Today's Economic Data Highlights

A lot going on today, beginning with the CPI and claims, followed by the Philly Fed, the index of leading indicators, and mortgage delinquencies, and testimony on implementation of Dodd-Frank and the FY 2012 budget at mid-morning, a few regional Fed presidents from noon into the early afternoon(Lockhart, Evans, Fisher, and Hoenig..not listed separately below), and winding up with the Fed’s latest balance sheet information this afternoon…And, most importantly as always, the Fed will buy 10 Years (05/15/2018 – 02/15/2021) in the amount of $6-8 billion between 10:15 and 11:00 am. Keep an eye on 912828PX2.
8:30: Consumer price index for Jan….a sticky index?  Food and energy should again push the headline index up.  We also estimate a sticky core index, due in large part to a pickup in the rental indexes.
On headline, median forecast (of 79): +0.3%, ranging from +0.2% to +0.5%; last +0.43% (revised).
On core, median forecast (of 77): +0.1%, ranging from +0.1% to +0.2%; last +0.07%.
8:30: Unemployment insurance claims….a bounce up after poor weather?  The reading for the first week of February appears to have been suppressed by the effects of that massive snow and ice storm that blanketed much of the country in the middle of that week.  Forecasters expect a modest rebound, but one that preserves the modest downward trend that has been evident for the past four months or so.  The initial claims data apply to the reference week for the February payroll survey.
For initial claims, median forecast (of 47): 400k, ranging from 370k to 450k; last 383k.
For continuing claims, median forecast (of 14): 3.893 million, ranging from 3.83mm to 3.92mm; last 3.888mm.

10:00: Philadelphia Fed business index for Feb…a modest acceleration?  Forecasters expect a result similar to the Empire index, which posted an increase of about 3½ points earlier this week.
median forecast (of 55): +21, ranging from +15 to +25; last +19.3.
10:00: Index of leading indicators for Jan…permit us to say this will pause….due mainly to the correction in permits reported yesterday, which slices 29bp off the January change after adding 41bp in December.  (This was not quite as big a drop in permits as we had penciled in, so we now expect a flat reading instead of -0.1%.)  Real M2 and the manufacturing workweek for production and nonsupervisory workers should also be negatives, the latter due to weather-related difficulties in getting to work.  So this reading on the index should be seen as an understatement of the underlying trend.
median forecast (of 54): +0.2%, ranging from -0.7% to +0.7%; last +1.0%.
10:00: Mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures for Q4
…hopefully signs of less stress.  The Q3 reading on the delinquency rate (the percentage of loans past due by 30 days or more) was 9.13%, down from a peak of 10.06% in Q1.  Over the same period the percentage of loans in foreclosure proceedings has dropped from 4.63% to 4.39%, but initiations of foreclosures have actually risen to 1.32% from 1.17%.  (They had been as high as 1.47% in mid 2009.)
10:00: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies on implementation of Dodd-Frank
…He appears before the Senate Banking Committee along with other key regulators—Sheila Bair for the FDIC, Mary Schapiro for the SEC, and Gary Gensler for the CFTC, and John Walsh for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency—to discuss progress at the half-year mark after passage of this legislation.
10:00: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testifies on the administration’s FY 2012 budget…before the Senate Budget Committee.
16:30: Federal Reserve balance sheet
….Last week the balance sheet reached $2.5trn.  We expect it to reach $2.9trn by the time the asset purchase program is done in June.

Using GS data


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