U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 15, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NAHB Housing Market Index held steady at 72.0 in February, hovering near record highs.  The outlook for the next six months remains solid, though builders still face increasing materials prices and shortages of labor.  NAHB Report
 
Industrial production edged down 0.1% in January (up 3.7% Y/Y), after increasing 0.4% (revised) in December. 
Capacity utilization fell 0.2 point to 77.5 in January.  Fed Report
 
Initial jobless claims rose 7,000 to 230,000 last week.
The four-week moving average increased 3,500 to 228,500.  DOL Report
                                                                                                             
The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand rose 0.4% in January and is up 2.7% since January of last year.
 The core — which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — also increased 0.4% and is up 2.5% on the year.  BLS Report

 

 

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 14, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Consumer prices rose 0.5% in January (up 2.1% on the year).  The “core” CPI, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.3% in January and is up 1.8% on the year.  BLS Report
 
Retail sales fell 0.3% in January but were up 3.6% on the year.  
Core sales — which excludes autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services — were unchanged. Census Bureau Report
 
Business inventories rose 0.4% in December and were up 3.2% from last year.  
Manufacturers’ sales increased 0.6% and were up 5.6% on the year. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House is considering Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester for the vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Board. Mester, who has led the Cleveland Fed since 2014, is considered to be moderately hawkish and would likely support raising interest rates more quickly in order to quash inflationary pressures in the economy. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 13, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 2.0 points to 106.9 in January and is near a record high, as six of the components rose, two dropped, and two remained unchanged. The share of small business owners who say that now is a good time to expand rose to its highest level ever.  NFIB Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump said Monday that he is planning a “reciprocal tax” on trade partners who are taking advantage of the U.S. The President did not include any other specifics of the proposed tax, though he did say that some of the U.S.’ allies may be subject to the tax. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that household debt rose by $193 billion to a total of $13.15 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2017. While total nominal debt hit an all-time high, it represents just 67% of GDP, well below the previous high of 87% seen in 2009. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 12, 2018

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House today will unveil its long-awaited infrastructure spending bill. The bill is expected to propose $200 billion in federal spending that will be aimed at encouraging states and cities to find other sources of revenue for improving railways, airports, and other infrastructure. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, OPEC has raised its crude oil supply forecast for this year due to booming U.S. shale production. OPEC raised its growth forecast for supply from producers outside the cartel to roughly 1.4 million barrels per day for 2018 due to record U.S. production, which has been supported by healthy worldwide economic demand. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 9, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that wholesale merchant inventories rose 0.4% in December to $612.1 billion. Inventories were up 3.4% year-over-year. Census Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that economic forecasters still see the U.S. economy gathering steam this year despite recent financial market volatility.  Market watchers also still expect three or four Fed rate hikes this year, which could contribute to further turmoil in financial markets around the world. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, the House of Representatives passed a two-year budget deal and a stopgap spending bill early this morning, bringing an end to a brief government shutdown. The agreement will boost spending on both military and domestic programs by nearly $300 billion and will also suspend the debt ceiling. WSJ

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