Archive for December, 2018

Durable Good Orders Month over Month

New orders for US manufactured durable goods surged 0.8 percent from a month earlier in November 2018, following a downwardly revised 4.3 percent plunge in October and missing market expectations of a 1.6 percent advance. Transportation equipment drove the increase. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dropped 0.6 percent in November, after a 0.5 percent gain in the previous month. Durable Goods Orders in the United States averaged 0.33 percent from 1992 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 23.50 percent in July of 2014 and a record low of -19 percent in August of 2014.


Retail Sales

The numbers: Most U.S. retailers posted healthy increases in sales in November as the holiday season kicked off with Black Friday specials after Thanksgiving.

Retail sales increased 0.2% last month, led by online stores such as AmazonAMZN, +1.47%  and big-box stores like Best Buy BBY, +2.64% the Commerce Department said.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.1% gain.

If a big drop at gas stations is stripped out, retail sales rose a stronger 0.5%, the government said Friday.

What’s more, the increase in sales in October was raised to 1.1% from 0.8%, suggesting the U.S. economy got off to a somewhat better start in the fourth quarter than it initially seemed.

What happened: After surging in October, sales at gas stations slumped 2.3% November.

The price of gas fell almost 30 cents a gallon to a nationwide average of about $2.54 at the end of month. In many areas the cost was even less.

That’s good news for consumers, though. They took some of the savings and spent more online. The category that’s mostly online sales recorded a robust 2.3% increase in sales last month. Department store sales rose a smaller 0.4%.

Sales also rose at stores that sell groceries electronics, appliances, home furnishings, sporting goods and health and personal care items.

Auto sales edged up 0.2%. They account for about one-fifth of all retail sales.

Sales fell at home centers, clothing stores and restaurants. All three segments have done well so far this year, however, especially restaurants.

Big picture: Strong hiring and the lowest unemployment rate since 1969 has lifted the confidence of Americans and encouraged them to spend more. The U.S. economy in 2018 could top 3% growth for the first time since 2005.

Although most economists think U.S. growth will slow in 2019, they also expect consumers to keep spending at a healthy level and prolong an expansion that will set a record for the longest ever by next summer.

What they are saying? “Today’s report appears to point toward somewhat faster growth in the fourth quarter than we have been forecasting,” said chief economist Joshua Shapiro of MFR Inc.

“Gas prices are down roughly 50 cents since early October, from around $2.90 to $2.40 per gallon, which if maintained through 2019 could represent more than $700 in savings in each household’s pocket,” wrote Lydia Boussour and Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.16% and S&P 500SPX, +1.07% fell in Friday trades on fresh worries about the global economy. Some indications suggest the Chinese economy is slowing, hindered in part by a festering trade spat with the U.S.

Also Read: Bridge to nowhere? Some doubts on economy justified, doom and gloom is not

The 10-year Treasury yield TMUBMUSD10Y, -0.13% was little changed at 2.90%. Yields have tumbled from a seven-year high of almost 3.25% a month ago, a shift that makes stocks somewhat more favorable.


Vehicle Sales

U.S. Total Vehicle Sales


Latest Release

Dec 03, 2018







Total Vehicle Sales measures the annualized number of new vehicles sold domestically in the reported month. It is an important indicator of consumer spending and is also correlated to consumer confidence.

A higher than expected reading should be taken as positive/bullish for the USD, while a lower than expected reading should be taken as negative/bearish for the USD.




Source:Autodata Corp.

U.S. Total Vehicle Sales







Release Date Time Actual Forecast Previous
Dec 03, 2018 15:30 17.49M 17.30M 17.57M
Nov 01, 2018 14:30 17.57M 17.10M 17.44M
Oct 02, 2018 14:30 17.44M 16.78M 16.72M
Sep 04, 2018 14:30 16.72M 16.70M 16.77M
Aug 01, 2018 14:30 16.77M 17.10M 17.47M
Jul 03, 2018 14:30 17.47M 17.00M 16.91M
Jun 01, 2018 14:30 16.91M 17.00M 17.15M
May 01, 2018 14:30 17.15M 17.10M 17.48M
Apr 03, 2018 14:30 17.48M 16.90M 17.08M
Mar 01, 2018 15:00 17.08M 17.20M 17.16M
Feb 01, 2018 15:00 17.16M 17.20M 17.85M
Jan 03, 2018 15:30 17.85M 17.50M 17.48M