Friday, January 29, 2010

Quick Notes for the Day - January 29

Economy Soars 5.7%, Fastest in 6 Years - Reuters - "The economy grew at a faster-than-expected 5.7 percent pace in the fourth quarter, the quickest in more than six years, as businesses made less-aggressive cuts to inventories and stepped up spending."

Consumer Sentiment at a Two Year High - The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 74.4 in January from 72.5 in December. This is the highest reading since January 2008, and breaks a string of five months with little movement. The index hit its low point in November 2008 at 55.3.

Employment Cost Index Up 0.5% in 4th Quarter - The Labor Department reported that employment costs increased 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Benefit costs rose 0.5% and wages and salaries also rose 0.5%. For all of 2009, the employment cost index increased a record low 1.5%. The small increase was to be expected given the high unemployment rate and weak economy.

Chicago PMI Rises - The purchasing managers index (PMI) for the Chicago region showed increased manufacturing activity in the Chicago region in January. The Chicago PMI rose to 61.5% from 58.7% in December. A reading over 50% indicates overall business expansion. This bodes well for Monday's ISM survey (Institute for Supply Management) for January.

No comments: