U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

December 3, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ISM Manufacturing Index increased 1.6 percentage points to 59.3 in November.  The Employment Index edged up 1.6 percentage points to 58.4 while the New Orders Index rose 4.7 percentage points to 62.1.  ISM Report

Construction spending inched downward 0.1% in October to an annualized rate of $1.31 trillion.  Public construction rose 0.8% while private construction fell 0.4%.  Census Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that China has agreed to cut tariffs on cars imported from the United States, signaling a willingness to make concessions in order to ease trade tensions. However, U.S. auto manufacturers still may protect themselves from future trade spats by building fewer autos in the U.S. for export. WSJ

Michael Derby of the Wall Street Journal reports that Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari has cautioned against the Fed further raising interest rates, warning the U.S. economy could be pushed into a recession if borrowing costs continue to rise. Kashkari cites historically low unemployment in addition to muted inflation as reason for the Fed to take a “wait and see” approach to future interest rates hikes. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 30, 2018

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the leaders of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada signed the USMCA agreement in Buenos Aires. The agreement requires that 40% to 45% of automotive vehicles be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour to qualify as duty-free, and it also weakens protections for multinationals investing in other countries. WSJ

According to Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal, the minutes of the Fed’s latest policy meeting indicate plans to raise interest rates in December, though the pace of rate hikes in 2019 is less certain. Fed officials raised concerns that trade, fiscal policy, as well as lagged effects of their recent policy tightening could be potential triggers for an economic slowdown. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 29, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims rose 10,000 to 234,000 last week. The four-week moving average increased 4,750 to 223,250.  DOL Report

The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index eased 2.6% in October (down 6.7% Y/Y), the tenth straight month of annual decreases.  NAR points to rising mortgage rates that have reduced the number of eligible buyers, suggesting the Fed should be less aggressive in raising interest rates. NAR Report

Real disposable personal income rose 0.3% in October while real personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased 0.4%. The PCE price index rose 0.2% (up 2.0% Y/Y) and the core price index edged up 0.1% (up 1.8% Y/Y). BEA Report

U.S. News

Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal reports that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated in a speech yesterday that interest rates are just below the estimated neutral level, the level that neither speeds nor slows the economy. Powell also emphasized the Fed’s plan to continue raising rates gradually, which is an effort to tamp down inflation and financial distortions while also not shortening the current expansion. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that American companies’ overseas profit growth has begun to decelerate due to the slowing global economy. The author also says that domestic profit growth, while currently strong, could also slow if a stronger dollar, rising material and labor costs, and trade uncertainty begin to weigh on U.S. companies at home. WSJ

Keybridge Releases Report on 2017 Progress toward the 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative Community Calorie Goal

Keybridge Releases Report on 2017 Progress toward the 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative Community Calorie Goal

November 28, 2018

In September 2014, the American Beverage Association, The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, PepsiCo, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation announced a commitment to reduce beverage calorie consumption per person by 20 percent by 2025 nationwide and in 8-10 select communities. This report features 2017 estimates and change since baseline of per person beverage calorie consumption for each of the five BCI Communities selected to date.

Link: 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative: Report on 2017 Progress toward Community Calorie Goal

Link: Detailed Methodology

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic Indicators

The second estimate of Q3 GDP indicates that the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 3.5%, unchanged from October’s advance reading. The reading reflects upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment and private inventories, which were offset by downward revisions to personal consumption expenditures and government spending. BEA Report

New home sales fell 8.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 544,000 in October, and are 12.0% below the October 2017 rate.  The median sales price eased to $309,700 and the inventory of new homes surged to 7.4 months at the current sales rate, the highest level since 2011. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. retailers are cutting orders, negotiating down prices, and demanding faster turnarounds from Chinese suppliers as the effects of tariffs spread. Chinese manufacturers, also strained by tariffs, are attempting to find new customers outside the U.S. and are offering discounts to ease the drop in orders. WSJ

Sam Fleming of the Financial Times reports that the Federal Reserve has identified a hard Brexit deal and Italian sovereign debt sell-off as risks to the U.S. financial system in its Financial Stability Report. The Fed’s assessment also flagged corporate debt and geopolitical uncertainty as potential triggers of volatility. FT

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