- Retail sales rose 0.5% in May, posting the third increase in five months. The increase was less than the 0.6% expected by economists and mostly due to increases in gas prices. Excluding gas, retail sales were up 0.2%.
- Jobless claims fell by 24,000 to 601,000 for the week ended June 6th. However, the number of people collecting benefits rose to a record 6.82 million.
- Foreclosure activity decreased by 6% in May according to RealtyTrac. Still, May was the third highest month on record and marked the third straight month when the number of properties with foreclosure filings exceeded 300,000. Nevada, California, and Florida still the top foreclosure states. Defaults and scheduled foreclosure auctions were both down from the previous month, bank repossessions were up 2%. RealtyTrak expects REO activity to spike in the coming months as foreclosure moratoria expire across the country.
- Yesterday's beige book released by the Federal Reserve showed that economic conditions "remained weak or deteriorated further" in all the Fed's districts. The report offered a few glimmers of hope such as an increase in the hiring of temp workers, which typically precedes an improvement in the overall labor market. Technology companies said that business was picking up, and real-estate agents in eight of the Fed's 12 districts "reported an uptick in sales." The report didn't specify whether this could be accounted for by seasonality or jut the perennially chipper nature of real estate agents.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Several pieces of economic data have hit the tape this morning worth mentioning, most of them pointing to a slowdown in the rate of deterioration in the economy, but none of them particularly green shooty: