U.S. Economic News

April 23, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Existing home sales rose 1.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million in March, but are 1.2% below year-ago levels.  NAR notes that while home sales eked forward in March, prices continue to rise above what many would-be buyers can afford.  NAR Report
 
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell  from +0.98 (revised) in February to +0.10 in March. 
The production and sales components made positive contributions while the employment and personal consumption & housing components contributed negatively. Chicago Fed Report

U.S. News

Sarah Chaney of the Wall Street Journal writes that more than half of U.S. states lack enough unemployment funding to be prepared for another recession. Chaney also points out that federal budget deficits are expected to worsen substantially in the coming years due to higher spending and lower revenues, which may leave the federal government less able to support states who run out of funding for unemployment benefits. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration is pushing to finish NAFTA talks over the next two weeks. The president has repeatedly signaled willingness to withdraw from NAFTA, though many members of Congress, especially from the Republican party, have voiced their opposition to a withdrawal from NAFTA. WSJ

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