Recent Economic Indicators

Last Updated 3/31/2017


Economic data is provided for informational purposes only, is not real-time (updated periodically), and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.  Please do not trade or make other financial decisions based on this data!


Indicator Description Last Reading Period Last Reading vs. Last Month vs. 3 Months ago vs. Last year What it means Summary Effect on Economy Trend
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Seasonally adjusted aggregate dollar value of all good and services produced by the country. Q4 2016 18.8694 Trillion N/A 0.52% 1.94% Revised Real GDP data shows that the economy expanded by 0.52% in the quarter (2.1% annualized), with the consumer spending portion up an annualized 3.5%.  Economic growth remains on a 1-2% per year trend. Fair Increasing Slowly
Productivity Measure of the productivity of workers and the cost necessary for businesses to produce a unit of output. Q4 2016 107.373 N/A 0.33% 0.97% Preliminary Q4 Non-Farm Productivity (output per hour worked)  increased at an annualized rate of 1.3%.  Stagnant productivity is not terribly surprising given the increase in workers (see non-farm payrolls, below) over the last year, but needs to stabilize and ultimately turn substantialy positive or those new workers risk being laid off in the next economic slowdown. Poor Increasing Slowly
Consumer Price Index (CPI) Aggregate measure of the costs felt by consumers in purchasing a basket of goods. Feb     243.603 0.31% 0.93% 2.74% Key measure of overall inflation.  Prices as a whole are now up about 2.7% over last year and trending upward.  Ex-food and energy though, inflation is running right around the Fed's target of 2% at 2.2%. Good Increasing
ISM Index Institute of Supply Management's reading on the manufacturing sector of the economy.   A reading above 50 indicates expansion. Feb 57.7 3.04% 8.46% 16.57% The manufacturing sector's expansion accelerated last month.  Anything above 50 indicates expansion. Excellent Increasing
ISM Services Institute of Supply Management's reading of the non-manufacturing sector of the economy.  A reading above 50 indicates expansion.   Feb 57.6 1.95% 0.70% 7.87% The services sector exhibited strong growth last month.  Anything above 50 indicates expansion. Excellent Increasing
New Jobless Claims (4 wk average) Seasonally adjusted number of people nationwide who filed new claims for unemployment in the previous week.  This essentially represents new layoffs each week. 2/26-3/25     254,250 6.05% -3.51% -3.42% The moving average had moved back up to the 250-275k range after briefly breaking below. The current level is normally associated with strong economic growth. Excellent Steady
Continuing Jobless Claims (4 wk average) Seasonally adjusted number of people nationwide who continued to file for unemployment in the previous week. 2/19-3/18  2.031 Million  -1.50% -0.56% -7.29% Number of people continuing to file for unemployment is now well below financial crisis levels Excellent Falling
Non-farm Payrolls Number of non-farming jobs available nationwide in the previous month. Feb  145.798 Million    235,000        628,000      2,350,000 235K jobs were created last month.  Average job creation over the last 12 months is just over 195K per month which is typically associated with moderate economic growth Good Rising
Unemployment Rate The percentage of people who are looking for work that are currently unemployed. Feb 4.7% -0.10% 0.10% -0.20% The unemployment ticked back down to 4.7% last month and has been in the 4.6-5.0% range since Oct 2015.  Even given the decline in workforce participation, unemployment this low, along with possible tax cuts, and fiscal stimulus (infrastructure) could create wage pressure. Good Steady
Retail Sales Seasonally adjusted total monthly receipts at retail stores. Feb 473.991 Billion 0.08% 1.71% 5.50% Retail sales were essentially flat last month, but revisions to Jan and Dec were positive.  Sales are up 5.5% over the last year.  Back out 2.5% inflation and you have ~3% real growth, significantly better than overall GDP trend. Good Rising
Consumer Confidence An index created through a survey of consumers that gauges their feeling on the current economy and their expectations of the future. Mar 125.6 8.18% 10.86% 30.70% Consumer confidence spiked to its highest level since 2000 in March.  These elevated levels will give pause to financial market contrarians. Excellent Rising
Consumer Credit Seasonally adjusted measure of aggregate dollar amount of outstanding loans to individuals. Jan $3.773 Trillion 0.23% 1.33% 6.29% Consumer credit continued to grow last month as consumers added to non-revolving lines (auto loans, student loans, etc.) while paying down revolving credit lines slightly (credit cards, etc.).  Outstanding credit growth is now up ~6.3% over the same time last year.  The rate of credit expansion is becoming a concern. Fair Rising
30-year fixed average mortgage rate Average rate on new mortgages in the previous week.  Published by Freddie Mac Mar 4.14% -0.02% -0.18% 0.43% Rates remain low due to economic concerns, low inflation, the Federal Reserve's actions, and due to competative forces as Europe and Japan continue further monetary stimulus, but have spiked recently after the US presidential election on hope for growth and potential concern for future inflation. Excellent Rising
Median Home Prices Median price of homes sold in the previous month. Feb  $ 228,400 0.48% -2.56% 7.69% Median price of homes remained mostly steady last month. The median price of a home sold last month was up nearly 8% from a year ago, supported by low mortgage rates and short supply. Excellent Steady
Existing Home Sales Seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of existing home sales for the previous month. Feb 5,480,000 -3.69% -2.14% 8.09% The number of existing homes sold fell almost 4% last month, but sales are up about 8% vs. the same period last year Good Steady
Existing Home Inventory Number of homes currently on-the-market Feb 1,750,000 4.17% -5.41% -6.42% Home inventory rose last month but remains at a very low level.  It is down ~6.5% from last year.  When combined with fairly strong sales, only 3.8 months of supply are available on the market given current inventory and last month's sales pace. This is indicative of rising prices and bodes well for the continuation of a seller's market esp. if interest rates remain low. Good Steady



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