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Weekly Indicators: Introducing The Billion Prices Project Edition

Mar. 29, 2015 5:55 AM ETSPY, DIA, QQQ2 Comments
Hale Stewart profile picture
Hale Stewart

By New Deal Democrat

Monthly reports for February included new home sales, which set a new post-recession high, and existing home sales, also higher, and a higher CPI. Durable goods were down for the 4th time in 6 months, and the University of Michigan sentiment indicator improved from its first March reading, but has continued to back off its January post-recession high.

In contrast to monthly data, I look at the high frequency weekly indicators because, while they can be very noisy, they provide an up-to-this-week snapshot of the economy. The indicators will confirm a trend or indicate a switch in trend well before monthly reports, and are a way to mark one's opinions to market on a regular basis. I list the data and try to keep commentary sparse, so you can draw your own conclusion.

I am introducing two new series this week. First, I am adding mortgage rates to the housing reports since consumer refinancing of debt at lower interest rates has played such an important role in economic expansions since 1982. Secondly, the Billion Price Project inflation data has been picked up by the St. Louis FRED, and this gives us a daily update on inflation. I'll start with that.

Inflation from the Billion Price Project

  • 0.7% m/m rolling 7-day average (not seasonally adjusted)
  • 0.2% YoY

The increase in gas prices off their bottom is showing up in inflation.


Railroad transport from the AAR

  • -6,800 carloads, down -2.4% YoY
  • +17,500 intermodal units, up +6.7% YoY
  • +10,500 total loads, up +1.9% YoY

Shipping transport

  • Harpex up +18 to 522 (4-year high)
  • Baltic Dry Index up +12 to 596

Rail traffic fell off a cliff three weeks ago. It has improved each week since then. After declining sharply for several months, making a 3-year low in mid-February, the

This article was written by

Hale Stewart profile picture
Hale Stewart spent 5 years as a bond broker in the late 1990s before returning to law school in the early 2000s. He is currently a tax lawyer in Houston, Texas. He has an LLM in domestic and international taxation (MagnaCumLaude). He is the author of the book The Lifetime Income Security Solution. Follow me on Twitter at @originalbonddadYou can read his legal analysis on his law office's blog.

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Comments (2)

AlbyVA profile picture
BPP is better than the official numbers.
foxgary profile picture
Great stuff for numbers folks. Thanks for the hard work and for sharing.

Stats could make a great "dashboard."
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