Home Logon FTA Investment Managers Blog Subscribe About Us Contact Us

Search by Ticker, Keyword or CUSIP       

Blog Home
   Brian Wesbury
Chief Economist
X •  LinkedIn
   Bob Stein
Deputy Chief Economist
X •  LinkedIn
  High Frequency Indicators Still Holding Up
Posted Under: Data Watch • Double Dip • Employment • Retail Sales
Supporting Image for Blog Post

Over the past few weeks, we've been closely monitoring high frequency data, which provides the most up to date information about the economy.  Most of this data come out weekly, instead of the less frequent, and lagging, monthly indicators.  With large swings in the equity and bond markets, many people have been fearful of another financial panic like we experienced in 2008.

The table above shows the high frequency indicators we've been following, and none of them show the downturn that so many are fearful of.  Initial claims have risen slightly over the past couple of weeks,
but at least 8,500 of last week's claims were related to the recent Verizon strike, which is now over.  Both chain store sales and weekly retail sales show that retail activity is still growing within normal bounds for a recovery.  And while box office receipt data from BoxOfficeMojo.com show that sales have dropped from the same weekend last year, this seems related to specific movie release dates, not a slowdown in consumer spending.  The Help, released this past week, wasn't as popular as The Expendables, which did much better overall in theaters a year ago.  Even without blockbuster movie releases over the past couple of weeks, box office receipts are still over $100 million per weekend.  Finally, rail traffic is 2.7% higher when compared to a year ago and steel production has accelerated sharply.

These data reflect activity through August 23rd, well past the major market volatility that many feared could cause a panic.  These high frequency indicators are the closest thing to real-time readings of economic activity available.  None of them show a sharp downturn or a panicking consumer, and we don't expect they will in the coming weeks.
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2011 @ 4:36 PM • Post Link Print this post Printer Friendly

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial professionals are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
Follow First Trust:  
First Trust Portfolios L.P.  Member SIPC and FINRA. (Form CRS)   •  First Trust Advisors L.P. (Form CRS)
Home |  Important Legal Information |  Privacy Policy |  California Privacy Policy |  Business Continuity Plan |  FINRA BrokerCheck
Copyright © 2024 All rights reserved.