It’s Friday and that means it’s time to review the latest economic data and identify which pockets of the economy are heating up and which are slowing down. Don’t worry about catching every headline and every report throughout the week—I recap all of the most important news impacting your wealth right here every Friday. Let’s take a look at this week’s big headlines:
In November, consumer credit rose by $24.6 billion, above economists’ expectations of an $18.0 billion increase. Meanwhile, October consumer credit was revised up to reflect a $16.2 billion increase. In November, revolving debt (which includes credit card debt) surged 13.5%. Non-revolving debt (which covers auto and student loans) rose 5.9%. At face value, it looks like consumers relied more heavily on their credit cards during the shopping season.
In November, wholesale inventories jumped 1.0%, outstripping economists’ estimates of a 0.9% gain. October wholesale stockpiles were revised up to reflect a 0.1% decline, an improvement over the previously stated 0.4% drop. Meanwhile, wholesalers reported a 0.4% increase in sales. It would take 1.31 months to clear all inventory at the current sales pace. This was the largest increase in wholesale inventories in two years. So we’ll likely see another round of upward revisions to fourth-quarter GDP.
In November, U.S. business inventories rose 0.7%, above economists’ expectations of a 0.5% increase. Business sales climbed 0.1% in November, and at the current sales pace, it would take 1.38 months for business to empty their shelves. While business inventories weren’t as strong as wholesale inventories, these were still solid results.
Producer Price Index (PPI)
The Producer Price Index increased 0.3% in December, in line with expectations. Excluding food and energy, prices increased 0.2% in December, which was well below economists’ expectations for a 0.6% rise. Falling oil prices is helping keep inflation in check, as producer prices have only climbed 1.6% in the past year. And as long as oil prices remain low, inflation should remain under control.
That’s all I have for you this week; I’ll be back online on Monday with your weekly ratings changes.
Have a great weekend,