U.S. Economic News

August 8, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.6 points to 105.2 in July, as seven of the components rose, two fell, and one was unchanged. The Index remains historically strong, as second-quarter GDP growth rebounded after a weak first quarter.  NFIB Report

U.S. News

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely watched measure of labor market health, indicated there were 6.2 million job openings at the end of June, the highest reading since the series began in 2000.  Hires edged down to 5.4 million and the quits rate was little changed at 2.1%.  BLS Report
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, many so-called “gig economy” firms are struggling to attract workers in the face of multi-decade low unemployment and competition for scarce labor. Workers are reportedly leaving part-time jobs in the gig economy for full-time jobs that offer more constant and better pay, driving gig economy firms to expand benefits. WSJ
 
The Wall Street Journal reports that despite a darkening outlook for the brick-and-mortar retail industry, the top mall operators in the U.S. are reporting surprisingly strong financial results. Mall operators are focusing on filling empty retail space with restaurants and entertainment options to generate more foot traffic as consumers increasingly seek diverse retail experiences. WSJ
 
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”), the U.S. is heading towards steady economic growth, albeit at a slower pace than in the past. An unexpected acceleration in eurozone growth and solid expansion in China have driven a rebound in global trade flows, supporting stronger global growth in 2017. WSJ

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