The US Industrial economy eased last week (if pipeline scheduling is correct), while consumer spending worked lower.
The Production Index (In terms of its 28-day moving average of gas-flow scheduling into US industrial facilities) broke its string of four straight weekly record highs and headed lower last week, dropping to 124.2 (vs last weeks ). In its dailies (raw, non-seasonally adjusted flows) the week was soft throughout.
The Consumption Index eased for its second week in a row, falling to 137.5 (from last weeks 139.8). In its dailies the measure was choppy but generally soft.
The Inventories measure (the cumulative weekly difference between the Production Index and the Consumption Index) again continued in its long-term decline.
A little bit better last week in some of the problem areas (Steel & Food) with steel-group scheduling inching up the June '11 average up to .149 (though still off a bit from May (.153) and well off of the May '10 recovery high (.206). Food-group scheduling (though a bit better than last week) still hovers at bearish heights.
Concern remains for the imminent end of the Federal Reserves QE2 (and lack of QE3 commitment), and for the ongoing budgeting & spending standoffs in government.