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Economic & Financial Highlights


Economic & Financial Highlights tracks data from a number of series. Below are the last seven days’ worth of charts, from newest to oldest, and analysis to provide context for the data. The “Search Charts” box at right allows you to search historical charts using various criteria.

Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims

Filed under: Employment
Published on: April 18, 2014

The level of weekly claims of unemployment insurance for the week ending April 12 continued to point to improvement in the labor market. The advance figure for the seasonally adjusted four-week moving average was 312,000 (the lowest level since October 2007) and a decrease of 4,750 from the previous week's upward revised average of 316,750.

Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims, four-week moving average, seasonally adjusted, thousands

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Industrial Production

Filed under: Manufacturing
Published on: April 18, 2014

Overall industrial production (IP) rose 0.7 percent in March compared with February, and manufacturing production rose 0.5 percent compared with the previous month. Significant upward revisions were made to both series for February. IP grew at a solid 4.4 percent annualized rate in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the fourth quarter of last year.

Industrial Production, year-over-year percent change

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Housing Starts

Filed under: Real Estate
Published on: April 17, 2014

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts increased in March. Total starts increased 2.8 percent from February to March, and single-family starts increased 6.0 percent during the same period. On a year-over-year basis, total starts declined 5.9 percent, and single-family starts increased 1.9 percent.

Housing Starts, monthly, SAAR, thousand units

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Sticky Consumer Price Index

Filed under: Inflation
Published on: April 17, 2014

The Atlanta Fed's sticky-price consumer price index (CPI), a measure of price change for the components of the CPI that are relatively slow to change, rose 2.4 percent (monthly annualized) in March, following a 2.0 percent increase in February. The 12-month change in the index was 1.9 percent.

Sticky Consumer Price Index, percent change over given period

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Consumer Price Index

Filed under: Inflation
Published on: April 17, 2014

Headline and core inflation, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), exceeded consensus forecasts in March. During the last 12 months, headline CPI increased 1.5 percent, an acceleration from a 1.1 percent pace in February, and core CPI (which excludes food and energy) also accelerated to 1.7 percent from 1.6 percent in February. March data reflect increases in the shelter and food indexes that accounted for most of the headline increase. The energy index, in contrast, declined slightly in March as decreases in the gasoline and fuel oil indexes more than offset increases in the indexes for electricity and natural gas. Besides the 0.3 percent increase in the shelter index, the indexes for medical care, apparel, used cars and trucks, and airline fares also increased. The indexes for household furnishings and operations and for recreation both declined in March.

Consumer Price Index, year-over-year percent change

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Business Inflation Expectations

Filed under: Inflation
Published on: April 17, 2014

In the Atlanta Fed's most recent business inflation expectations (BIE) survey, respondents indicated that, on average, they expect unit costs to rise 1.9 percent during the next 12 months, a 0.1 percentage point increase from March's 1.8 percent. Inflation uncertainty, as measured by the variance of the survey results, was unchanged at 2.4 percent.

Business Inflation Expectations, percent, monthly

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Federal Reserve Liabilities (Sources of Funds)

Filed under: Federal Reserve
Published on: April 14, 2014

As of April 9, the Federal Reserve's balance sheet showed total liabilities of $4.3 trillion, reflecting an increase of $7.9 billion from the previous week. Bank reserve balances increased by $86.1 billion while other liabilities decreased by $79.1 billion.

Federal Reserve Liabilities (Sources of Funds), $ billions

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Federal Reserve Assets (Uses of Funds)

Filed under: Federal Reserve
Published on: April 14, 2014

As of April 9, the Federal Reserve's balance sheet showed total assets of $4.3 trillion, reflecting an increase of $7.9 billion from the previous week, mostly from an increase in Treasuries of $5.4 billion. Agency debt and MBS decreased by $346 million, while other assets increased by $2.8 billion.

Federal Reserve Assets (Uses of Funds), $ billions

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Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims

Filed under: Employment
Published on: April 14, 2014

In the week ending April 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 300,000, down 32,000 from last week. This was the biggest drop in more than 10 years, bringing the four-week moving average to 316,250. That's more than 15,000 below the month-ago reading, pointing to continued improvement in the labor market.

Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims, four-week moving average, seasonally adjusted, thousands

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Change in Consumer Credit Outstanding

Filed under: Consumption
Published on: April 14, 2014

Total consumer credit outstanding rose substantially in February by $16.5 billion from January, as revolving credit declined $2.4 billion and nonrevolving credit increased $18.9 billion. In the fourth quarter of 2013, 94 percent of nonrevolving credit was in student and auto loans; student loans accounted for 55 percent and auto loans 39 percent.

Change in Consumer Credit Outstanding, billion dollars, seasonally adjusted, monthly changes

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Crude Oil and Natural Gas Prices

Filed under: Inflation
Published on: April 14, 2014

Crude oil prices averaged $18.16 per MMBtu in March, which is unchanged on a month-over month basis, while natural gas prices averaged $4.90 per MMBtu, down 18.3 percent month over month. However, on a year-over-year basis, both increased; crude oil prices were up 8.4 percent and natural gas prices rose 28.6 percent.

Crude Oil and Natural Gas Prices, Monthly average, dollars per MMBtu

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