February came to a close with a busy week in economic data. We got 45 releases last week with a small majority (23) coming in below expectations or the prior period. Monday saw the Chicago Fed National Activity Index miss by a wide margin. Conversely, the Dallas Fed’s Manufacturing Activity beat forecasts by a wide margin. December housing data released Tuesday was very weak in terms of Housing Starts, though, permits were a silver lining indicating better future activity. Tuesday also saw a solid increase in Consumer Confidence. Q4 GDP data was the biggest release of the week on Thursday. While it did come in lower, GDP beat expectations by 0.4%. Finally, on Friday the Markit Manufacturing PMI and ISM Manufacturing Index both came in weaker than expectations.
Coming up this week, the delayed Construction Spending data for December is the only release today, expecting a downtick. Out Tuesday are the service portions of Markit PMIs and ISM data. Also scheduled for Tuesday is New Home Sales for December—one of the final delayed releases as a result of the government shutdown. Wednesday, we will get an update on the Trade Balance as well as the Fed’s Beige Book later in the day. Q4 Nonfarm Productivity, Unit Labor Costs, and changes in household wealth as seen through the Fed’s Z.1 Financial Flows report are all out Thursday. We cap off the week with the Nonfarm Payrolls report which is expecting to show a still hot labor market.
With several more releases of December data points this week, we are just about caught up to all of the releases that had been postponed due to the government shutdown. Only two releases have yet to come out: Construction Spending and New Home Sales. Both of these will come out early this week. With the data now out, the revisions should be watched as there potentially could be some large changes in these November and December numbers.