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You're Invited: This Friday - Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Conference Call Featuring Under Secretary Mark Doms

Business Forward is committed to keeping you informed about important economic data and what it means for you and your business. That’s why we’re revamping our series on economic indicators to include a key figure – Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Each month, the U.S. Department of Commerce releases an estimate of GDP, the measure of all economic output produced in the United States. Many business leaders and economists use GDP to assess the current state of the economy and forecast future consumer demand, revenue, earnings, and a range of other market metrics.

New Residential Construction

Building permits in December 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 1,032,000, down 1.9 percent from the revised November rate and up 1.0 percent from December 2013.

Housing starts in December 2014 were at a SAAR of 1,089,000, up 4.4 percent from November and up 5.3 percent from December 2013.

Manufacturing and Trade: Inventories and Sales

November 2014 business inventories were $1,763.6 billion, up 0.2 percent from October and up 4.4 percent from November 2013.  Sales were $1,345.8 billion, down 0.2 percent from the previous month but up 2.2 percent from one year earlier.

Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services

December 2014 retail and food services sales were $442.9 billion, a decrease of 0.9 percent from November 2014 but up 3.2 percent from December 2013. Excluding automobiles, retail and food services sales in December 2014 were $351.9 billion, down 1.0 percent from the prior month but up 1.9 percent from one year earlier.

 Total sales for 2014 were up 4.0 percent from 2013.

Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on December Jobs Numbers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today released the following statement on the December jobs report which showed that U.S. employment rose by 252,000 last month.

Monthly Wholesale Trade: Sales and Inventories November 2014

November 2014 sales of merchant wholesalers were $452.2 billion, down 0.3 percent (+/- 0.5%)* from last month. End-of-month inventories were $547.2 billion, up 0.8 percent (+/- 0.4%) from last month.

Made In America: Chemicals

U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services

The November 2014 international trade deficit decreased 7.7 percent from September, to $39.0 billion. Exports decreased 1.0 percent to $196.4 billion, and imports decreased 2.2 percent to $235.4 billion. 

Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders

November 2014 new orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.7 percent, to $492.7 billion. Excluding transportation, new orders fell 0.6 percent. Shipments fell 0.6 percent, to $495.7 billion. Unfilled orders increased 0.4 percent to $1,179.1 billion. And inventories rose 0.1 percent, to $656.3 billion.

Construction Put in Place

Construction spending in November 2014 was $975 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, down 0.3 percent from the revised October 2014 estimate but up 2.4 percent from November 2013.

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