NO RISE IN CORE CPI OR CORE PPI IN OCTOBER Last month, the Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% with core CPI flat for the third month in a row. Core CPI has advanced at a crawl in the past 12 months: just 0.6% compared to a Federal Reserve annualized target of 2.0%. Producer prices rose 0.4% last month, duplicating their August and September increase. Yet core producer prices fell 0.6%.1,2
HOUSING STARTS SLIP, MORTGAGE RATES JUMP The Commerce Department announced an 11.7% slump in new residential construction starts for the month of October, and a 1.9% slip from year-ago levels. A drop in apartment and condo construction accounted for most of the October decline. Last week, Freddie Mac said that the average rate on a 30-year conventional home loan had jumped to 4.39% from 4.17% a week prior. The average rate for a 15-year FRM had increased to 3.76%, up from 3.57% in Freddie’s previous survey.3,4
RETAIL SALES 7.3% BETTER THAN A YEAR AGO Car buying drove a 1.2% gain in U.S.retail sales in October. In fact, the Census Bureau reported a 14.7% year-over-year increase in sales volume at car dealerships. The year-over-year gain in overall retail sales was 7.3%, and 13.5% for non-store retailers.5
CONFERENCE BOARD INDEX UP 0.5% The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators notched its second straight half-percent increase in October. This was also its fourth straight advance.6
GM IPO TURNS THE WEEK AROUND Thursday’s eagerly awaited initial public offering from General Motors sent the Dow on a triple-digit rally and turned a down week into a flat one. Here is how the three marquee indices performed last week: DJIA, +0.10% to 11,203.55; S&P 500, +0.04% to 1,199.73; NASDAQ, 0.00% to 2,518.12 (it actually fell .09 on the week).7,8
COMING NEXT WEEK: No economic releases are scheduled for Monday. Tuesday, we have October existing home sales and the release of the minutes from the Fed’s November 3 policy meeting, plus the second estimate of 3Q GDP. Wednesday, we have even more data: the October consumer spending report, October new home sales, October durable goods orders and the final November consumer sentiment survey from the Universityof Michigan.
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A coin lies inside an otherwise empty bottle that has a cork inserted in its neck. How can you remove this coin without removing the cork or breaking the bottle?
Last week’s riddle: It can be as round as a dishpan, as deep as a tub, and still the oceans couldn’t fill it up. What is it?
Last week’s answer:
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A degreed engineer (in a past life) business owner, business development coach, project manger, and organizational strategist with a strong background in surveillance, ES&H redesign, project management, process engineering, organizational operations, management, business law, and ISO internal auditing. Am an organzing member of NSBE-AE, Organizing Board member Greenwood Festival Chorale, former Omega Psi Phi Graduate Chapter President (Baselius) a former Shelter BOD Chair, a former Regional Chair, former Lander Board of Visitors Member, former Chamber BOD member, as well as many other organizational leadership positions. Owner Spearman Enterprises and Managing Partner Top Flight LLC.