U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 25, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

New orders of manufactured durable goods fell 1.7% in April after rising 2.7% (revised) in March, but are up 9.6% year-over-year. Excluding transportation, new orders edged up 0.9% (up 7.9% Y/Y).  Census Bureau Report

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index edged down 0.8 point to 98.0 in the final May reading, but is up 0.9 point on the year. The Index of Consumer Expectations rose 0.7 point to 89.1, while the Current Economic Conditions Index fell 3.1 points to 111.8. Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts a federal budget deficit $2.3 trillion larger than the White House’s estimate for the coming decade. Compared to the White House’s budget estimate for the next ten years, the CBO projects that the government will bring in $1.9 trillion less in revenue and spend $300 billion more, reflecting different expectations of how the economy will perform. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that an erosion of public trust in institutions following the Great Recession could threaten the independence of central bankers. Powell advocated for greater transparency from policy-makers as a way to boost public trust, pointing to the Fed’s recent efforts to increase disclosures about big-bank stress tests as an example. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 24, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Existing home sales declined 2.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in April, and are 1.4% below year-ago levels.  NAR notes that staggeringly low inventories have kept potential buyers out of the market, even as demand for homes has remained strong.  NAR Report
 
Initial jobless claims rose 11,000 to 234,000 last week. 
The four-week moving average increased 6,250 to 219,750.  DOL Report

The FHFA House Price Index shows that U.S. house prices rose 1.7% in the first quarter and were up 6.9% from the same period last year.  House prices rose on an annual basis in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump has threatened to impose tariffs of up to 25% on imported cars. The move would hit some of the U.S.’ closest allies the hardest, as countries like Germany, Japan, and South Korea collectively accounted for roughly 20% of the vehicles sold in the U.S. last year. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, Federal Reserve officials have signaled their intention to raise interest rates when they meet again in June. Officials also said that interest rates could move and remain above their long-run normal level for an extended period of time, as the U.S. economy is expected to operate above potential in the short term. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 21, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index ticked up from +0.32 (revised) in March to +0.34 in April.  The production, sales, and employment components made positive contributions while the personal consumption & housing component contributed negatively. Chicago Fed Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. has suspended its threat to impose tariffs on $150 billion of Chinese imports. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said that the tariffs will be put on hold while the two countries negotiate a trade deal that would aim to reduce the bilateral trade deficit and ease investment restrictions in both countries. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal writes that major oil companies are embracing Latin America as the target for much of their investment in new wells. Latin America has become a profitable source of oil for many international firms, though the risk of political turmoil and resource nationalism has become problematic in some areas. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 18, 2018

U.S. News

Eric Morath of the Wall Street Journal writes that a new study found that workers are most willing to relocate for high-tech jobs in large coastal cities such as San Francisco or New York. However, the bulk of open jobs in the U.S. are concentrated in the Midwest region, meaning this focus on technology jobs on the coasts could worsen labor shortages in an already-tight labor market. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that in an effort to ease trade tensions with the U.S., China backed off an anti-dumping probe into imported U.S. sorghum. The end of the probe signals progress on a deal for China to lift recent tariffs on U.S. agricultural imports in exchange for eased U.S. sanctions on Chinese telecom firm ZTE, though hurdles remain. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 17, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims rose 11,000 to 222,000 last week. The four-week moving average decreased 2,750 to 213,250.  DOL Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, Japan is examining ways to retaliate against the U.S. for recent steel tariffs. Officials have said that Japan may tell the World Trade Organization that it has the right to impose tariffs on U.S. goods equivalent to the damage it is suffering from the steel tariffs, an approach China has pursued. WSJ

Janet Adamy of the Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. birthrate has dropped to a thirty-year low. Adamy writes that the severe lack of births could exacerbate the problems associated with an aging population, including having fewer wage-earners to pay into programs like Social Security and Medicare. WSJ

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