U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

October 1, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ISM Manufacturing Index decreased 1.5 percentage points to 59.8 in September.  The Employment Index edged up 0.3 percentage point to 58.8 while the New Orders Index decreased 3.3 percentage points to 61.8.  ISM Report
 
Construction spending inched up 0.1% in August to an annualized rate of $1.32 trillion. 
Public construction rose 2.0% while private construction edged down 0.5%.  Census Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. and Canada reached a last-minute NAFTA deal late Sunday night. The deal — officially called the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement — requires a greater portion of vehicles to be made in North America with high-wage labor and also requires Canada to drop some protections for its dairy industry. WSJ

Sarah Chaney of the Wall Street Journal writes that the U.S. labor market currently has the lowest share of involuntary part-time workers since 2006. The broad unemployment rate — which includes part-time and discouraged workers — fell to 7.4% in August, its lowest point since 2001 and a sign that slack continues to be wrung out of the labor market as part-time workers find full-time jobs. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 27, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index declined 1.8% in August (down 2.3% Y/Y).  NAR says that contract activity has weakened due to worsening affordability, especially among more moderately prices homes.  NAR Report
 
The U.S. Census Bureau Advance Economic Indicators Report shows that the goods deficit widened to $75.8 billion in August from $72.0 billion in July.
Meanwhile, wholesale inventories rose 0.8% and retail inventories rose 0.7%. Census Bureau Report
 
The third estimate of Q2 GDP indicates that the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 4.2%, unchanged from the prior estimate.
The reading reflects robust consumer spending, business investment, government spending, and net exports. BEA Report

New orders of manufactured durable goods rose 4.5% in August after declining 1.2% (revised) in July, and are up 9.2% year-to-date.  Excluding transportation, new orders inched up 0.1% (up 8.2% year-to-date).  Census Bureau Report
  
Initial jobless claims rose 12,000 to 214,000 last week.
The four-week moving average edged up 250 to 206,250.  DOL Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 26, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

New home sales rose 3.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 629,000 in August, and are 12.7% above the August 2017 rate.  The median sales price fell to $320,200 and the inventory of new homes rose to 6.1 months at the current sales rate. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer says that the U.S. may move ahead with a bilateral trade deal with Mexico if Canada does not make concessions soon. Lighthizer says that Canada is not making the necessary concessions and that the U.S. intends to sign a deal with or without Canada in late November. WSJ

Paul Kiernan of the Wall Street Journal writes that consumers have yet to feel the pinch from steadily-rising interest rates. Kiernan points out that despite rising credit card rates, mortgage rates, and auto loan rates, consumers continue to spend at a healthy clip. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 25, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose from 134.7 (revised) in August to 138.4 in September.  The increase was driven by improvements in both the Expectations Index and the Present Situation Index.  Conference Board Report

U.S. News

Sarah Chaney of the Wall Street Journal reports that the economic outlook among CEOs of America’s largest companies eased slightly in the third quarter. The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index, which measures company plans for hiring and capex and expectations for sales, cooled somewhat in the third quarter amid rising concerns about the Trump administration’s recent trade actions. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal global oil prices rose today to their highest level in four years amid growing supply constraints. Brent crude rose above $81/barrel as OPEC members indicated that they would adhere to their plan to gradually ramp up production rather than increase output to help alleviate upward price pressures. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 24, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell was unchanged at +0.18 in August.  The production and sales components made positive contributions while the employment and personal consumption & housing components contributed negatively. Chicago Fed Report

U.S. News

Tom Fairless of the Wall Street Journal writes that central bankers around the world are reconsidering the classic 2% inflation target. Some policymakers are calling for a higher inflation target that would allow central banks more room to cut interest rates in the event of an economic downturn, while others argue that a higher inflation target could distort tax systems or cause more price volatility. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. has exempted several obscure Chinese imports from tariffs because China remains one of the only sources for those goods. Imports such as barite, which is used in oil and gas exploration, and fluorine salts, an input for lithium-ion batteries, have been spared from the new 10% tariff because Chinese imports account for such a large share of these imported goods. WSJ

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