U.S. Consumer Price Index Increases 0.1% In April

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1% in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the last 12 months, the all items index has decreased by 0.1%.

The core CPI, which excludes food and energy, was up 0.3% in April and is up 1.8% year over year.

Monthly CPI

Annual CPI

The All Food index was unchanged in April and is up 2.0% from a year ago. The All Energy index decreased 1.3% and is down 18.9% from a year ago.

CPI Table

CPI Components

The Producer Price Index for final demand decreased 0.4% in April, seasonally adjusted. The index for final demand decreased 1.3% for the 12 months ended in March.

The core PPI, which excludes food and energy, decreased 0.2% and is up 0.7% from a year ago.

Monthly PPI

PPI Annual

U.S. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims At 274k

U.S. initial jobless claims for the week ending May 16 were a seasonally adjusted 274k, up from the prior week’s revised reading of 264k. Not seasonally adjusted, jobless claims for the week were 243k.

Jobless Claims

The 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims was 266k.

JC 4W

The number of unemployment insurance recipients, or continuing claims, for regular state programs was 2.211 million, down from the previous week’s revised reading of 2.223 million.

UI Recipients

The insured unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployment insurance recipients as a share of covered employment, was 1.65%, down from 1.66 the week prior.

Insured Unemployment Rate

90.27% of all U.S. jobs are covered by state unemployment insurance programs.

Covered Employment

Of the 8.549 million Americans currently unemployed, 25.86% receive unemployment insurance.

UI Recipient Share

Here jobless claims are placed in the context of the U.S. civilian noninstitutional population.

JC in Context

These charts show how some important economic indicators have moved with jobless claims.

JC vs GDP JC vs Housing Starts JC vs Total Employment JC vs U-3

U.S. Existing Home Sales Decrease To Annual Rate Of 5.04 Million In April

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 3.3% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million. This annual rate is 6.1% higher than the 4.75 million-unit level in April 2014.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says sales in April failed to keep pace with the robust gain seen in March. “April’s setback is the result of lagging supply relative to demand and the upward pressure it’s putting on prices,” he said. “However, the overall data and feedback we’re hearing from Realtors® continues to point to elevated levels of buying interest compared to a year ago. With low interest rates and job growth, more buyers will be encouraged to enter the market unless prices accelerate even higher in relation to incomes.”

“Housing inventory declined from last year and supply in many markets is very tight, which in turn is leading to bidding wars, faster price growth and properties selling at a quicker pace,” says Yun. “To put it in perspective, roughly 40 percent of properties sold last month went at or above asking price, the highest since NAR began tracking this monthly data in December 2012.”

Existing Home Sales Change

The existing home sales rate decreased in 3 out of 4 U.S. regions in April:

  • Northeast: 0.62 million from 0.64 million month prior.
  • Midwest: 1.22 million from 1.20 million month prior.
  • South: 2.04 million from 2.19 million month prior.
  • West: 1.16 million from 1.18 million month prior.

Existing Home Sales

Total housing inventory at the end of April increased 10.0% to 2.21 million existing homes available for sale. That represents a 5.3 month supply at the current sales pace.

Existing Home Sales Supply

The median time on market for all homes was 39 days in April. That is down from 52 days in March. Short sales were on the market for a median of 180 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 50 days, and non-distressed homes took 38 days. 46% of homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month.

The national median existing home price for all housing types was $219,400, up 8.9% from a year ago.

Existing Home Sales Price

CFNAI Improves To -0.15 In April

The Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index (CFNAI) was a reading of -0.15 in April, up from Marchy’s revised reading of -0.36. The negative figure indicates that the index is below its historical trend. The index’s 3-month moving average is at -0.23.

35 of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in April, while 47 made negative contributions. 46 indicators improved from March to April, while 37 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, 19 made negative contributions.

The Production and Income index component registered -0.16 from -0.16 last month. Employment and Hours was +0.08 from -0.08, Personal Consumption and Housing was -0.06 from -0.12, and Sales, Orders, and Inventories was 0.00 from +0.01.

CFNAI Components

CFNAI

Production and Income

Employment and Hours

Consumption and Housing

Sales and Inventories

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data: 1) production and income; 2) employment, unemployment, and hours; 3) personal consumption and housing; and 4) sales, orders, and inventories. Each of these data series measures some aspect of overall macroeconomic activity. 

It is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. Since economic activity tends toward trend growth rate over time, a positive index reading corresponds to growth above trend and a negative index reading corresponds to growth below trend.

U.S. Industrial Production Declines Again In April

U.S. industrial production decreased 0.3% in April after having increased 0.3% in March. At 105.2% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in April was 1.9% above its level of a year earlier.

IP Change

Industrial Production

The output of manufacturing was unchanged in April, production at mines decreased 0.8%, and output of utilities decreased 1.3%.

Capacity utilization for total industry decreased in April to 78.2%, less than the long-run (1972–2014) average of 80.1%.

Capacity Utilization

Weekly Initial Jobless Claims At 264k

U.S. initial jobless claims for the week ending May 9 were a seasonally adjusted 264k, down from the prior week’s revised reading of 265k. Not seasonally adjusted, jobless claims for the week were 243k.

Jobless Claims

Individual states that had changes in claims of more than 1k (not seasonally adjusted):

States

The 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims was 272k.

Jobless Claims 4W

The number of unemployment insurance recipients, or continuing claims, for regular state programs was 2.229 million, unchanged from the previous week’s revised reading.

UI Recipients

The insured unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployment insurance recipients as a share of covered employment, was 1.66%, unchanged from the week prior.

Insured Unemployment Rate

90.27% of all U.S. jobs are covered by state unemployment insurance programs.

Covered Employment

Of the 8.549 million Americans currently unemployed, 26.07% receive unemployment insurance.

UI Recipient Share

Jobless claims and the unemployment rate:

Labor Market