Consumer credit increased 0.5% to $2.778 trillion in December 2012. The ISM services index slowed 0.5 point to 55.2 in January. Factory orders rose 1.8% in December. Productivity fell 2.0% in the 4th quarter of 2012. The U.S. trade deficit shrank 20.8% to $38.5 billion. Initial jobless claims fell 5,000 to 366,000 for the week ended 2/2.
• Consumer credit increased $14.6 billion (0.5%) to $2.778 trillion in December. Revolving credit (i.e., credit cards) was down 0.4% while non-revolving credit (i.e., auto loans) increased 1.0%.
• The ISM services index slowed 0.5 point to 55.2 in January.
• Factory orders rose 1.8% in December.
• Productivity fell an annualized 2.0% in the 4th quarter of 2012. Growth in nonfarm business output slowed significantly to an annualized 0.1% after a 4.7% boost in the prior quarter. Year-on-year, productivity was up 0.6%.Unit labor costs increased 4.5%.
• The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed $10.1 billion (20.8%) to $38.5 billion in December. A 2.1% jump in exports (led by demand for industrial supplies and civilian aircraft) and a 2.7% decline in imports (led by crude and automotive) contributed to the improvement in the trade gap.
• Initial jobless claims fell 5,000 to a level of 366,000 for the week ended February 2nd.