The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The US Economy: A Set Of Snapshots

"data bugs!"
On occasion, we secure and post economic data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank (FRED) , YCharts, and Yahoo Finance. It seems we haven't been as diligent in posting the economic data based on numerous request to develop and post data for February 2014. 

Here you go, "data bugs!" Despite frequent proclamation of a "disastrous" US economy, data doesn't agree. While, Manufacturing and Auto Sales slowed during the month, other indicators stayed on the path to improvement. Regardless of reason for the 6.6% unemployment rate, when coupled with Fed managed inflation the Misery Index shows well and continues a snail's pace downward with some level as we move through early 2014.

There is a story here and it is certainly not that of a "disastrous" US economy!  The story is available for those who seek information.

FRED (The St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank)

Industrial Production Index (INDPRO)

2014-01: 101.0251 Index 2007=100   Last 5 Observations
Monthly, Seasonally Adjusted, Updated: 2014-02-14 10:41 AM CST
Graph of Industrial Production Index
The Industrial Production Index (INDPRO) is an economic indicator that measures real output for all facilities located in the United States manufacturing, mining, and electric, and gas utilities (excluding those in U.S. territories).(1) 
The index is compiled on a monthly basis to bring attention to short- term changes in industrial production,. It measures movements in production output and highlights structural developments in the economy. (1) Growth in the production index from month to month is an indicator of growth in the industry. 

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDPC1)

2013:Q4: 15,932.9 Billions of Chained 2009 Dollars   Last 5 Observations
Quarterly, Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, Updated: 2014-02-28 7:46 AM CST
Graph of Real Gross Domestic Product
Real gross domestic product is the inflation adjusted value of the goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States. 

Civilian Unemployment Rate (UNRATE)

2014-01: 6.6 Percent 
Monthly, Seasonally Adjusted, Updated: 2014-02-01  
(We performed  REVIEW EDIT FORM 01.01.07 ( the Great Recession started in December 2007)
FRED Graph
The unemployment rate represents the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force. Labor force data are restricted to people 16 years of age and older, who currently reside in 1 of the 50 states or the District of Columbia, who do not reside in institutions (e.g., penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.
This rate is also defined as the U-3 measure of labor underutilization.

See More after the break below

All Employees: Total nonfarm (PAYEMS)

2014-01: 137,499 Thousands of Persons   
Monthly, Seasonally Adjusted, Updated: 2014-02-07 8:16 AM CST
FRED Graph
All Employees: Total Nonfarm, commonly known as Total Nonfarm Payroll, is a measure of the number of U.S. workers in the economy that excludes proprietors, private household employees, unpaid volunteers, farm employees, and the unincorporated self-employed.(1) This measure accounts for approximately 80 percent of the workers who contribute to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

This measure provides useful insights into the current economic situation because it can represent the number of jobs added or lost in an economy. Increases in employment might indicate that businesses are hiring which might also suggest that businesses are growing. Additionally, those who are newly employed have increased their personal incomes, which means (all else constant) their disposable incomes have also increased, thus fostering further economic expansion.

Generally, the U.S. labor force and levels of employment and unemployment are subject to fluctuations due to seasonal changes in weather, major holidays, and the opening and closing of schools. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) adjusts the data to offset the seasonal effects to show non-seasonal changes: for example, women’s participation in the labor force; or a general decline in the number of employees, a possible indication of a downturn in the economy. To closely examine seasonal and non-seasonal changes, the BLS releases two monthly statistical measures: the seasonally adjusted All Employees: Total Nonfarm (PAYEMS) and All Employees: Total Nonfarm (PAYNSA), which is not seasonally adjusted.

(1) Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Establishment Survey.” BLS Handbook of Methods; last date modified July 10, 2013;

4-Week Moving Average of Initial Claims (IC4WSA)

2014-02-22: 338,250 Number   Last 5 Observations
Weekly, Ending Saturday, Seasonally Adjusted, Updated: 2014-02-22 
FRED Graph

YCharts (Manufacturing and Auto sales)

ISM Manufacturing Production Index:

ISM Manufacturing Production Index is at a current level of 54.80, down from 61.70 last month and up from 53.80 one year ago. This is a change of -11.18%from last month and 1.86% from one year ago
.54.80 for Jan 2014

ISM Manufacturing Production Index Chart

US Auto Sales:

15.54M for Jan 2014
US Auto Sales is at a current level of 15.54M, down from 15.68M last month and up from 15.51M one year ago. This is a change of -0.89% from last month and 0.17% from one year ago.

Yahoo Finance (major market Indices)

Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI)

16,368.43 Up 95.78(0.59%) 2:32PM EST

Chart forDow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI)

Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI)

Prev Close:16,272.65
Day's Range:16,258.33 - 16,398.95
52wk Range:13,937.60 - 16,588.2

NASDAQ Composite (^IXIC)

 -Nasdaq GIDS 
4,315.96 Down 2.97(0.07%) 2:36PM ESTo
Chart forNASDAQ Composite (^IXIC)

NASDAQ Composite (^IXIC)

-Nasdaq GIDS
Prev Close:4,318.93
Day's Range:4,315.96 - 4,342.59
52wk Range:3,129.40 - 4,342.59

(Another S & P Record clsoe on 2.27.2014)

S&P 500 (^GSPC)

1,862.08 Up 7.79(0.42%) 2:41PM EST

Chart forS&P 500 (^GSPC)

S&P 500 (^GSPC)

Prev Close:1,854.29
Day's Range:1,854.60 - 1,867.92
52wk Range:1,501.48 - 1,867.92

US Misery Index Chart

Misery Index (8.2) equals Unemployment rate (6.7) plus Inflation rate (1.5)

The misery index was initiated by economist Arthur Okun, an adviser to President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960's. It is simply the unemployment rate added to the inflation rate. It is assumed that both a higher rate of unemployment and a worsening of inflation both create economic and social costs for a country. A combination of rising inflation and more people out of work implies a deterioration in economic performance and a rise in the misery index.


High: 21.98 June 1980
Current: 8.2 December 2013
Low: 2.97 July 1953

Let's close with Steven Benen, Rachel Maddow Blog, look at the US Deficit.

The incredible shrinking deficit

There are still quite a few politicians who claim, just a matter of course, that in the Obama era, the United States runs “a trillion-dollar deficit every year.” It’s clearly time for them to update their talking points. 
Closing the books on a fiscal year in which the federal budget deficit fell more sharply than in any year since the end of World War II, the Treasury Department reported on Thursday that the deficit for 2013 dropped to $680 billion, from about $1.1 trillion the previous year.
In nominal terms, that is the smallest deficit since 2008, and signals the end of a five-year stretch beginning with the onset of the recession when the country’s fiscal gap came in at more than $1 trillion each year. As a share of the nation’s economy, the budget deficit fell to about 4.1 percent, from a high of more than 10 percent during the depths of the Great Recession. 
Note, this points to the deficit for the 2013 fiscal year. We won’t know the deficit for 2014 until October, but it’s projected to be even smaller.

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