U.S. Economic News

February 15, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose 4.3 points to 95.5 in the preliminary February reading, but is down 4.2 points on the year. The Index of Consumer Expectations jumped 6.3 points to 86.2, while the Current Economic Conditions Index edged up 1.2 points to 110.0. Report
 
Industrial production dropped 0.6% in January (up 3.8% Y/Y), after increasing 0.1% (revised) in December.
Capacity utilization decreased 0.6 point to 78.2 in January.  Fed Report


U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Fed officials are nearing a plan to end the wind-down of their $4 trillion balance sheet. Various regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents have expressed support for ending the balance sheet runoff relatively soon, which would ensure that there is a substantial buffer of reserves in the banking system. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Commerce Department is concluding its investigation into whether imported cars pose a national security threat and will submit findings to the President by Sunday. Consumers are expected to pay more for imported cars under the tariffs, but may also face higher prices for domestic vehicles if the tariffs fall on imported automobile components, as domestically-produced cars usually contain 40-50% foreign components. WSJ

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