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The Federal Reserve Beige Book Breaks No New Ground
This afternoon, reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts were released in the form of the so-called Beige Book, in which it was noted that economic activity continued to expand across most regions of the country from early January to mid-February. Read more
Non Manufacturing Activity Edges Up Slightly In February
The critical services sector continues to acquit itself well. On point, two days after the rate of expansion in manufacturing activity eased a bit, according to data furnished by the Institute for Supply Management, that same trade group noted that the companion survey on non-manufacturing, which covers the services sector, edged upward. Read more
Manufacturing Activity Slows Its Rate of Growth In February 2015
Manufacturing activity slowed its rate of improvement in February, with the Institute for Supply Management reporting that this key sector registered a reading of 52.9 for the month. Although that still was nicely above the 50.0 dividing line between an expanding and a contracting manufacturing sector, the latest reading was nominally below the January rate of 53.5 and just under the forecast of 53.0. Read more
Fourth Quarter Gross Domestic Product Is Revised From 2.6% to 2.2%
The U.S. economy, which had slowed its rate of improvement during the fourth quarter to begin with, as the initial estimate of the period's gross domestic product had shown a reduction from 5.0% in the July-through-September term to 2.6% in the latest stanza, has seen that latter rate dwindle further, to 2.2% in the period's first revision. Read more
New Home Sales Remained Near Multiyear Highs In January
At 10:00 A.M. (EDT), we received another report on the housing market when the U.S. Department of Commerce issued new residential sales data for the month of January. At first blush, the report was decent. Although new home sales were down nominally on a sequential basis, they were above the consensus expectation and still running nicely above the prior-year figure. Read more
Consumer Confidence Dips In February 2015

The Conference Board, a private research organization, reported that its monthly survey on consumer confidence came in lower for the current month--as well as lower than expected.Specifically, the survey registered a reading of 96.4 in February. Now, on its own, this was a good result, being double what it had been at the nadir of the last recession. Nevertheless, that result was still below the 103.8 score registered for January.

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Existing Home Sales Turn Lower In January
The cold weather is apparently beginning to bite, if just incrementally, on average. Thus, after the economy had been seemingly much more resilient to a myriad of weather-related issues in 2015 than in 2014, the latest such disruptions, albeit less severe for the country, at large, than a year earlier, is still hurting some key markets, including housing. Read more
Industrial Production Edges Up In January
On the heels of a deflationary producer price inflation report and an uneven issuance on housing starts and building permits, all of which were released earlier this morning, the U.S. Commerce Department has just reported that industrial production edged up by a scant 0.2% in January. That was half the 0.4% consensus gain forecast for the period. Read more
New Residential Construction Shows Resiliency In January 2015
The Department of Housing and Urban Development reported data on new residential construction for the month of January. At first blush, the data looked decent, with steady progress in the housing sector being made. Although ground breaking for single-family units slipped off of a more than six-year high, starts have now been above the one million mark for five consecutive months. Read more
Retail Sales Fall Sharply In January 2015
The U.S. Commerce Department said a bit earlier this morning that advance estimates of U.S. retail sales for January tumbled by 0.8% from the previous month, but was 3.3% above the year-earlier level. Total sales for November through January were up 3.8% from a year before. Read more
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