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Archive for September, 2015

The Sometimes Mysterious Sources for Put-in-place Construction Statistics in the U.S. and Canada

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Article source: CMDGroup

Obtaining data on put-in-place construction activity in the U.S. and Canada isn’t quite the straightforward path one might assume it to be.

(Put-in-place statistics are like ‘progress payments’ as projects proceed. They lag ‘starts’ information that essentially captures ‘shovels-in-the-ground’ activity.)

On balance, I’d say the U.S. put-in-place statistics are a little easier to find; plus they’re timelier.

Monthly seasonally-adjusted-at-annual-rate (SAAR) and not seasonally adjusted (NSA) numbers are published by the Census Bureau at the following site: http://www.census.gov/construction/c30/c30index.html.

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A Dozen Mid-September Economic Nuggets

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Article source: CMDGroup

September 17 is fast approaching. In fact, by the time you read this, it may already have been and gone. Why is that date so important? Because that’€™s when the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve is scheduled to meet, with an announcement concerning interest rates to follow.

The federal funds rate hasn’€™t been altered from a range of 0.00% to 0.25% since December 16, 2008, nearly seven years ago. In mid-summer of this year, there seemed to be a strong likelihood the Fed would begin shifting yields higher in September. Then world stock markets fell into disarray as growth projections for China’€™s economy were scaled back and the yuan was devalued, slightly.

If the fed temporarily delays pulling the trigger out of concern over fragile world trade, the next FOMC meeting dates to mark on your calendar are October 28 and December 16 of this year and January 27 of 2016. Odds are pretty good that somewhere in that time frame, the fed will initiate tighter credit market action.

The Fed’€™s decision-making will take place against a backdrop that includes the following economic nuggets, as revealed in government reports and through media dissemination.
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Fascinating Statistics (for Canada, Saudi Arabia and Others) From the Latest U.S. Foreign Trade Report

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Article source: CMDGroup

This Economy at a Glance examines the most interesting and surprising data from the latest U.S. foreign trade report.

(1) U.S. Oil Imports: Due to the rapid emergence of a domestic hydraulic fracturing industry, plus efficiency improvements and conservation-minded consumer behavior, there is nothing like the former U.S. energy-dependency with the rest of the world.

The steep drop in the global price of oil from a year ago, combined with some extreme exchange rate fluctuations, have rendered the dollar figures on U.S. energy trade confusing.

However, ‘Exhibit 17a’, in July’s publication, released jointly by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), presents the data in ‘barrels’.

‘Barrels’ as a volume measurement carry the same constant-valued connotation as ‘units’ for both housing starts and motor vehicle sales and ‘square footage’ for construction activity.

Year to date, through July of this year, Canada − by a considerable margin − accounted for the largest proportion of U.S. crude oil imports (41.2%). (Keep in mind that this has been without a go-ahead for the Keystone XL pipeline expansion.)
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