U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 25, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. Census Bureau Advance Economic Indicators Report shows that the goods deficit increased 3.8% in April.  Meanwhile, wholesale inventories and retail inventories both fell 0.3%.  Census Bureau Report
 
Initial jobless claims increased 1,000 to 234,000 last week.  
The four-week moving average fell 5,750 to 235,250, the lowest mark for the series since April 1973. DOL Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has asked Congress to raise the federal debt limit before leaving for summer recess.  While the Treasury Department is already employing cash-saving measures to try and control government debt, which hit Congress’ self-imposed limit earlier this year, analysts suggest such measures would only suffice until the early fall.  WSJ
 
Federal Reserve officials have signaled that a rate hike may be appropriate at their June meeting. 
While the outlook for interest rate increases is relatively clear through 2017, much uncertainty remains regarding the timing and magnitude of the Fed’s coming balance sheet reduction. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 24, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The FHFA House Price Index shows that U.S. house prices rose 1.4% in the first quarter and were up 6.0% from the same period last year.  House prices increased on an annual basis in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Report
 
Existing home sales fell 2.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million in April, but are 1.6% above year-ago levels. 
Weakening sales in April were driven by stubbornly low supply levels as demand outstripped the stock of homes in every region except the Midwest.  NAR Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Republican members of Congress are still advocating for a border adjustment tax as part of comprehensive tax reform.  The proposal, which would tax imports and exempt exports, has faced bipartisan opposition in Congress as well as stiff resistance from many members of the business community.  WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 23, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

New home sales fell 11.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 569,000 in April, but are 0.5% above the April 2016 rate.  The median sales price declined to $309,200 and the inventory of new homes rose to 5.7 months at the current sales rate.  Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said yesterday that it is unclear whether labor markets have reached “full employment” yet.  Brainard noted that core inflation has shown few signs of accelerating even as the unemployment rate has fallen to decade lows, indicating that there may still be more room for labor markets to tighten.  WSJ

The Financial Times reports that President Trump is submitting his budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 to Congress.  The budget is expected to seek deep cuts to many executive agencies and will also include a proposal to sell off half of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (“SPR”). FT

Keybridge Releases Report on 2015 Progress on the 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative to Reduce Beverage Calories in the American Diet

Keybridge Releases Report on 2015 Progress on the 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative to Reduce Beverage Calories in the American Diet

November 22, 2016

This report represents the first report on national progress toward the 2025 beverage calorie reduction commitment announced in September 2014 by the American Beverage Association, The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, PepsiCo, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The report estimates average per person beverage calorie consumption in 2015 across the U.S. and the percent change from the 2014 Baseline. The report also tracks early efforts by the commitment signatories to increase access to, interest in, and awareness of reduced-calorie beverages.

Link:  2025 Beverage Calories Initiative: Report on 2015 Progress for the National Initiative

Energy and Environment News

Energy and Environment News

June 1, 2016

Top Stories

Oil Outlook.  The Wall Street Journal reports that OPEC members have revived the idea of a production ceiling, with alleged support from the group’s biggest exporter, Saudi Arabia.   While recent discussions have focused on limiting individual countries’ output, the proposed ceiling would cap the output of the entire group. Markets have reacted positively to the news thus far, but analysts warn that cartel members remain deeply divided about limits and any decision must be unanimous.  WSJ

Nuclear.  Nuclear energy is again gaining support around the country — in spite of continued safety concerns — as state and federal officials look for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced that “maintaining the nuclear fleet is really important for meeting [the United States’] near-term and midterm goals,” and is convening officials to explore ways to improve the industry’s prospects moving forward.  NY Times

Oil.  Richard Blackden of the Financial Times writes that while oil’s recent rebound above $50 a barrel has buoyed markets and put many investors at ease, fundamental improvements to the demand and supply imbalance have yet to be corrected.  Blackden cites research from UBS which finds that the bulk of the price rebound is due to disruption of supply from Nigeria and Canada, with only 10 percent of this year’s advance due to rising demand.  FT

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