U.S. Economic News

August 29, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose from 120.0 to 122.9 in August.  The increase was driven by increases in both the Present Situation Index and the Expectations Index.  Conference Board Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that one of the key points of debate in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) is the stubbornly low Mexican minimum wage, which currently sits at $4.50 a day. American negotiators argue that Mexico’s low wages create unfair competition for U.S. and Canadian workers, and that Mexico should raise minimum wages and enact stronger labor standards. WSJ

According to the New York Times, Hurricane Harvey is expected to cause tens of billions of dollars in damage, though many expect the region to recover quickly and some even anticipate a boost to Houston’s economic activity from rebuilding efforts. Economists say that while the catastrophic storm will temporarily shut-in a significant portion of refining capacity, the effects of rebuilding homes and replacing vehicles could last into the fourth quarter of 2017 and beyond. NYT

The Wall Street Journal writes that Hurricane Harvey will test the resilience of the U.S. shale industry. The industry, which has lost an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 barrels per day of production due to the storm, faces the risk of some shut-down wells not returning to pre-storm production levels. WSJ

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