Week in Review: Jan. 23-27
GDP, Housing Stats, & More
The fourth week of 2023 supplied new data on GDP, the housing market, personal savings, and more. Be sure to check out our Jan-23 Q&A Part I post from yesterday, and submit any last minute questions you have for Part II, which should be coming out next week.
Gas prices rose for a fourth consecutive week, up to $3.519/gallon. That is the highest price since the end of November. My guess is that will weigh on consumer sentiment, which had been trending higher.
TSA Checkpoint Travel Numbers
Travel numbers dipped below 2020 and 2019 levels over the past week, but just barely. TSA checkpoint numbers over the past week were about 37% above the same week in 2022. Speaking personally, it seems Southwest Airlines performance is back to normal after that horrendous week late last year. It was actually Delta that made me miserable this week. Lesson learned: if you get stranded in Atlanta, the Renaissance hotel near the airport is a really good option.
S&P Global PMIs
The S&P Global Flash US Composite PMI™ indicates that private sector activity in both manufacturing and services sectors continued to contract in January. Here’s the good news for you fans of the second derivative: the contraction was the slowest since October 2022. Put another way, the economy kept shrinking according to this indicator, but at the slower pace. Yay!!
State Employment & Unemployment
Unemployment rates stayed the same in 38 states, fell in 5, and went up in 7 in December. Utah still has the lowest at 2.2% (that’s too low from employers’ perspectives and probably for Fed officials, too), while Nevada had the highest at 5.2%. As the map below indicates (yanked straight from the BLS report), unemployment is highest on the west coast, in the mid-west, and along the northeast corridor.
Mortgage applications increased again, up 7.0% during the week ending January 20. But don’t expect the housing market to heat up anytime soon.
Fourth Quarter GDP
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