INDICATOR: Fourth Quarter Employment Costs and December Income and Spending
KEY DATA: ECI (Year-over year): +2.0; Wages: +1.9%/Real Disposable Income: -0.2%; Real Consumption: +0.2%
IN A NUTSHELL: "Weak income growth may be keeping labor costs under control but it is also keeping spending down as well."
INDICATOR: Fourth Quarter GDP and Weekly Jobless Claims
KEY DATA: GDP: +3.2%; Consumption: +3.3%; Federal Government: -12.6%/Jobless Claims: 348,000 (up 19,000)
IN A NUTSHELL: "The economy did pretty well at the end of last year despite the valiant attempts by some in Washington to kill off growth."
KEY DATA: Conference Board Consumer Confidence: up 3.2 points/Case-Shiller Prices: +0.9%; Year-over-Year: +13.7%
IN A NUTSHELL: "The weather outside really is frightful but that is not causing people to cool their feelings about the economy and the future."
INDICATOR: December Durable Goods Orders
KEY DATA: Orders: -4.3%; Excluding Transportation: -1.6%; Business Investment: -1.3%
INDICATOR: December New Home Sales
KEY DATA: Sales: -7%; 2013 vs. 2012: +16.4%; Prices (December to December): +4.6%; Prices (2012 vs. 2013): +8.4%
IN A NUTSHELL: "It's no fun visiting a construction site in the cold and snow and it looks like not a whole lot of people did that in December."
INDICATOR: December Existing Home Sales and Leading Indicators
KEY DATA: Home Sales: +1.0%; 1-Family: +1.9%; Condos: -5.9%; Prices (year-over-Year): +9.9%/Indicators: +0.1%
IN A NUTSHELL: "The surge in home sales is over and we should be getting back to a more normal market."
KEY DATA: IP: +0.3%; Manufacturing: +0.4%/Openings: +70,000; Hires: +10,000; Quits: +46,000
IN A NUTSHELL: "With manufacturing remaining strong and job openings rising, it is really looking like the economy is starting to accelerate."
INDICATOR: December Housing Starts and Permits
KEY DATA: Starts: -9.8%; 1-Family: -7%; Permits: -3%; 1-Family: -4.8%
IN A NUTSHELL: "Despite really bad weather, builders still managed to keep digging and that is a great indication that the housing market continues to move forward."