What I Saw Last Week
Consumer Credit rose by $19.6B – above my call for $16.5B
Revolving credit increased by $1.8B, from $870.4B in April to $872.2B in May while non-revolving credit increased to $2,322.4B in May from $2,304.6B.
Consumer credit has increased by nearly $20B per month so far in 2014 – good numbers!
Initial Unemployment Claims came in at 304,000 – below my forecast for 311,000.
Over the past several weeks, the initial claims level has stabilized between 310,000 and 320,000. While claims came in below this level, it is likely due to normal volatility stemming from the Independence Day holiday and not a change in overall trend.
What to Watch for This Week
Retail Sales figures for June come out on Tuesday and I am looking for a turnaround after the somewhat depressing figures seen in May. Look for overall sales to have grown by 0.7%.
The NAHB Housing Market Index jumped 4 points to 49 in June and was just one point shy of the threshold for what is considered good building conditions. I think that we will meet this threshold this month!
Washington State Employment numbers come out on Wednesday and I anticipate that the State added around 6,400 jobs in June with the Seattle metro area adding 4,000 new positions. The unemployment rate should remain static at 6.1% and 5.0% respectively.
Initial Unemployment Claims should come in at around 311,000.
Housing Starts fell in May on the back of declines in the volatile multifamily sector. Look for a bit of a bounce back. My call is for 1.020M.
Building Permits, which also dropped in May, should rebound. I am looking for a figure of around 1.037M.
Consumer Sentiment rose to 82.5 in June and I expect to see the preliminary July figure of around 84.0.