- Global Business Confidence
- Businesses remain darkly pessimistic across the
globe. If there is a distinction it is that Asian
businesses are a bit less negative than businesses
everywhere else. Sentiment is weakest among those
who work in government, but it is poor across all
industries. Businesses remain very negative on
everything from sales to hiring and investment. Pricing
power has evaporated with about one-third of
respondents saying they are cutting prices for their
goods and services.
- The Conference Board Leading Indicators
- The Conference Board index of leading indicators
surprised on the upside in January, jumping 0.4%.
However, for the second straight month, the increase
was too narrowly based to suggest that a bottom is
coming into view. Even so, only five of the other nine
components contributed negatively, reinforcing our
belief that the downturn is no longer intensifying.
- Import and Export Prices -1.1%
- Import prices declined a smaller than expected
1.1% in January, following December's downwardly
revised -5% (previously -4.2%). Import prices have
declined for six consecutive months, bringing year-
over-year growth to -12.5%, the greatest contraction on
record. The persistent decline in import prices will
heighten concerns that the economy is headed toward
a deflationary trap. The Federal Reserve will respond
by pumping more liquidity into the banking system
and increasing rhetoric on the importance of price
- PPI +0.8%
- Producer prices for finished goods rose for the
first time in six months during January (0.8%). The
increase in top-line producer prices was led by rising
prices for energy products, which bounced back a bit
after falling rapidly at the end of 2008. When food and
energy prices are excluded, core inflation remained
positive at 0.4%. Although core prices for finished
goods have not begun to fall, core prices among
intermediate products fell sharply for the fourth month
in a row.
- Industrial Production-1.8%
- Total industrial production fell 1.8% in January,
and manufacturing output fell 2.5%, with significant
downward revisions to prior months. Although recent
reports show somewhat less of an inventory
overhang, the amount of destocking needed is still
substantial. An inventory correction looks set to
reinforce weakness in demand to keep manufacturing
output declining for at least the next few months.
- Jobless Claims 627K
- Initial claims for jobless benefits remained at
627,000 for the week ending February 14, exceeding
expectations for a small decline. Continuing claims
rose by 170,000 to 4.987 million for the week ending
February 7, setting another new high. The labor
market is clearly weakening rapidly.
- New Residential Construction (C20) -17%
- January was another bad month for homebuilders,
with housing starts dropping to a new postwar low.
Housing starts declined to 466,000 annualized units,
a 17% decline from December and worse than
expected. The Census Bureau revised December
starts slightly upward. Permit issuance was down as
well in January compared with December.
Exceptionally weak demand is constraining
homebuilding. Slower construction will help clear the
housing market of excess inventories and set the
stage for stronger activity down the line, but in the
meantime, the economy is suffering from dismally
weak residential construction.
- MBA Mortgage Applications Survey +45.7%
- In the week ending February 13, the MBA market
index rose 45.7% to 875.3. Driven by declines in
contract rates, both parts of the composite index also
increased this week. The purchase index rose 9.1%
this week to close at 257.3. Meanwhile, the refinance
index finished at 4,472.9, a 64.3% increase over the
previous week. Once again, 30-year fixed rates are
- Chain Store Sales +0.9%
- Chain store sales rose 0.9% in the week ending
February 14, lifted by favorable weather, discounting
and Valentine's Day. The year-ago decline shrank to
0.9%, the smallest decline in six weeks, as a result of
the gain. Despite the improvement, sales are still
falling, a sign of very restrained spending.
- Oil and Gas Inventories -200kb
- Crude oil inventories fell by 200,000 barrels during
the week ending February 13, according to the Energy
Information Administration, falling well below
expectations of a 3 million barrel build. Gasoline
inventories unexpectedly rose by 1.1 million barrels.
Distillate inventories fell by 800,000 barrels, in line
with expectations. Refinery operating capacity rose to
82.3% after falling sharply to 81.6% last week. Total
domestic petroleum demand rose. This is the first
bullish report in months.
- Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report -
- Working gas in underground storage decreased
by 24 billion cubic feet during the week ending
February 13. The consensus estimate was for a
decline of 57 billion cubic feet.
THIS WEEKS LEADS:
- Trader Joe's
- Trader Joe's operates 300 locations
- The specialty supermarkets, offering
organic produce, pizza, imported cheeses, as well as
general grocery items, occupy spaces of 10,000 sq.ft.
to 14,000 sq.ft. in inline spaces of mixed-use,
specialty and strip centers in addition to freestanding
- Growth opportunities are sought
throughout the existing market during the coming 18
months, with representation by IDS Real Estate
- A land area of 1.75 acres is required for
- Preferred demographics
include a population of 100,000 within a four-mile
- For more information, contact
- IDS Real Estate Group,
- 515 South
Figueroa Street, 16th Floor,
- Los Angeles, CA
- Web site:
Improve Wind Energy!
20% Wind by 2030: Overcoming the
- POSTED: 12/30/2008
- FUNDING SOURCE: Golden Field Office
- ELIGIBILITY: Nonprofits, for-profits, and public
- $ AVAILABLE: N.A.
- GRANTS AVAILABLE: N.A.
- MAX GRANT SIZE: $500,000
- DEADLINE: 3/3/09
- DESCRIPTION: Grants for a wide array of near- to
medium-term actions to significantly accelerate use of
wind energy technologies.
Improve Student Preparation for Math and
Garrett A. Morgan Technology and
Transportation Education Program
- POSTED: 2/11/2009
- FUNDING SOURCE: U.S. Department of
- ELIGIBILITY: LEAs and SEAs
- $ AVAILABLE: $1,000,000
- GRANTS AVAILABLE: 10
- MAX GRANT SIZE: N.A.
- DEADLINE: 3/11/09
- CONTACT INFORMATION:
- DESCRIPTION: Grants to improve the preparation
of students, particularly women and minorities, in
science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
(STEM) through curriculum development and other
activities related to transportation.
Encourage Foreign Visitors!
Sports, Cultural and Youth Visitor
- POSTED: 2/12/2009
- FUNDING SOURCE: Bureau of Education and
Cultural Affairs (BECA)
- ELIGIBILITY: Nonprofit and public agencies
- $ AVAILABLE: $1,130,000
- GRANTS AVAILABLE: 1
- MAX GRANT SIZE: $1,130,000
- DEADLINE: 4/2/09
- CONTACT INFORMATION:
- DESCRIPTION: One grant to assist the Office of
Citizen Exchanges in the implementation of several
short- term, high-visibility cultural, sports, and youth
exchanges taking place during calendar year 2009
Homebuilder confidence inches up
US homebuilder confidence ticked up slightly from
last month's record low in February but sentiment
remains near its historical nadir.
The National Association of Homebuilders' index
of homebuilder sentiment rose from 8 to 9 in
February, confounding expectations that it would
remain unchanged. That number is 87 per cent below
the peak of hopefulness reached in June 2005, when
the index rose to 72. A reading of more than 50
indicates "good" conditions.
"Clearly, the market for new single-family homes
remains very weak," Joe Robson, NAHB chairman,
said. But "we are certainly hopeful that the newly
passed economic stimulus bill, which includes some
favourable elements for first-time home buyers and
small businesses, will have a positive impact".
Sentiment inched up every-where in the US except the
north-east, where it slipped by a point.
Sales expectations for the next six months fell to a
new record low this month as rising foreclosures and
distressed sales are undermining home values, said
David Crowe, NAHB chief economist.
According to the National Association of Realtors,
45 per cent of resale transactions in December were
distress sales at discounted prices.
Falling home prices have succeeded in luring
The NAR said this month its closely watched index
of pending home sales - deals that have been signed
but not completed - rose by 6.3 per cent in December
from the previous month, rebounding from a record
"The magnitude of the housing bubble was
unprecedented, and the corrective process promises
to be a long and painful one," said Joshua Shapiro,
chief US economist at MFR. "It is hardly surprising that
builder sentiment is absolutely abysmal."
A lack of homebuilder confidence signals that
housing starts will continue to de-cline, he said.
January government data showed new residential
building in the US hit a record low in 2008.
Housing starts for the year fell 33 per cent to
904,300 homes, after tumbling 25 per cent the
previous year as the US entered a deep recession.
Builders broke ground on fewer new homes in
December, leaving the month's seasonally adjusted
annual rate of construction at 550,000.
Source: The Financial Times Limited 2009
- Global Unemployment and Productivity
- Public Policy Initiatives
- Economic Notes
- This Weeks Leads
Global Unemployment Rates - 2008 and
Projections for 2009 & 2010
Percent of Labor
- Source: OECD Economic Outlook 84
Labor Productivity - 2008 and Projections for
2009 & 2010
Percentage from pervious
- Source: OECD Economic Outlook 84
|Public Policy Initiatives
CO - Ritter Creates Board to Oversee Stimulus
Spending.Gov. Bill Ritter has created a new board
to oversee how Colorado spends its federal stimulus
money. Ritter said he has appointed his economic
development director, Don Elliman, to lead the group.
The board will be composed of another dozen people
from state government and Colorado's business
community. Ritter said the group will answer
questions about how the money will be spent but said
that information probably won't be known until federal
agencies establish their rules.
DE - Markell Announces Boost for Electric Car
Company.Gov. Jack Markell announced that the
Delaware Economic Development Office will give a
$94,140 grant to AutoPort, Inc., for a project designed
to retrofit existing gasoline-powered Toyota Scions so
they can run on electric battery power. Markell's office
described it as one step in his "economic prosperity"
plan that puts a clean environment at the heart of
economic development efforts.
WV - Manchin Positioning State as Leader in
Energy.West Virginia is well positioned as the
nation moves toward alternative energy, clean-coal
technology and a lesser dependence on foreign oil,
national energy and mining officials say. West Virginia
moved forward with its own energy plan Thursday as
state lawmakers introduced Gov. Joe Manchin's
Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act. It calls
for 10 percent of the state's energy to come from
alternative or renewable sources by 2015 and 25
percent by 2025. "Right now we're 99 percent
dependent on coal in the form that we burn it in right
now," Manchin said. "We know that we have to
change, and we can make it much better."
WY - Freudenthal Works to Increase Power
Lines.Gov. Dave Freudenthal plans to meet with
federal officials in Washington to urge the construction
of more power lines and to push for the state's
involvement in any federal coal research projects.
Freudenthal said he wants to learn about the Obama
administration's support for developing clean coal
technology. Wyoming is the nation's largest coal-
producing state. "If they're going to open that up, we
want to be part of that discussion through the School
of Energy Resources and our partnership with
General Electric," Freudenthal said.
NJ - Corzine Participates in Health Care
Discussion.Gov. Jon S. Corzine addressed AARP
members in a unique news conference where they
were featured in front of a live audience at AARP's
state office. "As the economic meltdown continues,
and unemployment rises, our nation's broken health
care system will worsen as tens of thousands, if not
millions, more will lose insurance around the nation,"
said Governor Corzine. "Today, we have a new
partnership with Washington that recognizes there is
a huge cost for doing nothing to repair that system --
for individuals, for businesses, for the economy, for
the state, and for the future of the nation. We must
work together to develop substantial, meaningful,
comprehensive health care reform."
NC - Perdue Announces Leader of Office of
Economic Recovery and Investment.Gov. Beverly
Perdue announced that Dempsey Benton, the former
secretary of the state Health and Human Services
Department, will lead the state new Office of
Economic Recovery & Investment and provide
accountability for use of NC's stimulus money. "This
money and these programs must be put to use
quickly and effectively to create jobs, provide important
services and get our economy moving again," Perdue
said in the news release. "Dempsey Benton brings
the skill and experience to oversee this important
effort. He will bring the transparency and accountability
to this office that our citizens expect."
AR - Beebe Promises College Tuition Aid to
High School Students.Gov. Mike Beebe told Little
Rock Hall High students that they don't have to be
wealthy to attain a college education, but if they
prepare in high school and apply for college, the state
will help eliminate logistical and financial
barriers. "You don't have to be rich to go to college,
and you don't have to have all your money set aside
already to go to college," Beebe said at an event
kicking off the "Say Go College Week" campaign in the
state's high schools. "We have a variety of aid
opportunities," the governor said, citing about 20
different funding programs. "Part of the problem is
sometimes they are hard to understand and hard to
access. We are going to fix that. We are going to
simplify that process where it will not be your problem,
and you won't have to worry about that."
DE - Markell Makes Green Jobs a Priority.
Jack Markell announced that Delaware will be the only
state participating in a national project that puts green
jobs at the top increase incomes, productivity and
competitiveness. The state will implement strategies
that reduce energy costs for businesses, making
them more competitive, and for homeowners,
returning dollars to the local economy. It will also
implement strategies to help Delaware's existing
businesses become participants in the green
economy, and it will create a workforce trained to
power green industries in Delaware, such as electric-
vehicle manufacturing and the constructing of parts for
NJ - Corzine Praises Recent SCHIP
Expansion.Gov. Jon S. Corzine said the recent
reauthorization of the State Children's Health
Insurance Program mirrors one of his top priorities for
the state: ensuring health care for all children. Corzine
said "ensuring that children have access to health
insurance so they have a healthy start in life" has been
one of his top priorities as governor and through
SCHIP and NJ FamilyCare, "we are making great
strides to reach these children and we will continue
our outreach efforts to enroll every eligible child."
NM - Richardson to Introduce Stronger Ethics
Reform Bills.Gov. Bill Richardson announced that
he would introduce legislation this week to ban
campaign contributions from corporations, contractors
and lobbyists. A second piece of legislation his office
will introduce will require contractors to register with
the state and disclose information such as campaign
contributions. "I'm proud of the reforms we've enacted
since I've taken office, including gift limits, public
financing for appellate judges, and a ban on
contractor campaign contributions during the
procurement process," Richardson said. "I'm urging
lawmakers to expand on those reforms and to break
the logjam that has blocked our past efforts to create
strong and meaningful ethics laws."
|SOLVING PROBLEMS - CREATING OPPORTUNITIES
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