U.S. Economic News

June 20, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 6,000 to 216,000 last week. The four-week moving average rose 1,000 to 218,750. DOL Report

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (“LEI”) was unchanged in May, following a 0.1% increase in April. Positive contributions from financial conditions and consumers’ outlook were offset by weakness in stock prices and manufacturing, with economic growth expected to moderate to 2.0% by the end of the year. Conference Board Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that home purchases by investors such as private-equity firms and real estate speculators have reached an all-time high, posing a challenge for first-time homebuyers. Growing home purchases by investors reflect strong consumer demand for rentals and unappealing alternate investments. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that Mexico has ratified the USMCA free trade deal even though the U.S. and Canada have yet to do so. President Trump’s administration is pushing Congress to ratify the agreement before their August recess but faces resistance from House Democrats concerned about labor standards, environmental provisions, and drug pricing components of the agreement. FT