Friday, May 14, 2010

Economics Headlines

· April retail sales rose 0.4% (consensus 0.2%, JPMorgan -0.1%) and with upward revisions to each of the two prior months, retail sales are now up 0.6% February and 2.1% in March. Nonauto sales also rose 0.4% in April (consensus 0.4%, JPMorgan 0.2%) and also included upward revisions to prior months.  

· US industrial production rose 0.8% in April (JPMorgan 1.1%, consensus 0.7%). Mining increased 1.4% on the month and output of utilities declined 1.3% on moderate weather. But the real interest in this report is in manufacturing, which is up 1.0% in both March and April. these strong gains that are consistent with the previosly-reported ISM survey and hours-worked numbers.  

· Confidence - The preliminary Michigan consumer confidence survey for May edged up 1.1 points to 73.3 (consensus 73.5, JPMorgan 73.0). Confidence remains in an extremely narrow band at low levels that it has held since last December.  

· Inventories - nominal business inventories increases 0.4% in March (consensus and JPMorgan 0.4%). This was the third consecutive monthly increase. The new information in the report for purposes of estimating 1Q10 GDP growth is nonauto retail inventories, up 0.4% in March. These results are very close to what the government assumed in the first estimate of 1Q10 real GDP, and we are still looking for a very modest upward revision of GDP to about 3.3% (from 3.2%). 

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