October reports for monthly economic indicators

•Unemployment rate decreases, while the number of employed increases (monthly)
•Purchasing manager’s index increases (monthly)
•Commodity price index slightly decreases (monthly)
•Consumer price index increases (bi-monthly)

According to the most recent data provided by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget the jobless rate was at 19.6 percent in Detroit in August; it was at 9.2 percent for the state. Both Michigan and the city of Detroit show the same trend.

Please note this also shows Michigan’s unemployment rate for the month of September, which was 9.3 percent, but no unemployment data for Detroit has been released for September.

Although there was a sharp decline in the number of employed in the city of Detroit from June to July, that number increased in August to the number reported for June. According to the most recent data, the number of employed  for Detroit was 279,199 in August; that is 2,107 more people employed than in July.

According to the most recent data released on South Eastern Michigan’s Purchasing Manager’s Index, the number increased over 5 points from August to September. The Purchasing Manger’s Index is a composite index that is derived from five indicators of economic activity: new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries, and inventories; a PMI above 50 means the economy is expanding. With a PMI of 50.6 for September this means the economy is generally expanding, although it is still about 2.5 points lower than it was at this time last year. The August PMI of  45.7 was a low of 2012.  According to the Institute of Supply Management the September number increased to 50.6 because of production, new order and vendor deliveries; employment was the lagging indicator.

The Commodity Price Index , which is a weighted average of selected commodity prices, for Southeast Michigan has fluctuated throughout 2012, beginning at 55 in January, peaking at 83 in May and dropping to a low of 43.5 in June. Most recently, the Commodity Price Index slightly decreased from 61.3 in August to 60 in September. This is similar to where the Commodity Price Index was for September of last year, which was at 58.3.

The Consumer Price Index, which is reported every two months, rose 1.2 percent from June to August and rose 1 percent from August 2011 to August 2012 in the Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint area. The Consumer Price Index measures the change in prices in a fixed market. The prices which are measured are based on prices of “food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors’ and dentists’ services, drugs, and the other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living,” according to the BLS. Higher prices for energy (an 8 percent increase), shelter and apparel were noted for the August 2012 increase; there was a decrease in food (a 3 percent decrease) and new and used motor vehicle prices.

The Consumer Price Index, minus the prices of energy and food, shown in the second Consumer Price Index graph, does not fluctuate as much as the price index that includes all the indicators. From June to August of 2012 the energy price alone increased by 8 percent, and from April to June it decreased by 7.2 percent. Food prices remained unchanged from April to June but increased by .3 percent from August to June.  The overall index for items, not including food and energy, increased by .5 percent from June to August.

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