Don’s Notebook May 31, 2018

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The US Department of Commerce released its most closely watched of all inflation gauges, the core Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Index (PCE).

  • Income rose 0.3 percent in April but the wages & salaries component shows a 0.4 percent gain.
  • Spending jumped 0.6 percent in the month led, however, by a 0.9 percent gain for nondurables which reflects April’s rise in gas prices.

U.S. Department of Labor, Initial Jobless Claims report showed claims remain steady at are consistent with a strong demand for labor.

  • Initial claims fell 13,000 in the week of May 26th to 221,000 with the 4-week average up slightly to 222,250.
  • Continuing claims in lagging data for the May 19 week fell 16,000 to 1.726 million with this 4-week average also down slightly, to 1.744 million.
  • The unemployment rate for insured workers remains at 1.2 percent.

The National Association of Realtors posted pending-home-sales data for April showing a decline of 1.3 percent to 106.4 in April from an upwardly revised 107.8 in March.

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index was also released this morning and showed a 5.1 points increase.

  • New orders, which had been slowing, are re-accelerating with backlog orders likewise rebounding.
  • Production picked up in the month as did employment which, however, continues to be held back by lack of available labor.

Earning reports today include: Dollar Tree, American Eagle Outfitters, Costco Wholesale, Ciena, Express, VMware, Workday and Ulta Beauty.

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