U.S. Economic News

September 20, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

Existing home sales fell 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million in August, but are 0.2% above year-ago levels.  NAR notes that demand remains healthy, but inventory shortages have put pressure on affordability, limiting the pace of sales.  NAR Report

U.S. News

The New York Times reports that Senate Republicans have agreed to move forward with a budget that would add to the federal deficit in order to allow $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over the next ten years. Republican lawmakers say that the tax cuts will stimulate enough economic growth to offset the increased deficit, though the budget still faces significant hurdles, including budget hawks in the House of Representatives who oppose any increases to the deficit. NYT

Sarah Kent of the Wall Street Journal reports that the North Sea has again become a hotspot for oil investment despite a production decline of 34% since 2000.  Although the North Sea used to be one of the most expensive areas to extract oil, some producers are now reporting average production costs of $15 a barrel and expect those costs to continue to fall in the future. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook shows that big businesses plan to increase hiring in the coming six months. CEOs reportedly see progress on creating a more favorable regulatory environment which has led to rising hiring plans, though CEOs did say that if Congress fails to enact tax reform they would reduce hiring. WSJ

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