U.S. Economic News

August 16, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Privately-owned housing starts edged up 0.9% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million (down 1.4% year-over-year). Housing permits rose 1.5% to a 1.31 million annual pace in July and are up 4.2% on the year.  Census Bureau Report

Initial jobless claims declined 2,000 to 212,000 last week. The four-week moving average increased 1,000 to 215,500.  DOL Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that China will send a delegation to the U.S. at the end of August for trade negotiations. The delegation noticeably lacks China’s top trade officials, indicating Chinese doubt in the ability of American officials to reach a binding deal. FT

According to the Financial Times, even though China has imposed tariffs on imports of soybeans, Chinese companies have no choice but to purchase American soybeans at the higher price. The U.S. accounts for about a third of Chinese soybean consumption, and there are no other countries in the northern hemisphere that are able to step in at short notice to fill that gap, causing China to resume soybean imports earlier than expected. FT

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