U.S. Economic News

July 16, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Retail sales rose 0.5% in June and were up 6.6% on the year.  Core sales — which excludes autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services — were unchanged in June. Census Bureau Report
Business inventories rose 0.4% in May and were up 4.4% from last year.  
Manufacturers’ sales increased 0.6% and were up 5.1% on the year. Census Bureau Report
The July Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that industrial activity in the New York region
continued to grow at a brisk pace, as the headline index edged down 2.4 points to 22.6, still a high level.  The new orders index dipped to 18.2, the shipments index fell to 14.6, and the index for number of employees edged down to 17.2; meanwhile, the index for hours worked declined but remains in expansionary territory.  NY Fed Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that productivity growth has become increasingly concentrated within the top 5% of firms in developed nations while growth has stagnated for the bottom 95% of firms. Many of the firms enjoying strong productivity growth are large, multinational firms that can exploit economies of scale and have significant revenue streams, allowing them to better shoulder the cost of major investments. WSJ

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