Recap of this week’s U.S. economic events:
- The Employment Situation – The economy added a measly 74k jobs in December.
- Contrary to the report from the BLS, ADP saw 238k payrolls added in December.
- The Fed Minutes from the December 17-18 meeting noted a waning of benefits from the quantitative easing program.
- Consumer credit outstanding increased at an annual rate of 4.8% in November.
- The monthly international trade deficit decreased to $34.3 billion in November.
- New orders for manufactured goods increased 1.8% in November.
- The Intuit Small Business Index improved to 95.79% of the level it was in January 2007.
- The ISM non-manufacturing NMI decreased but remained in expansion at 53.0 in December.
- Light vehicle sales decreased to an annual rate of 15.40 million in December.
- Weekly initial jobless claims declined to 300k.
- Weekly intermodal rail traffic was up 4.8% year over year.
- Weekly National Financial Conditions Index tightened to -0.93.
- Weekly money supply update: M2 -0.09%.
- Weekly store sales grew modestly despite worse than average weather conditions.
The below plots show the absolute strength of various leading economic indicators as well as whether those indicators are improving or worsening. They are scaled by how many standard deviations they are away from their historical movements and stature. Indicators greater than 2.0 sigma in either direction have been rounded down to 2.0.