Quick hits on a major Thursday economic news blitz

Quick hits on a major Thursday economic news blitz

There has been a ton of significant economic news this morning. I’m not going to be able to get to all or even most of it in depth. So I am going to leave a quick rundown here.

Starting with the positive:

-nominal retail sales up +0.6%, up +0.3% in real terms, up +0.2% Per Capita. This is another new high and suggests the US consumer continues to be in good shape (relatively speaking). Note that much of this apparently has to do with Amazon “Prime Day” purchases, and if the seasonal adjustments are off, this could easily be a false positive.

-Both the NY and Philly Fed indexes higher, including new orders for both. No indication here that manufacturing is rolling over.

-The manufacturing component of industrial production higher, again suggesting that manufacturing is not rolling over (although this is still below its December high point).

The negative:

– overall industrial production was negative – again! Industrial production as a whole has remained in a decline off its high in December of last year. This is the premier coincident economic indicator, even more than payrolls.

– initial jobless claims higher YoY on both a weekly and monthly measure. It is not more than 10% higher than its recent lows, so overall is a neutral not a negative.

– the 2 year to 10 year treasury spread briefly inverted again this morning, although once again it has rebounded to positive.

-a MAJOR negative: unit labor costs for the last five years revised higher, meaning that adjusted corporate profits (a long leading indicator) peaked back in 2014, and were almost 15% lower than that as of Q1 of this year. The placeholder proprietors income is also slightly lower through Q2 than its peak in Q4 of last year.

I’ll try to post one or two things in detail later.