 2.2%, and the CPI less food and energy rose 2.2%. Core PCE is for November and increased 1.7% year-over-year.
On a monthly basis, median CPI was at 2.5% annualized, trimmed-mean CPI was at 2.5% annualized, and core CPI was at 2.8% annualized.
Using these measures, inflation has generally been moving up, and most of these measures are above the Fed's 2% target (Core PCE is still below).
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In this week’s note, we look at the driving factor in Treasury yields since they peaked in December, as well as that influence’s (low) predictive value for the economy.
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