Economic News in Review Greenville SC - Jan 20, 2016

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Economic News in Review Greenville SC

Here is last week’s Economic News in Review Greenville SC.

Retail sales ended a lack-luster year for growth, while overall producer prices notched down (but “core” prices gained), and lay-offs increased.

Retail Sales

Retail and food service sales had a down month in December, according to figures released last week by the Census Bureau. December’s receipts fell 0.1 percent to $448.1 billion. Compared annually, this was 2.2 percent higher than December 2014. All in all, this was the smallest yearly gain in retail sales since 2009.

Key areas of growth were furniture and home furnishings, which were up 0.9 percent; sporting goods, hobby and book stores; which gained 0.9 percent; bars and restaurants grew 0.8 percent; and building material and garden centers, which were up 0.7 percent. Poor performers for the month were miscellaneous retailers, which were down 2 percent; gas stations, which dropped 1.1 percent; clothing stores fell 0.9 percent; and food and beverage stores notched down 0.3 percent.

“There isn’t anything encouraging in this report,” Thomas Simons, a money-market economist at Jefferies Group LLC, told Bloomberg. “It’s very disappointing. The labor market is in good shape, which suggests the outlook is probably better than this.”

Producer Price Index

The Producer Price Index for final demand goods for December declined 0.2 percent, according to last week’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Final demand prices are the most closely watched of the various PPI indexes, as they are closest to consumer prices.

Final demand prices have been yo-yoing, ticking up 0.3 percent in November, and falling 0.4 percent in October. Overall, the final demand index for 2015 fell 1 percent, after rising 0.9 percent in 2014.

That said, it is important to note that the prices for final demand goods less foods and energy — the so-called “core” index because it isn’t subject to the volatility of food and energy prices — inched up 0.1 percent in December.

Initial Jobless Claims

First-time claims for unemployment benefits filed by the newly unemployed during the week ending January 9th, rose to 284,000, an increase of 7,000 claims from the prior week’s total of 277,000, the Employment and Training Administration reported last week.

The rise was somewhat big, but kept jobless claims well within the 300,000-claim mark economists say indicate a growing job market. The upswing was likely the result of the lingering impact of holiday season job market volatility.

“This time of the year claims are pretty volatile given the difficulty of trying to adjust for the various holidays and the start of the quarter,” RBS Securities Economist Kevin Cummins told Bloomberg. “Our assumption is the labor market is going to remain healthy, just at a somewhat more moderate pace of job growth.”


Economic News in Review Greenville SC


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Movement Mortgage, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender. NMLS # 39179 | 877-314- 1499. Movement Mortgage, LLC is licensed by the "South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions" Lic # MLS-39179. Interest rates and products are subject to change without notice and may or may not be available at the time of loan commitment or lock-in.  Borrowers must qualify  at  closing  for  all  benefits. “Movement Mortgage” is a registered trademark of the Movement Mortgage, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company.


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Randy Shamburger

Senior Mortgage Lender 

NMLS# 322952        

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