U.S. Economic News

October 31, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index jumped from 120.6 to 125.9 in October.  The improvement was driven by increases in the Present Situation Index to 151.1 and the Expectations Index to 109.1.  Conference Board Report

According to the Employment Cost Index, compensation costs for civilian workers rose 0.7% in the third quarter and are up 2.5% on the year.  Wages and salaries were up 2.5% on the year and benefit costs were up 2.4%. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. savings rate fell to a 10-year low of 3.1% in September as Americans purchased more big-ticket items like cars and appliances. While experts say that this is a sign of confidence in consumers, the low savings rate could pose a problem in the event of an economic downturn. WSJ

Harriet Torry of the Wall Street Journal writes that inflation remains well below the Fed’s target of 2%, creating a conundrum for policymakers. Some Fed officials have said that they should raise rates to keep the economy from overheating when inflation does pick up, while others have argued that the Fed should wait to see evidence of rising inflation before raising rates. WSJ

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