U.S. Economic News

February 6, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. trade deficit increased from $50.4 billion in November (revised) to $53.1 billion in December. The goods deficit rose $2.6 billion and the services surplus edged down $0.1 billion. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely-watched measure of labor market health, indicated there were 5.8 million job openings at the end of December, down slightly from November.  Hires held at 5.5 million while the quits rate ticked up 0.1 percentage point to 2.2%.  BLS Report

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. farmers are producing far too much wheat and corn, worsening the global supply glut. Farmers who have invested significant amounts of capital in machinery and equipment have little ability to scale production up or down on short notice, which has caused some agricultural commodity prices to tumble since 2014. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, a new study by the United Nations finds that the recent U.S. tax cuts will offer a limited boost to foreign investment in the U.S. The report finds only a mild boost to foreign investment in the U.S. after the tax cuts because so many foreign-based firms were already paying lower tax rates by taking advantage of deductions and loopholes. WSJ

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