US Monthly Economic Indicators (Through December 2023) US core consumer price inflation rate (excluding food and energy) is trending at moderate 3.5% annualized, while overall consumer price inflation is trending a bit lower at 2.6%. Producer price inflation is trending negative at -18.9%. Average hourly earnings change is trending at 4.4% annualized. Overall, the inflation picture is much improved with hourly wage earners seeing benefit. Unemployment rate trend remains very low at 3.8%. Industrial Production is trending down at -2.3% (real) while Retail Sales are trending up at 4.5% (nominal). Housing Starts are trending up at 1,460 units. The Fed remains tight although they intend to loosen somewhat throughout the year. Money supply M2 trend is up a tad. Two-year and ten-year Treasury yields are still slightly inverted. Conference Board's Leading Economic Index decreased again in December, but only slightly. Have we skirted a real downturn? A Simple Macro Model suggests that we have, although this quarter may be soft before resuming trend growth.
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