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Manufacturing doing pretty well so far in 2012

In case you missed it yesterday, data on orders and shipments of durable goods (which account for around half of all manufacturing output and value added) were released by the U.S. Census Bureau.  This is a good opportunity to assess how the manufacturing sector in 2012 is doing, and to do that, we look at a variety of indicators.   

International Trade: U.S. and India

U.S. Exports Top Historic High of $2.1 Trillion, Support 9.7 Million Jobs

Economic Indicator: Nearly 4 million jobs created in the past 24 months

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their February 2012 report on the employment situation, and the economy posted strong gains again in February, building on January's strong report.  Total private non-farm employment increased by 233,000 in February.  In the past 24 months, the private sector has added nearly 4 million jobs (3.94 technically). 

Economic Indicator: Unemployment Insurance Initial Claims and Private Sector Job Growth

Tomorrow is the first Friday of the month, which typically brings new jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  But, alas, the actual release date will be next Friday March 9th. To help satiate our cravings for labor market analysis, we have decided to take a look at today's release of the weekly unemployment insurance data from the Department of Labor.

Economic Indicator: GDP, GDI, Surprise! Personal income and saving revised up

Today BEA released its second estimate for real GDP in the fourth quarter of 2011 showing a 3.0 percent annual growth rate, revised up from the initial estimate of 2.8%.  While the upward revision to GDP was welcome news, there was even better news in revisions to the income data (income data is used to compute something called Gross Domestic Income, or GDI).  More specifically, personal income growth was revised upward, from 0.8% to 3.2% in Q3, and from 2.6% and 3.2% in Q4. 

Crude Oil and Gasoline Prices in 2012

The recent positive economic news strengthens hope that the economy will continue to gain momentum during 2012.  However, one potential fly in the (petroleum-based) ointment is rising oil (and hence gasoline) prices. 

Economic Indicator: New residential construction up in January 2012

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that new privately owned housing starts in January 2012 came in at 699,000 up 1.5 percent from December 2011.  January 2012 new housing start permits issued were up 0.7 percent over December 2011.  However, the positive news goes deeper than just these two numbers. 

Economic Indicator: Another sign of the resurgence of the automobile industry

Today, the Federal Reserve released their Industrial Production data for January 2012. Motor vehicle assemblies in January 2012 were 10.17 million (SAAR) the highest since February of 2008.


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