Economic Data


From the BEA:

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 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 4.1 percent.

Let’s look inside.

PCE (personal consumption) allegedly was up 3.3% (all figures annualized), durables claimed up 5.9% (not sure I buy that given the last durables report that just came out.)  I expect that to be revised downward in the second look.

Non-residential fixed investment was claimed to be up 3.8%, down from last quarter but solid.  However, structures were down 1.2% which means it was basically all equipment, which jives.  Again, I don’t know that I buy that given what we saw in the last durables report.

Residential fixed investment effectively collapsed, down 9.8% after last quarter’s alleged 10.3% increase.

Federal government spending was allegedly down 11.4% (!!!!), with both defense and non-defense falling precipitously.  State and local was effectively flat at +0.5%.


Oh, and real gross domestic purchases were up 1.8%, which is well below the aggregate claim.  That could be a problem.

Current-dollar income was claimed to be up 2.0% (again annualized) which is effectively flat against inflation.  Up a skooch, but for all intents and purposes zero.  The problem is that the so-called “savings rate” was down 0.6% to 4.3%, so we again have consumers larding up on credit.  That’s bad.

The number met expectations but the internals are wonky.  I don’t buy that the durables and fixed non-building investment numbers hold up, and I’m suspicious on the federal numbers as well.

We’ll see when the revisions come out.

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From the Department of Lies:

In the week ending January 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 348,000, an increase of 19,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 329,000. The 4-week moving average was 333,000, an increase of 750 from the previous week’s revised average of 332,250.

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 354,604 in the week ending January 25, a decrease of 59,707 from the previous week. There were 369,480 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.

I guess we can say that the “big adjustment” game is over for a while.  Well, for a week anyway.

Let’s look at the big table.

Let’s see if you can figure out what they did with this table; stick your guess in the comments….

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