August 27th graphics

rig count summary:

August 26 2016 rig count summary

total oil + oil products inventory:

August 24 2016 total EIA inventory for week ending August 19

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oil production up by the most since last May, total supplies of oil & oil products at another record high..

oil prices rose with little interruption this week, largely on the ongoing talk about a possible Russian – OPEC agreement to freeze their oil output, although a falling US dollar (which makes internationally traded goods more expensive here) and a large drawdown of crude oil and gasoline inventories didn’t help…the best way to see what happened price-wise is to start with a graph, because that picture of spiking prices goes a long way towards showing us all we really need to know…

August 20th 2016 oil prices

the graph above, which should be familiar to you by now, shows the daily prices per barrel over the past 3 months for the September contract of the US benchmark oil, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) as traded at the Cushing Oklahoma depot…Friday’s $48.52 a barrel closing price for that oil contract is now up 22.8% from the $39.51 a barrel interim low price seen at the close on Tuesday, August 2nd, while it’s still 2.3% below the $49.88 a barrel price seen for the August contract on July 1st…note that the light red and green bars across the bottom of the graph show the trading volume for that contract each day, wherein green bars indicate days when the price rose, and red bars indicate days when the price fell…but while we’ve seen the oil price rise 7 days in a row, a fairly impressive rally, note that the height of the bars indicate below average levels of trading for every day this week except Thursday…that’s a fair indication that it’s not big players like major refiners buying oil who are driving this price rise, but rather a collection of smaller oil traders we might think of as bored Pokemon-Go players, who are buying oil contracts in the absence of sellers because that’s what they do…also note that September trading for Brent oil, the international benchmark, has already expired, and the international contract for October delivery is now trading $50.88 a barrel, as it’s been holding a few dollars above the US price for several months now…

The Latest Oil Stats from the EIA

this week’s oil data for the week ending August 12th from the US Energy Information Administration indicated a surprising jump in our production of crude oil, a return to near recent normal levels of oil imports after 3 weeks near 4 year highs, an large increase in oil refining to seasonal levels, and thus a decrease in crude oil inventories, as well as another drop in gasoline inventories… however, the crude oil fudge factor included on the weekly U.S. Petroleum Balance Sheet (line 13) was + 394,000 barrels per day, which means that 394,000 more barrels per day showed up in our final consumption and inventory figures than were accounted for by our production or import figures, meaning one or several of this week’s metrics were incorrect by that amount, errors which are typically due to miscues in reporting or gathering that data…that’s now the 8th week in a row that we’ve seen a large positive adjustment, and as a result this year’s cumulative daily average of that weekly statistical adjustment is now up to a positive 80,000 barrels per day, which means a lot of oil or refined products have been turning up in the data, the sources for which haven’t been accounted for…of course, this indicates that this weekly crude oil data is unreliable and will need to be revised later, but it’s the weekly data that the markets react to, hence influencing the price of oil and hence ultimately decisions to drill or frack..

at any rate, according to the EIA. domestic production of crude oil from US wells rose by 152,000 barrels per day to an average of 8,597,000 barrels per day during the week ending August 12th, which was our largest one-week jump in oil output since the week ending May 22nd of 2015…moreover, only 52,000 barrels per day of that increase came from Alaska, as the lower 48 saw a 100,000 barrel per day increase to 8,120,000 per day…that increase strongly suggests that a number of those DUC oil wells (drilled but uncompleted) that we looked at 2 weeks ago were likely completed, fracking that may have been set in motion by oil prices near $50 a the end of June….hence our oil production this week was only 8.0% below the 9,348,000 barrels we produced during the week ending August 14th of 2015, and 10.5% lower than the record 9,610,000 barrel per day oil production that we saw during the week ending June 5th last year…

the EIA also reported that our imports of crude oil fell by an average of 211,000 barrels per day to an average of 8,193,000 barrels per day during the week ending August 12th, the least oil we’ve imported since the week ending July 15th….nonetheless, this week’s imports were still more than 1.9% more than the 8,138,000 barrels of oil per day we imported during the week ending August 14th a year ago, while the 4 week average of our imports reported by the EIA’s weekly Petroleum Status Report (62 pp pdf) stayed at the 8.4 million barrel per day level, 11.5% above the same four-week period last year…    

meanwhile, the amount of crude oil used by US refineries rose by 268,000 barrels per day to an average of 16,865,000 barrels of crude per day during the week ending August 12th…that was as the US refinery utilization rate rose to 93.5% during the week, up from 92.2% of capacity during the week ending August 5th but still below the refinery utilization rate of 95.1% logged during the week ending  August 14th 2015…crude oil refining on the product glut bound east coast was down by 1000 barrels per day as their utilization rate oddly rose to 84.2%, but their throughput was still 12.8% below a year ago, when east coast refineries were being operated at 93.5% of capacity…nationally, crude oil refined this week was a half percent more than the 16,775,000 barrels of oil per day US refineries processed during the week ending August 14th last year, and was 2.7% more than the equivalent week in 2014…  

with the increase in refining, our refineries’ production of gasoline rose by 182,000 barrels per day to an average of 10,280,000 barrels per day during the week ending August 12th, just 9,000 barrels per day short of the gasoline output record we set during the week ending June 17th…still, that was only 0.3% higher than our gasoline output of 10,248,000 barrels per day during the week ending August 14th last year, which was the high for 2015 gasoline production…at the same time, refinery output of distillate fuels (diesel fuel and heat oil) also jumped, rising by 200,000 barrels per day to 4,939,000 barrels per day during the week ending August 12th….that brought our distillates output to within 2.6% of the 5,072,000 barrels per day that was being produced during the same week last year…

even with the near record output of gasoline, however, our gasoline inventories fell again, dropping by 2,724,000 barrels to 232,659,000 barrels as of August 12th, which was again well above the normal summertime drawdown…contributing to this week’s gasoline shortfall was a 320,000 barrel per day drop in our gasoline imports to 610,000 barrels per day, while the amount of gasoline supplied to US markets slipped by an inconsequential 7,000 barrels per day to 9,762,000 barrels per day…nonetheless, this week’s gasoline inventories were still 9.3% higher than the 212,774,000 barrels of gasoline that we had stored on August 14th last year, and also 9.1% higher than the 213,274,000 barrels of gasoline we had stored on August 15th of 2014, so our gasoline supplies still remain categorized by the EIA as “well above the upper limit of the average range” for this time of year..         

even as our gasoline inventories dropped, our distillate fuel inventories rose by 1,939,000 barrels to 153,155,000 barrels by August 12th, as our demand for distillates fell 8.9% to 3,488,000 barrels per day during the week…that increase in supplies brought our distillate inventories to a level 3.2% above the distillate inventories of 148,400,000 barrels of the 14th of August last year, and 26.0% above the distillate inventories of 121,542,000 barrels of August 15th, 2014, which the EIA characterized as “near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year”… 

  with our crude oil imports lower and our refinery consumption of crude higher, we needed to draw oil out of storage to meet that need, and hence our stocks of crude oil in storage fell by 2,508,000 barrels to 521,093,000  barrels….nonetheless, we still ended the week with 14.2% more oil in storage than the 456,213,000 barrels we had stored as of the same weekend a year earlier, and 43.7% more oil than we had stored on August 15th of 2014….since our oil supplies first topped 500 million barrels early this year, and first topped 400 million barrels in January of 2015, it’s pretty obvious that our current crude oil supplies of 521.1 million barrels also remain “well above the upper limit of the average range” for this time of year…”     

now, as we mentioned in opening, that 2.5 million barrel drop in crude supplies and the 2.7 million barrel drop in gasoline supplies were widely seen as contributing to this week’s oil price rally…oil prices jumped about 50 cents a barrel right after the Wednesday EIA release, then spiked another $1 a barrel on Thursday morning after the inventory data was digested…oil traders apparently see those drops in supply as evidence that the oil glut which drove prices down is being alleviated…however, the day traders in oil apparently can’t see past the oil and gasoline numbers, because they ignored the 1.9 million barrel increase in distillates supply, the 1.8 million barrel increase in propane/propylene inventories, the 552,000 barrel increase in residual fuels supply, and a 2.2 million barrel increase in “other oils”, which includes unfinished oils, road oil, and natural gas plant liquids…add them all together, it meant that total commercial petroleum inventories were still up 1.3 million barrels for the week, which is a record high, as you can clearly see on the graph below… 

August 18 2016 Total Commercial Oil and Petroleum Inventories for August 12

the above graph, from the EIA, is a static version of the interactive graph that accompanies the EIA’s Weekly U.S. Ending Stocks of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products page…this graph takes crude oil, natural gas liquids, and all the products produced from them and adds them together, for a weekly total of all commercial supplies, amounts for which are all listed separately and in total on the EIA’s Total Stocks of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products page…for the week ending August 12th, this total rose to 1,393,563,000 barrels, a new record high that was 1,320,000 barrels more than the previous week…in fact, so far in just this year alone we have set and eclipsed 22 new record highs of this total supply metric, almost a continuous weekly increase except for during May, when the total dropped by less than a million barrels each week…but we’ve now set new records for total supplies 7 weeks in a row, adding a total of 21.7 million barrels of oil and oil products to what we already have stored over that 7 week stretch….

This Week’s Rig Count

drilling activity rose again during the week ending August 19th, for the 11th time in the last 12 weeks, following a prior string of 39 weeks wherein the rig count had not risen at all…Baker Hughes reported that the total count of active rotary rigs running in the US rose by 10 rigs to 491 rigs as of Friday, which was still down from the 885 rigs that were deployed as of the August 21st report last year, and down from the recent high of 1929 rigs that were in use on November 21st of 2014…the number of rigs drilling for oil this week rose by 10 rigs to 406, which was still down from the 674 oil directed rigs that were in use the same week last year, and down from the recent high of 1609 oil rigs that were drilling on October 10, 2014, while the count of drilling rigs targeting natural gas formations was unchanged at 83 rigs, which was down from the 211 natural gas rigs that were drilling on August 21st year ago, and down from the recent high of 1,606 rigs that were drilling for natural gas on August 29th, 2008…there were also two rigs drilling this week that were classified as miscellaneous, unchanged from last week but up from the same week a year ago, when there were no miscellaneous rigs drilling ….  

included in this week’s totals was the startup of new drilling from a platform offshore from Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico, which brought the Gulf of Mexico active rig count back up to 18 rigs, which was still down from 31 Gulf of Mexico rigs a year ago…since the Gulf rigs are the only offshore rigs going right now, 18 is also the count for the US total offshore, which is down from 32 offshore drillers at this time last year…

meanwhile, the number of working horizontal drilling rigs increased for the 10th time in the past dozen weeks, rising by 7 rigs to 382, which still was down from the 677 horizontal rigs that were in use on August 21st of last year, and down from the record of 1372 horizontal rigs that were deployed on November 21st of 2014…at the same time, the vertical rig count increased by 2 rigs to 64 rigs, which was still down from the 130 vertical rigs that were drilling in the US during the same week last year, while the directional rig count was up by 1 rig to 41 rigs, which was down from the 78 directional rigs that were in use during the same week last year… 

details on this week’s changes in drilling activity by state and shale basin are included in our screenshot below of that part of the rig count summary from Baker Hughes which shows those changes…the first table below shows weekly and annual rig count changes for the major producing states, and the second table shows weekly and annual rig count changes for the major geological oil and gas basins…in both tables, the first column shows the active rig count as of August 19th, the second column shows the change in the number of working rigs between August 12th and August 19th, the third column shows the August 12th rig count, the 4th column shows the change in the number of rigs running this Friday from the equivalent Friday in August a year ago, and the 5th column shows the number of rigs that were drilling at the end of that week a year ago, which in this week’s case was August 21st of 2015:   

August 19 2016 rig count summary

once again, the increase of 7 rigs in the Permian basin of west Texas underpinned this week’s rig count increase, but this week showed some other notable activity; an increase of 3 rigs in central Oklahoma’s Cana Woodford basin, and an increase of 3 rigs in the Marcellus, apparently by adding 2 rigs in Pennsylvania and 1 rig in West Virginia…since those Marcellus rigs were almost certainly natural gas directed, we have to guess that 3 conventional natural gas rigs were removed elsewhere, to account for the unchanged gas rig count…the drop of two rigs to 27 in the Williston basin, home of the Bakken shale, is also a surprise; that count from Baker Hughes has not been consistent with the daily rig count released by the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, which shows 32 rigs as of this weekend…

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July consumer prices, industrial production, and new home construction

this week’s key reports were the July Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the July report on Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization from the Fed, and the July report on New Residential Construction from the Census Bureau…other reports released this week included Regional and State Employment and Unemployment for July from the BLS, and the first two regional Fed manufacturing surveys for August: the Empire State Manufacturing Survey from the New York Fed, which covers New York and northern New Jersey, reported their headline general business conditions index fell from +0.55 in July to -4.21 in August, suggesting First District manufacturing was again contracting, while the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey for August, covering most of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware, reported its broadest diffusion index of manufacturing conditions rose from -2.9 in July to +2.0 in August, suggesting a subdued level of growth has returned to that region’s manufacturing for only the 3rd time in the past year…

July Consumer Price Index Nets Zero Change on Lower Gasoline, Groceries

the consumer price index was unchanged in July, as price increases for most core services were offset by lower prices for groceries and energy commodities…the Consumer Price Index Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that seasonally adjusted price index for July was unchanged after rising 0.2% in June, 0.2% in May, 0.4% in April and 0.1% in March….the unadjusted CPI-U, which was set with prices of the 1982 to 1984 period equal to 100, actually fell, from 241.038 in June to 240.647 in July, which left it statistically 0.835% higher than the 238.638 index reading of last July….regionally, prices for urban consumers have risen 1.4% in the West, 0.8% in the Northeast, 0.7% in the South, and 0.4% in the Midwest over the past year, with generally greater price increases within regions in cities of more than 1,500,000 people…with mostly lower commodity prices mostly offsetting higher prices for services, seasonally adjusted core prices, which exclude food and energy, rose by 0.1% for the month, with the unadjusted core index also falling from 247.821 to 247.768, which put it 2.20% ahead of its year ago reading of 242.436…

the volatile seasonally adjusted energy price index fell by 1.6% in July after rising by 1.3% in June, 1.2% in May and 3.4% in April, but after falling by more than 11.5% over this past winter, and thus the energy price index still remained 10.9% lower than it was in July a year ago….prices for energy commodities were 4.4% lower while the index for energy services rose by 1.0%, after falling by by 0.5% in June….the decrease in the energy commodity index included a 4.6% drop in the price of gasoline, the largest component, and a 1.6% decrease in the price of fuel oil, while prices for other fuels, including propane, kerosene and firewood, averaged a 1.4% increase…within energy services, the index for utility gas service rose by 3.1% after falling by 0.4% in June, but utility gas was still priced 0.4% lower than it was a year ago, while the electricity price index rose by 0.5%, after falling by 0.5% in June…energy commodities are now priced 19.4% below their year ago levels, with gasoline prices averaging 19.9% lower than they were a year ago…meanwhile, the energy services price index is still 0.9% lower than last July, as even electricity prices have fallen 1.0% over that period..

the seasonally adjusted food price index was unchanged in July, after it fell by 0.2% in June, as 0.2% lower prices for food purchased for use at home offset 0.2% higher prices for food bought to eat away from home, where average prices at both fast food outlets and at full service restaurants rose 0.2%…in the food at home categories, the price index for cereals and bakery products was 0.2% lower on 0.7% lower prices for rice and cuts in prices for cookies and pastries….the price index for the meats, poultry, fish, and eggs group fell by 0.6% as prices for beef fell 1.4% and both pork and egg prices averaged 0.6% lower….in addition, the index for dairy products was 0.4% lower on a 1.4% drop in prices for fresh whole milk… meanwhile, the fruits and vegetables index rose 0.3% after falling by 0.1% in June, 0.7% in May and 0.5% in April, as a 0.4% increase in prices for fresh fruits and a 0.9% increase for canned vegetables more than offset a 2.1% drop in lettuce prices and 1.8% lower priced potatoes…the beverages index was also 0.3% higher on a 0.6% increase in prices for noncarbonated juices and drinks and a 1.9% pop in prices for non-coffee beverage materials including tea… lastly, prices in the other foods at home category were on average 0.2% lower as 1.1% higher prices for margarine and 1.4% higher salad dressing were offset by a 2.1% drop in prices for peanut butter and 1.3% lower prices soups…..among food line items, only eggs, which are now priced 29.0% lower than a year ago, and ground beef, which has fallen by 10.2%, have seen a price change greater than 10% over the past year…the itemized list for price changes in over 100 separate food items is included at the beginning of Table 2, which gives us a line item breakdown for prices of more than 200 CPI items overall

among the seasonally adjusted core components of the CPI, which rose by 0.1% in July after rising by 0.2% in April, in May and in June, the composite of all goods less food and energy goods fell by 0.1%, while the composite for all services less energy services was 0.2% higher….among the goods components, which will be used by the Bureau of Economic Analysis to adjust July retail sales for inflation in national accounts data, the index for household furnishings and supplies was unchanged as a 1.8% decrease in prices for major appliances was offset by 1.4% higher floor and window coverings, and the apparel price index was also unchanged as 0.6% higher prices for men’s apparel was offset by a 5.5% drop in girls apparel…prices for transportation commodities other than fuel were down 0.2%, as prices for used cars and trucks were down another 1.0% after falling 1.1% in June and 1.3% in May…at the same time, prices for medical care commodities were 0.4% higher after a 1.1% increase in June on a 0.9% increase in prescription drug prices…meanwhile, the recreational commodities index fell 0.4% as TV prices fell another 2.0%, and the education and communication commodities index was 0.3% lower as a 1.7% price drop for telephone hardware more than offset a 0.4% increase in prices for educational books and supplies…lastly a separate index for alcoholic beverages fell 0.1% on a 0.3% decrease in prices for wine bought for use at home, while the index for ‘other goods’ was down 0.3% on a 1.5% drop in prices for stationery, stationery supplies and gift wrap..

within core services, the price index for shelter rose 0.2% on a 0.2% increase in rents and a 0.3% increase in owner’s equivalent rent while costs for lodging away from home at hotels and motels dropped 2.7%, and costs for water, sewers and trash collection were 0.3% lower….the index for medical care services rose 0.5% as physicians’ services rose 0.7%, while the transportation services index fell 0.2% on a 2.6% decrease in car and truck rentals…at the same time, the recreation services index rose 0.1% as video & audio rental services fell 2.9% while admissions to sporting events rose 2.4%… meanwhile, the index for education and communication services fell 0.2% as college tuition fell 0.3% as did wireless telephone service…lastly, other personal services were up 0.4% on a 1.6% increase in legal fees…among core prices, a 12.3% year over year increase in moving and storage expenses was the only line items with an annual increase greater than 10%, while only telephone hardware, which has fallen by 11.3%, and televisions, which are now 20.1% cheaper than a year ago, saw prices drop by more than 10% over the past year…

Industrial Production Up 0.7% in July, Largest Increase in 20 Months

the Fed’s G17 release on Industrial production and Capacity Utilization indicated that industrial production rose by 0.7% in July after rising by a revised 0.4% in June…however, industrial production is still down 0.5% from a year ago, as it has seen three consecutive quarterly decreases…the industrial production index, with the benchmark now set for average 2012 production to equal to 100.0, rose to 104.8 in July from 104.1 in June, which was essentially unchanged from a month ago…at the same time, the May reading for the index was revised up from 103.5 to 103.7, and April reading for the index was revised up 103.8 to 103.9…

the manufacturing index, which accounts for more than 77% of the total IP index, increased by 0.5, from 103.1 in June to 103.6 in July, after June’s manufacturing index was revised down from 103.2…. meanwhile, the mining index, which includes oil and gas well drilling, rose from 103.4 in June to 104.2 in July, after the June index was revised up from 102.7 and prior months were revised higher as well….nonetheless, the mining index still remains 10.2% lower than it was a year ago….finally, the utility index, which often fluctuates due to above or below normal temperatures, rose 2.1% in July after rising a revised 2.1% in June, as warmer weather than is typical for July over most of the country boosted use of air conditioning and pushed the utility index to 3.5% above its year earlier reading…

this report also includes capacity utilization figures, which are expressed as the percentage of our plant and equipment that was in use during the month, and which indicated that seasonally adjusted capacity utilization for total industry rose from 75.4 in June to 75.9% in July….capacity utilization by NAICS durable goods production facilities rose from 76.1 in June to 76.5 in July, while capacity utilization for non-durables producers rose from 74.6% to 74.9%….capacity utilization for the mining sector rose to 74.9% in July, up from 74.1% in June, which was originally reported as 73.6%, while utilities were operating at 81.0% of capacity during July, up from their 79.4% of capacity during June…for more details on capacity utilization by type of manufacturer, see Table 7: Capacity Utilization: Manufacturing, Mining, and Utilities, which shows the historical capacity utilization figures for a dozen types of durable goods manufacturers, 8 classifications of non-durable manufacturers, mining, utilities, and capacity utilization for a handful of other special categories….   

New Housing Construction Little Changed in July

the July report on New Residential Construction (pdf) from the Census Bureau estimated that the widely watched count of new housing units started in July was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,211,000, which was 2.1 percent (±8.8%) above the revised June estimated annual rate of 1,186,000 housing units started, and was 5.6 percent (±14.7%) above last July’s pace of 1,147,000 housing starts a year…the asterisks indicate that the Census does not have sufficient data to determine whether housing starts actually rose or fell over the past month or even over the past year, with the figure in parenthesis the most likely range of the change indicated; in other words, July’s housing starts could have been down by 6.7% or up by as much as 10.9% from those of June, with even larger revisions possible…in this report, the annual rate for June housing starts was revised from the 1,189,000 reported last month to 1,186,000, while May starts, which were first reported at a 1,164,000 annual rate, were revised down from last month’s initial revised figure of 1,136,000 annually to 1,128,000 annually with this report….those annual rates of starts reported here were extrapolated from a survey of a small percentage of US building permit offices visited by Census field agents, which estimated that 114,000 housing units were started in July, up from the 110,600 units started in June…of those housing units started in July, an estimated 72,700 were single family homes and 40,500 were units in structures with more than 5 units, down from the revised 75,400 single family starts in June, but up from the 33,500 units started in structures with more than 5 units in June…

the monthly data on new building permits, with a smaller margin of error, are probably a better monthly indicator of new housing construction trends than the volatile and often revised housing starts data…in July, Census estimated new building permits were being issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,152,000 housing units, which was just 0.1 percent (±1.2%) below the revised June rate of 1,153,000 permits, but was 0.9 percent (±1.5%) above the rate of building permit issuance in July a year earlier…the annual rate for housing permits issued in June was unrevised….again, these annual estimates for new permits reported here were extrapolated from the unadjusted estimates collected by canvassing census agents, which showed permits for 95,800 housing units were issued in July, down from the revised estimate of 114,400 new permits issued in June…the July permits included 61,100 permits for single family homes, down from 74,700 in June, and 32,200 permits for housing units in apartment buildings with 5 or more units, down from 36,900 such multifamily permits a month earlier… for graphs and commentary on this report, see the following two posts by Bill McBride at Calculated Risk: Housing Starts increased to 1.211 Million Annual Rate in July and Comments on July Housing Starts

 

(the above is the synopsis that accompanied my regular sunday morning links emailing, which in turn was mostly selected from my weekly blog post on the global glass onion…if you’d be interested in receiving my weekly emailing of selected links, most from the aforementioned GGO posts, contact me…)           

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August 20th graphics

oil prices:

August 20th 2016 oil prices

total stocks:

August 18 2016 Total Commercial Oil and Petroleum Inventories for August 12

rig count summary:

August 19 2016 rig count summary

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oil prices up on OPEC freeze rumors; rig count up most in a year, has biggest % jump in 23 years…

oil prices rose more than 6.4% this week and are now up nearly 14% from the low they hit the prior Tuesday, largely on renewed rumors that OPEC might negotiate a freeze of oil production at current levels…recall we’ve been through these rumors before, when Russia and OPEC ministers talked the same game before their April meeting in Doha, and subsequently pushed oil prices up 50% from their February lows, only to have the Saudis refuse to participate and ultimately increase their production …this time a September meeting of oil producers is planned in Algeria, and Russia will be there (although they’ve dismissed the freeze rumors so far), and the same agents responsible for the March freeze talk are spreading it again, and the market is reacting, despite record Saudi production, Iraqi contracts to increase theirs, and indications that Oman will not even attend…still, it’s obviously in the interest of OPEC’s spokesmen, the Russians, and those in the US with oil interests to push oil prices up by keeping the rumor alive, so we may be in for an extended period of volatile oil markets as they respond to the latest “news” of this freeze talk…

so, despite the ongoing glut in oil and oil products, US oil contract prices for September jumped right out of the gate on those rumors Monday, rising by $1.22, or 2.9%, to close at $43.02 a barrel…they opened higher on Tuesday, but slid in the afternoon to close at $42.77 a barrel after the American Petroleum Institute reported a 2.09 million barrel increase in crude supplies, the biggest jump in in 3 months…prices continued to fall on Wednesday despite the EIA”s report of a crude supply increase of half that much, and settled at $41.71 a barrel, as traders focused on an even larger build of inventories at Cushing, the oil depot on which US prices are based…oil prices then jumped over $2 a barrel, or 5%, on Thursday morning, after comments from the Saudi oil minister about possible action to stabilize prices, and closed at $43.49 a barrel, in their largest one-day jump since April…the upward price momentum carried into Friday as prices barely skipped a beat on news of the largest jump in American oil rigs in a year, and they thus added another $1 to close the week at $44.49 a barrel…

The Latest Oil Stats from the EIA

the oil data for the week ending August 5th from the US Energy Information Administration indicated a modest drop in our oil imports from the prior week’s near 4 year high, a corresponding drop in the amount of crude being refined by domestic refineries, a modest increase in the amount of crude we stored, and larger than normal seasonal drops in our gasoline and distillate inventories, which were offset by increases in stores of other petroleum products…however, this week’s crude oil fudge factor the EIA included to make the weekly U.S. Petroleum Balance Sheet (line 13) balance was again a large positive, at +575,000 barrels per day, which meant that 575,000 more barrels per day showed up in our final consumption and inventory figures this week than were accounted for by our production or import figures…that’s now the 7th week in a row that we’ve seen a large positive adjustment, and as a result this year’s cumulative daily average of that weekly statistical adjustment is now up to a positive 70,000 barrels per day, which means a lot of oil & products are turning up, where the sources haven’t been accounted for…i really dont have any idea why that adjustment has so dramatically reversed from earlier this year, when much of what we had appeared to have produced or imported each week did not show up in the final weekly consumption or inventory figures; one would think that aberrant data gathering would at least show a fairly consistent error in one direction or another … 

domestic production of crude oil from US wells was down by just 15,000 barrels per day to an average of 8,445,000 barrels per day during the week ending August 5th, as Alaskan production fell 2,000 barrels per day and output from the lower 48 fell by 13,000 barrels per day…that left us down by 774,000 barrels per day from what we what were producing at the beginning of this year, and our oil production this week was 10.1% below the 9,395,000 barrels we produced during the week ending August 7th of 2015, and 12.1% lower than the record 9,610,000 barrel per day oil production that we saw during the week ending June 5th last year…

at the same time, our imports of crude oil, the other major source of our domestic crude supply, fell to an average of 8,404,000 barrels per day during the week ending August 5th, dropping by 334,000 barrels per day from the 45 month high average of 8,738,000 barrels per day we imported during the week ending July 29th…. however, that was still 11.0% more than the 7,496,000 barrels per day we were importing during the same week of last year, and our 4 week moving average of imports reported by the weekly Petroleum Status Report (62 pp pdf) has now increased to the 8.4 million barrel per day level, 11.5% above the same four-week period last year…   

meanwhile, crude oil used by US refineries dropped by an average of 255,000 barrels per day to an average of 16,597,000 barrels of crude per day during the week ending August 5th, as the US refinery utilization rate fell to 92.2% for that week, down from 93.3% of capacity the prior week, and down from the refinery utilization rate of 96.1% logged during the week ending August 7th last year…although east cost crude oil refining fell by 64,000 barrels per day and their capacity utilization fell to 80.6%, the largest pullback of 171,000 barrels per day was seen by Midwest refiners, whose utilization rate fell from 97.7% to 93.4%…nationally, crude oil refined this week was 2.5% less than the 17,029,000 barrels of crude per day US refineries used during the week ending August 7th last year, but still 1.2% more than the equivalent week in 2014…

even with the drop in oil being refined, however, US refineries production of gasoline still increased by 106,000 barrels per day to 10,098,000 barrels per day during week ending August 5th, which was also up by 105,000 barrels per day, or 1.1% more than the 9,993,000 barrels of gasoline per day being produced during the week ending August 7th last year, as east coast refineries still managed to produce an average of 3,321,000 barrels of gasoline per day, 50,000 barrels per day more than the prior week and 3.4% more than a year earlier….however, refinery output of distillate fuels (diesel fuel and heat oil) fell by 201,000 barrels per day to 4,739,000 barrels per day during the week ending August 5th, which left our distillates output 7.9% below the distillates production of 5,148,000 barrels per day during the week ending August 7th of last year……      

even with the decent increase in gasoline production, our gasoline inventories fell again, dropping by 2,807,000 barrels to 235,383,000 barrels as of August 5th, which was about twice the normal weekly summertime decrease…that was despite a 293,000 barrel per day jump in our gasoline imports, from 637,000 barrels per day the prior week to 930,000 barrels per day during the week ending August 5th, as the amount of gasoline supplied to US markets barely inched up by 17,000 barrels per day to 9,769,000 barrels per day….in addition, gasoline exports look to be stable, although accurate data for that lags, so i have no idea where all that gasoline production and those gas imports went…nonetheless, this week’s gasoline inventories were still 9.2% higher than the 215,482,000 barrels of gasoline that we had stored on August 7th  last year, and also 10.7% higher than the 212,689,000 barrels of gasoline we had stored on August 8th of 2014, so our gasoline supplies still remain categorized by the EIA as “well above the upper limit of the average range” for this time of year..     

meanwhile, our distillate fuel inventories fell by 1,959,000 barrels to 151,196,000 barrels as of August 5th, which left them just 2.3% above the distillate inventories of 147,806,000 on the 7th of August last year, but still 23.4% above the distillate inventories of 122,502,000 barrels of August 8th, 2014…in this case, there was nearly a 10% increase in demand for distillates, from 3,605,000 barrels per day during the week ending July 29th, to 3,937,000 barrels per day during the reporting week, that accounted for the drawdown of supplies, and thus the EIA has changed the characterization of our distillates supply to “near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year”…

finally, with both crude oil imports and refinery consumption of that crude down by similar magnitudes, we again ended the week with a surplus of oil, and hence our stocks of crude oil in storage rose by 1,055,000 barrels to 523,601,000 barrels, the 3rd increase of more than a million barrels in a row…as a result, we ended the week with 14.8% more oil in storage than the 455,275,000 barrels we had stored as of the same weekend a year earlier, and 42.9% more oil than we had stored on August 8th of 2014….since our oil supplies first topped 500 million barrels early this year, and first topped 400 million barrels in January of 2015, it goes without saying that our current crude oil supplies of 523.6 million barrels also remain “well above the upper limit of the average range” for this time of year…”     

This Week’s Rig Count

the Friday US rig count was up by the most in one week since July 24th 2015 as US drilling activity increased for the 10th time out of the last 11 weeks….Baker Hughes reported that the total count of active rotary rigs running in the US rose by 17 rigs to 481 rigs as of August 12th, which was still down from the 884 rigs that were deployed as of the August 14th report last year, and down from the recent high of 1929 rigs that were in use on November 21st of 2014…the number of rigs drilling for oil this week rose by 15 rigs to 396, which was still down from the 672 oil directed rigs that were in use a year ago, and down from the recent high of 1609 oil rigs that were deployed on October 10, 2014, while the count of drilling rigs targeting natural gas formations rose by 2 rigs to 83 rigs this week, which was down from the 211 natural gas rigs that were drilling a year ago, and down from the recent high of 1,606 rigs that were drilling for natural gas on August 29th, 2008…there were also two rigs working this week that were classified as miscellaneous, unchanged from last week but up by 1 miscellaneous rig from the same week a year ago….this week’s 3.66% increase in rigs was the largest percentage increase in drilling since 30 drilling rigs were added to the prior week’s 641 rigs on May 28th, 1993..

the number of working horizontal drilling rigs increased for the 9th time in the past 11 weeks, rising by 13 rigs to 375, which still was down from the 676 horizontal rigs that were in use on August 14th of last year, and down from the record of 1372 horizontal rigs that were deployed on November 21st of 2014…at the same time, the vertical rig count increased by 4 rigs to 62 rigs, which was still down from the 127 vertical rigs that were drilling in the US during the same week last year, while the directional rig count was unchanged at 44 rigs, which was down from the 81 directional rigs that were deployed during the same week last year…

details on this week’s changes in drilling activity by state and shale basin are included in our screenshot of that part of the rig count summary from Baker Hughes which shows those changes below…the first table below shows weekly and annual rig count changes for the major producing states, and the second table shows weekly and annual rig count changes for the major geological oil and gas basins…in both tables, the first column shows the active rig count as of August 12th, the second column shows the change in the number of working rigs between August 5th and August 12th, the third column shows the August 5th rig count, the 4th column shows the change in the number of rigs running this Friday from the equivalent Friday in August a year ago, and the 5th column shows the number of rigs that were drilling at the end of that week a year ago, which in this case was August 14th of 2015:   

August 12 2016 rig count summary

once again, we see that the lions share of this week’s increased activity occurred in the Permian basin of western Texas, where 12 rigs were added, which contributed to the 13 rig increase in Texas….and again, outside of that area, the changes were pretty subdued, with no state or shale basin seeing a change in activity greater than 1 rig…we should note that the Utica shale had a rig added, and hence the count for both the Utica and for Ohio increased to 14 rigs…in other states not listed above, Alabama again saw another rig added, and now they have 3 active, which is an increase of 2 rigs from the 1 rig they had active a year ago, while Illinois saw one of the 3 rigs they had running shut down this week, leaving them two, also up from just 1 rig a year ago…

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July retail sales and producer prices; June wholesale sales, business inventories, and JOLTS

the three key reports of this past week, Retail Sales for July and Business Sales and Inventories for June from the Census bureau, and the July Producer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, were all released on Friday…earlier in the week, the BLS also released the July Import-Export Price Index and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for June, while the Census Bureau released the June report on Wholesale Trade, Sales and Inventories in advance of the composite business inventories report of Friday…quarterly reports released this week included the 2nd Quarter Household Debt and Credit Report, which reported that household debt increased by $35 billion or 0.3% to $12.29 trillion, the MBA’s 2nd Quarter National Delinquency Survey, which indicated that mortgage delinquencies were at a 10 year low, and the 2nd Quarter Labor Productivity and Costs report from the BLS, which reported labor productivity decreased at a 0.5% annual rate, as output increased 1.2 percent while hours worked increased 1.8 percent, and that unit labor costs increased 2.0% over the quarter, as hourly compensation rose 1.5% and labor productivity decreased 0.5%….

July Retail Sales Unchanged After June Sales Revised 0.2% Higher

seasonally adjusted retail sales were little changed in July after retail sales for June were revised higher, while May sales were revised a bit lower….the Advance Retail Sales Report for July (pdf) from the Census Bureau estimated that our seasonally adjusted retail and food services sales totaled $457.7 billion during  the month, which was statistically unchanged (±0.5%)* from June’s revised sales of $457.9 billion but 2.3 percent (±0.7%) above the adjusted sales in July of last year…June’s seasonally adjusted sales were revised from the $457.0 billion originally reported to $457.9 billion, while May sales were revised lower, from $454.4 billion to $454.1 billion, with this release….estimated unadjusted sales, extrapolated from surveys of a small sampling of retailers, indicated sales actually fell 0.6%, from $463,844 million in June to $469,523 million in July, while they were up just 0.7% from the $457,710 million of sales in July a year ago…revisions to May and June indicate that 2nd quarter sales were roughly $0.6 billion higher than previously reported, or that they increased at a $2.4 billion annual rate, which should be enough to lift 2nd quarter GDP by 0.5 percentage points when the 2nd estimate is published at the end of the month…

included below is the table of the monthly and yearly percentage changes in retail sales by business type taken from the July Census pdf….the first double column below gives us the seasonally adjusted percentage change in sales for each type of retail business from June to July in the first sub-column, and then the year over year percentage change for those businesses since last July in the 2nd column; the second pair of columns gives us the revision of last month’s June advance monthly estimates (now called “preliminary”) as revised in this report, likewise for each business type, with the May to June change under “May 2016 (r)evised” and the revised June 2015 to June 2016 percentage change in the last column shown…for your reference, our copy of the table of last month’s advance June sale estimates, before this month’s revision, is here….

July 2016 retail sales table

from the above table, we can see that without the 1.1% increase to $93,210 million in seasonally adjusted sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales would have shown a 0.3% decrease for the month, but that decrease was conversely mostly caused by the 2.7% decrease to $33,329 million in sales at gas stations, which we figure to be mostly due to lower prices…if we take out gas station sales in addition to motor vehicles and parts, we find July retail sales are still statistically unchanged from the previous month…also notice the other larger month over month changes: non-store retailers, including catalog and online, saw sales rise by 1.3% to $47,705 million, which puts their sales 14.1% ahead of last July, while sales at specialty stores, such as sporting goods, book & music stores fell 2.2% to $7,835 million…the 0.9% drop to $53,116 million in sales at normally stable groceries stores is also suspect, but we’ll have to wait till the release of the July consumer price index next week to judge that and determine the real economic impact of July sales…

Producer Prices Drop 0.4% in July on Lower Food Prices and Retail Margins

the seasonally adjusted Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand decreased by 0.4% in July as prices for finished wholesale goods fell by 0.4%, while margins of final services providers fell by 0.3%…this followed a June report that showed the overall PPI had increased 0.5%, with prices for finished goods up 0.8% while final demand for services rose 0.4%….producer prices are now down 0.2% from a year ago, the largest year over year decrease since December 2015, as most of the price decreases relating to lower oil and commodity prices were seen in early 2015…

as we noted, the index for final demand for goods, aka ‘finished goods’, fell by 0.4% in July, after rising by 0.8% in June, 0.7% in May and 0.2% in April, as the index for wholesale energy prices fell1.0% from June to July and the price index for wholesale foods was 1.1% lower, while the index for final demand for core wholesale goods (ex food and energy) was unchanged…major wholesale price changes included a 6.6% drop in prices for gasoline, an 18.7% drop in grain prices, and an 11.5% drop in prices for oilseeds…despite the drop in wholesale foods overall, wholesale eggs were priced 43.3% higher, for the largest increase in this final demand for goods category…

meanwhile, the index for final demand for services fell by 0.3% in July after rising  0.4% in June, 0.2% in May, and 0.1% in April, as the index for final demand for trade services fell 1.3%, while the index for final demand for transportation and warehousing services rose 0.1%, and the core services index for final demand for services less trade, transportation, and warehousing services was 0.2% higher….noteworthy among trade services was a 6.0% drop in seasonally adjusted margins for apparel, jewelry, footwear, and accessories retailers, which accounted for 60% of the drop in the index…margins for machinery and equipment wholesaling (-2.2%); health, beauty, and optical goods retailing (-2.3%); food retailing (-1.2%) and automotive fuels and lubricants retailing (-2.0%) were also lower…among transportation and warehousing services, margins for courier, messenger, and postal services were 0.6% higher…in the core final demand services index, margins for computer training school services rose 5.4%, margins for traveler accommodation services rose 3.9% and margins for securities brokerage, dealing, investment advice, and related services were 1.9% higher, while margins for passenger car rental services fell 13.9%…..

this report also showed the price index for processed goods for intermediate demand increased by 0.2%, after rising 0.9% in June, 0.8% in May and 0.3% in April but falling in each of the prior nine months, as prices for intermediate processed goods still remain 3.7% lower than in July a year ago…. the price index for intermediate energy goods rose by 0.8%, prices for processed foods and feeds were unchanged, and the price index for processed goods for intermediate demand less food and energy was 0.1% higher…meanwhile, the price index for intermediate unprocessed goods was down by 0.4%, after rising by  2.8% in June, 1.3% in May, 3.0% in April and 1.6% in March, in the only increases in that index since June of last year…driving the July decrease was a 3.6% drop in the index for unprocessed foodstuffs and feedstuffs, which fell on a 22.2% drop in the price of unprocessed corn; at the same time, the index for for crude energy goods rose 5.0%, while the index for core raw materials other than food and energy materials was 0.8% lower…. this raw materials index is now 8.7% lower than it was a year ago, but almost two thirds of the year over year decrease of 26.4% seen in November 2015 has since been retraced…

lastly, the price index for services for intermediate demand was 0.3% higher in July, after rising 0.8% in June and falling 0.2 in May, as the index for trade services for intermediate demand rose 0.4%, the index for transportation and warehousing services for intermediate demand was 0.3% higher, and the core price index for services less trade, transportation, and warehousing for intermediate demand was up 0.2%…driving the increase in prices for services for intermediate demand was a 1.9% increase in the index for intermediate services related to securities brokerage and dealing; in addition, the indexes for chemicals and allied products wholesaling, television advertising time sales; metals, minerals, and ores wholesaling, deposit services (partial), and courier, messenger, and postal services also rose…over the 12 months ended in July, the year over year price index for services for intermediate demand, which has never turned negative, is still 1.6% higher than it was a year ago…    

June Wholesale Sales Up 1.9%, Inventories Up 0.3%

the June report on Wholesale Trade, Sales and Inventories (pdf) from the Census Bureau estimated that the seasonally adjusted value of wholesale sales was at $444.6 billion, up 1.9 percent (+/-0.5%) from the revised May level, but still down 0.4% percent (+/-1.1%) from wholesale sales of June 2015… the May preliminary estimate was revised up $0.9 billion or 0.2% to $436.4 billion from the $435.5 billion sales reported last month … May wholesale sales of durable goods were up 1.2 percent (+/-0.9%) from last month and were up 1.8 percent (+/-1.8%) from a year earlier, with a 7.7% increase in wholesale sales of hardware, and plumbing and heating equipment leading the increase for the month, while the value of wholesale sales of electrical and electronic goods also rose 2.5%….wholesale sales of nondurable goods were up 2.5 percent (+/-0.7%) from May, but were down 2.5 percent (+/-1.6%) from last June, with wholesale sales of both petroleum and petroleum products and farm product raw materials up 5.1%, mostly on higher prices…as an intermediate activity, wholesale sales are not included in GDP except insofar as they are a trade service, since the traded goods themselves do not represent an increase in the output of the goods produced or finally sold….

on the other hand, the monthly change in private inventories is a major factor in GDP, as additional goods on the shelf represent goods that were produced but not sold, and this June report estimated that wholesale inventories were valued at a seasonally adjusted $590.9 billion at month end, an increase of 0.3 percent (+/-0.2%) from the revised May level but just 0.2 percent (+/-1.6%) higher than in June a year ago, with the May preliminary estimate revised upward from $589.2 billion to $589.3 billion at the same time….inventories of durable goods were down 0.3 percent (+/-0.4%)* from May and down 2.4 percent (+/-1.4%) from a year earlier, with inventories of lumber and other construction materials up 1.8%, while inventories of electrical and electronic goods were down 0.9%…at the same time, the value of wholesale inventories of nondurable goods were up 1.1 percent (+/-0.5%) from May and were up 4.5 percent (+/-2.5%) from last June, as the value of inventories of raw farm products rose 4.0% and wholesale inventories of drugs and drug store supplies rose 4.5%…

the BEA’s technical note for 2nd quarter GDP indicates that they had estimated that the value of wholesale inventories in June to be virtually unchanged from May, based on the new Advance Economic Indicators Report from the Census Bureau, which had been released before the advance GDP report…this report thus revises that and reports that June wholesale inventories were actually $1.55 billion more than had been indicated in the GDP report, or a revision to annualized nominal growth in inventories at $6.2 billion rate, thus implying an upward revision of 0.13 percentage points to 2nd quarter GDP…note that i am not adjusting these GDP revision estimates for inflation because i am assuming the same deflators as were used in the advance report on 2nd quarter GDP will be used in the revisions…

June Business Inventories Up 0.2%, Less than Estimated by the BEA

on Friday, following the release of the July retail sales report, the Census Bureau released the composite Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales report for June (pdf), which incorporates the revised May retail data from that June report and the earlier published wholesale and factory data to give us a complete picture of the business contribution to the economy for that month….according to the Census Bureau, total manufacturer’s and trade sales were estimated to be valued at a seasonally adjusted $1,307.8 billion in June, up 1.2 percent (±0.2%) from May revised sales, but still down 0.6 percent (±0.4%) from June sales of a year earlier…note that total May sales were revised from the originally reported $1,291.8 billion to $1,292.9 million….manufacturer’s sales were up 0.7% to $460,027 million in June, while retail trade sales, which exclude restaurant & bar sales from the revised June retail sales reported earlier, rose 0.9% to $403,186 million, and as we noted earlier, wholesale sales rose 1.9% to $444,596 million…

meanwhile, total manufacturer’s and trade inventories, a major component of GDP, were estimated to be valued at a seasonally adjusted $1,813.7 billion at the end of June, up 0.2 percent (±0.1%) from May, and 0.5 percent (±0.6%)* higher than in June a year earlier…the value of end of May inventories was revised down slightly from the $1,810.0 billion reported last month to $1,809.9 billion…seasonally adjusted inventories of manufacturers were estimated to be valued at $619,119 million, 0.1% lower than in May, inventories of retailers were valued at $603,694 million, 0.5% more than in May, while inventories of wholesalers were estimated to be valued at $590,864 million at the end of May, up 0.3% from May…

last week we looked at June factory inventories and judged that the BEA’s 2nd quarter GDP factory inventory component was roughly $18.8 billion higher than what was eventually reported, implying a 0.57 percentage point hit to GDP…conversely, earlier today we judged that June wholesale inventories were under-reported at a $6.2 billion rate, implying an upward revision of 0.13 percentage points to 2nd quarter GDP…for retail inventories, the BEA’s technical note for 2nd quarter GDP indicates that they had estimated that the value of June retail inventories in June to be $604.2 billion, up from $601.2 billion in May…this report thus revises that and reports that June wholesale inventories were actually $0.5 billion less than had been indicated in the GDP report, which would be a revision to annualized nominal growth in inventories at $2.0 billion annual rate, thus suggesting a downward revision of 0.04 percentage points to 2nd quarter GDP, based on those overestimated retail inventories…together, the BEA’s overestimation of 2nd quarter business inventories would thus imply a 0.48 percentage point reduction to 2nd quarter GDP when the 2nd estimate is released at the end of August…

Job Openings and Hiring Up in June, Job Quitting and Firings Down

the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report for June from the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that seasonally adjusted job openings rose by 110,000, from 5,514,000 in May to 5,624,000 in June, after May job openings were revised higher, from 5,500,000 to 5,514,000…June jobs openings were also 8.8% higher than the 5,168,000 job openings reported in June a year ago, as the job opening ratio expressed as a percentage of the employed rose from 3.7% in May to 3.8% in June, which was also up from 3.5% a year ago…job openings increased in several sectors, with the 37,000 job opening increase to 1,021,000 openings in health care and social assistance the largest increase for the month (see table 1 for more details)…like most BLS releases, the press release for report is easy to understand and also refers us to the associated table for the data cited, which are linked at the end of the release…

the JOLTS release also reports on labor turnover, which consists of hires and job separations, which in turn is further divided into layoffs and discharges, those who quit, and ‘other separations’, which includes retirements and deaths….in June, seasonally adjusted new hires totaled 5,131,000, up by 84,000 from the revised 5,047,000 who were hired or rehired in May, as the hiring rate as a percentage of all employed rose from 3.5% to 3.6%, the same as in June a year earlier (details of hiring by industry since January are in table 2)….meanwhile, total separations fell by 69,000, from 4,978,000 in May to 4,909,000 in June, while the separations rate as a percentage of the employed slipped from 3.5% to 3.4%, which was also down from the 3.5% separations rate of June a year ago (see table 3)…subtracting the 4,909,000 total separations from the total hires of 5,131,000 would imply an increase of 222,000 jobs in June, somewhat less than the revised payroll job increase of 292,000 for June reported by the July establishment survey last week, but still not an unusual difference and within the expected +/-115,000 margin of error in these incomplete samplings

breaking down the seasonally adjusted job separations, the BLS finds that 2,909,000 of us voluntarily quit our jobs in June, down by 33,000 from the revised 2,942,000 who quit their jobs in May, while the quits rate, widely watched as an indicator of worker confidence, was unchanged at 2.0% of total employment, which was still up from 1.9% a year earlier (see details in table 4)….in addition to those who quit, another 1,643,000 were either laid off, fired or otherwise discharged in June, down by 58,000 from the revised 1,701,000 who were discharged in May, as the discharges rate fell from 1.2% to 1.1% of all those who were employed during the month, which was also down from a discharges rate of 1.3% a year earlier….meanwhile, other separations, which includes retirements and deaths, were at 357,000 in June, up from 334,000 in May, for an ‘other separations rate’ of 0.2%, which was unchanged from May but down from 0.3% in June last year….both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted details by industry and by region on hires and job separations, and on job quits and discharges can be accessed using the links to tables at the bottom of the press release

(the above is the synopsis that accompanied my regular sunday morning links emailing, which in turn was mostly selected from my weekly blog post on the global glass onion…if you’d be interested in receiving my weekly emailing of selected links, most from the aforementioned GGO posts, contact me…)           

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August 13th graphics

July retail sales:

July 2016 retail sales table

rig count summary:

August 12 2016 rig count summary

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