Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Tuesday Data Releases

Calculated Risk Blog mentions the 3 pieces of economic data releasing tomorrow.

On Tuesday:
• At 8:30 AM ET, the Consumer Price Index for September will be released. The consensus is for CPI to increase 0.5% in September and for core CPI to increase 0.2%. This release will determine the Cost-of-living-adjustment for Social Security. 
Currently I expect COLA to be around 1.6%.

• At 9:15 AM, the Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for September. The consensus is for Industrial Production to increase 0.2% in September, and for Capacity Utilization to increase to 78.3%.

• At 10:00 AM, the October NAHB homebuilder survey will be released. The consensus is for a reading of 41, up from 40 in September. Although this index has been increasing lately, any number below 50 still indicates that more builders view sales conditions as poor than good.  This index bottomed at 8 in January 2009, and was at or below 22 for over 4 1/2 years.

The most interesting data point to me is the CPI index as I'm curious whether the COLA for Social Security would change much.  If it does change, it also means that the maximum taxable income for social security would increase, snagging a few more people than it did last year.

While I think social security is helpful and all to the older people, I do wonder about the fairness of COLA.  Its not like every worker actually gets COLA in their paychecks either.  Indeed, many employees have had salary freezes for years now.  The average worker has actually seen their real wages drop in the last few years.  Why shouldn't they get a COLA too?  Just food for thought.

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