U.S. Economic News

April 10, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand rose 0.3% in March and is up 3.0% since March of last year.  The core — which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — rose 0.4% and is up 2.9% on the year.  BLS Report

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 2.9 points to 104.7 in March but remains near all-time highs, as eight of the components fell and two rose. The share of small business owners who expect the economy to improve fell 11 points.  NFIB Report

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that wholesale merchant inventories rose 1.0% in February to $625.6 billion. Inventories were up 5.5% year-over-year. Census Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan says he sees the Fed raising interest rates two more times this year. Kaplan also said that the pace of rate hikes could slow in coming years because of moderating growth in 2019 and 2020. WSJ

According to Laura Kusisto and Christina Rexrode of the Wall Street Journal, high home prices are pushing Americans deeper into debt. Data show that roughly 20% of Americans who recently took out a mortgage have debt-to-income ratios above 45%, the highest level since the Great Recession and a sign that this spring may be the weakest selling season in years. WSJ

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