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Economic Update, January 17, 2013

Lucas Deal January 17, 2013
  • The ratio of inventories to sales throughout the economy remained at 1.28 for the third straight month in November, suggesting a continuation of normal freight shipment rates.
  • Industrial production increased 0.3 percent in December from November following a 1.0 percent increase in November from October due to a production rebound after Hurricane Sandy. Manufacturing output increased 0.8 percent in December following a gain of 1.3 percent in November.
  • The national average retail diesel price dropped by 1.7 cents to $3.894 a gallon during the week ended Jan. 14. The average price is 4 cents higher than the same week last year.
  • U.S. freight railroads’ carloads were down 6.4 percent for the week ended Jan. 12 compared to the same week last year. Intermodal traffic was up 10.4 percent.
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance plunged by 37,000 during the week ended Jan. 12 to a seasonally adjusted 335,000. The four-week moving average was 359,250, a decrease of 6,750 from the previous week’s revised average.

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