As I have discussed here and in my weekly newsletters, we are seeing today another instance of revision of very important macroeconomic data.
BEA's final GPD for 3rdQ2011 is now +1.8%. It started at 2.5% and was first revised to 2.0%. This "final" GDP will continue to be revised for years to come making one wonder WTF?
Some of the source of these revisions are understandable because investments, exports and imports only have two months' data when the first release is issued necessitating guessing at the last month of the quarter.
Rick Davis of Consumer Metrics Institute has written extensively about this making the case that some of what BEA does lacks transparency because they use deflators (adjustments for inflation) which are out of line with CPI and PPI and for which BEA offers not explanation as to their primitive data or methods.
- Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending 12/17 were 364,000.
- Previous was 366,000. Consensus was 380,000.
- 4-week Moving Average was 380,250.
- Continuing Claims for the week ended 12/10 were 3,546,000 - the lowest level since GDP started back up.
Consumer Sentiment for December is 69.9 up from 64.1 in November. This is not hard data but a survey intended to measure predisposition to spend.
Leading Economic Indicators
LEI for November was +0.5%. Previous was +0.9%. This is a rehash of 10 other bits of data. It is very much influenced by monetary policy (rates and money supply.) It is intended to forecast GDP growth 3-6 months in the future.
FHFA Home Price Index
Index level for October was -0.2% month/month and -2.8% year/year. Consensus for October was +0.3%. Home prices have not yet bottomed out. Add to that the admission yesterday by NAR that it had been overestimating Existing Home Sales for 5 years and one does not get imbued with confidence.
3rdQ2011 Corporate Profits were +6.2% year/year.