Economic indicators for last week were slightly disappointing as there were more misses than beats. There were no releases on Monday, but Tuesday kicked off with a weak reading from Empire Manufacturing which fell to 3.9 from 10.9. PPI inflation data also came out on Tuesday matching expectations. On Wednesday, the MBA’s mortgage applications came in lower than the prior week but still with a very strong reading. Applications rose 13.5% last week versus 23.5% the prior. Also in housing data on Wednesday was a strong print on homebuilder sentiment as mortgage rates declined in the past month. Import prices fell, albeit less than expected, while export prices came in lower than the previous month. Finally, the last of the major releases Wednesday was the Fed’s Beige Book which had some more pessimistic tones that indicates a slowdown as seen through our Beige Book index. On top of the usual weekly indicators released Thursday, the Philly Fed released their business outlook which saw a strong beat of forecasts and the prior period. On Friday, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization both beat expectations on Friday, but Michigan Confidence missed by a very wide margin.
This week will be quieter with a shorter trading week after markets were closed yesterday in observance of MLK Jr. Day. As a result of the holiday, there were no releases yesterday. Today’s only release was existing home sales which were released earlier this morning and missed forecasts. Tomorrow, we will see yet another housing indicator with the FHFA’s House Price Index. The Richmond Fed’s Manufacturing Index will be released a little later on that morning. Thursday will be the busiest day of the week with preliminary Markit PMIs, the Kansas City Fed’s Manufacturing Index, and the Index of Leading Indicators—which is expected to show a slowdown in activity. We will round out the week with preliminary Durable Goods Orders and New Home Sales assuming the government reopens prior to the releases.
With the government still shut down, a few of the releases scheduled in the coming days are dependent on the Federal government reopening its doors. Last week further added to the growing list as Retail Sales Business Inventories, Treasury Flows, and both Housing Starts and Building Permits were all delayed. The table below shows all of the releases missed along with their originally intended release date. All of these releases are out of the Census and Treasury departments where funding has been curtailed. Meanwhile, the releases we have seen recently have come out of non-government agencies or departments that have still have funding secured for the time being.