U.S. Economic News

June 18, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Privately-owned housing starts fell 0.9% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.27 million (down 4.7% year-over-year). Housing permits rose 0.3% to a 1.29 million annual pace in May but are down 0.5% from last year. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the choice facing Fed officials at this week’s FOMC meeting is between cutting rates now if they expect the economic outlook to worsen or holding off until next month to acquire more information. The case for cutting rates is notably stronger than it was last month given increasingly mixed U.S. economic data and escalating trade tensions, and officials are mindful that historically low interest rates mean they have less room to cut in the event of a downturn. WSJ

According to the Washington Post, India has imposed tariffs as high as 70% on certain U.S. agricultural, chemical, and metal products in retaliation for the revocation of India’s preferential trade privileges. Although the retaliation affects just $241 million worth of goods – far less than the hundreds of billions affected in trade conflicts with China and Mexico – they represent a new pressure point in an increasingly tense global economy ahead of next week’s G-20 summit. WaPo