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Business cycle indicators, mid-June (and retail sales)

Industrial production and retail sales data were released yesterday.

figure 1: The number of non-agricultural employment released in May (dark blue), Bloomberg as of June 16 unanimously agreed on the number of non-agricultural employment in June (light blue +), industrial production (red), excluding the 2012 Chapter 2 transfer Personal income (green), manufacturing and Ch.2012$ trade sales (black), Ch.2012$ consumption (light blue) and Ch.2012$ monthly GDP (pink), all logarithms are normalized Turn into 2020M02=0. Source: BLS, Federal Reserve, BEA, calculated by FRED, IHS Markit (nee Macroeconomic Advisers) (released 6/1/2021), NBER and author.

Industrial production continued to grow in May, higher than Bloomberg consensus (0.8% vs. 0.6%), and the growth rate was slightly higher than the previous month’s record. Manufacturing production also brought similar upside surprises.

Retail sales fell slightly. After soaring in the first few months. Retail sales may provide some insight into the trajectories of the two series contained in Figure 1—sales and consumption in the manufacturing and trading industries—but this fit is not very close.

figure 2: 1982-84 does not include food service retail sales (blue-green), 2012 manufacturing and trade sales (black), and 2012 consumption (red), all of which are logs, 2020M02=0. Retail sales (excluding food) are reduced using CPI-all. Source: Census, BEA, BLS, St. Louis Fed via FRED, and author’s calculations.

The latest observation of actual manufacturing and trade sales is in March, and consumption is in April. Inferred with reference to retail sales, these two series seem likely to continue to grow, but it is difficult to guarantee.

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