U.S. Economic News

July 13, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 3,000 to 247,000 last week.  The four-week moving average rose 2,250 to 245,750. DOL Report

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand edged up 0.1% in June and is up 2.0% since June of last year.  The core — which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — rose 0.2% and is up 2.0% on the year.  BLS Report

U.S. News

According to the Washington Post, new analysis from labor economists at MIT and Utrecht University School of Economics concludes that robots and automation are unlikely to permanently eliminate jobs. The report shows that between 1970 and 2007, employment declines caused by productivity gains were usually followed by even stronger employment gains in other sectors of the economy. WaPo
The Wall Street Journal highlights a new report showing that video games increasingly explain the absence of able-bodied young men from the labor force.
The authors conclude that the rise of video games explains 23-46% of the decline in work for young men during the 2000s, and that it will likely be difficult to reverse this behavior. WSJ
The Wall Street Journal reports that forecasters have lowered their expectations for economic growth, inflation, and interest rates amid the political gridlock gripping Congress. Congress still has yet to pass a budget, raise the debt ceiling, or enact various policy reforms for healthcare and taxes. WSJ

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