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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a record-high 8.12 million job openings in March. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) figure is the highest since measurement began in December 2000 and represents a month-to-month increase of 7.9%. Job openings were distributed across the economy, however food services and accommodation (+185,000), state and local education (+155,000), and arts and entertainment (+81,000) reported especially strong figures. Layoffs fell to a record low reading of 1.5 million, decreasing 1.0%. The total openings rate as a share of the labor force rose from 5% to 5.3%. Hiring was up 3.7% in March, increasing to 6.1 million. Over the 12 months ending in March, hires totaled 73.2 million and separations totaled 69.9 million.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported consumer prices increased a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in April, the largest gain since June 2009. The all items index increased 4.2%, the largest 12-month increase since September 2008. A third of the all items increase is attributed to a 10.0% increase in the index for used cars and trucks, the largest increase since 1953. In addition, indexes for shelter, airline fares, recreation, motor vehicle insurance, and household furnishings and operations all increased. The food index gained 0.4%, up 2.4% over the past 12 months. The energy index decreased slightly as gasoline prices fell 1.4% after a 9.1% increase in March. The energy index is up 25.1% over the last 12-months. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9% in April, the largest monthly increase since April 1982, it is up 3.0% over the last 12-months.
The Commerce Department reported April’s retail sales were virtually unchanged from March’s revised 10.7% increase. The $619.9 billion is the highest reading yet, exceeding March’s $619.7 billion figure. The April reading is 51.2% higher year over year. Increases in auto purchases (+2.9%) and food services (+3.0%) were offset by decreases in clothing (-5.1%), sporting goods, hobby, musical instruments and book stores (-3.6%), building materials (-0.4%), and online retail (-0.6%). Core retail sales which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services dropped 1.5% in April and follows an upwardly revised 7.6% March figure. Consumer spending expanded at a 10.7% annualized rate in the first quarter.
Tuesday May 18 – Building Permits (MoM) (Apr)
Friday May 21- Manufacturing PMI (May)
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