U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 11, 2018

U.S. News

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers Martin Feldstein argues that the Federal Reserve will be unable to manage the labor market distortions caused by automation. Feldstein contends that labor market shocks will be caused by supply-side disruptions rather than demand-side disruptions, and the normal response of easy-money policies will not help the economy return to full employment. WSJ

Justin Lahart of the Wall Street Journal reports that the Fed’s expected rate hike this week will likely push the U.S. yield curve closer to an inversion. Lahart writes that Fed officials may also raise their forecast of total rate hikes in 2018 from three to four, which could signal that the economy is running hotter than expected. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 6, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. trade deficit decreased from $47.2 billion in March (revised) to $46.2 billion in April. The goods deficit fell $1.0 billion while the services surplus decreased less than $0.1 billion. Census Bureau Report
 
Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 0.4% (
revised) in Q1 and was up 1.3% on the year. Hours worked increased 2.3% in Q1 and unit labor costs rose 2.9%. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. farmers, who are already losing sales in China due to recent trade conflicts, will now face tariffs from Mexico and potentially Canada as well. China, Mexico, and Canada represent a significant portion of demand for U.S. agricultural exports, and given already-low agricultural commodity prices, U.S. farmers stand to suffer if tit-for-tat tariffs escalate. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 5, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index increased 1.8 percentage points to 58.6 in May. The New Orders Index inched up 0.5 percentage point to 60.5 and the Employment Index also edged up 0.5 percentage point to 54.1. ISM Report

U.S. News

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely-watched measure of labor market health, indicated there were 6.7 million job openings at the end of April, a record high.  Hires rose to 5.6 million while the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3%.  BLS Report

The Financial Times reports that Mexico has unveiled retaliatory tariffs in response to recent U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. The tariffs will apply to various agricultural products, steel products, and bourbon whiskey, among other items. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 4, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

New factory orders for manufactured goods fell 0.8% in April following a 1.7% (revised) increase in March, but are up 8.3% on the year. New orders excluding transportation edged up 0.4% while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 1.0%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the synchronized global growth seen in 2017 and early 2018 has begun to fade, worrying investors. Multiple indicators of global demand have begun to weaken, especially in Europe, where recent elections and a slowdown in manufacturing activity have pushed investors to less-risky assets. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal the U.S. and China ended their most recent round of trade negotiations without reaching a settlement. China’s official news agency has said that if the U.S. imposes any tariffs on imports from China, any agreement reached in upcoming negotiations will not go into effect. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 1, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in May, above consensus. The unemployment rate declined to 3.8%, the labor force participation rate edged down to 62.7%, and average hourly earnings inched up to 2.7% Y/Y. BLS Report

The ISM Manufacturing Index rose 1.4 percentage points to 58.7 in May.  The Employment Index increased 2.1 percentage points to 56.3 while the New Orders Index improved 2.5 percentage points to 63.7.  ISM Report

Construction spending rose 1.8% in April to an annualized rate of $1.31 trillion.  Private construction rose 2.8% while public construction fell 1.3%.  Census Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. and Chinese negotiators are at odds over contracts for purchases of U.S. goods by China. Chinese negotiators are reportedly reluctant to agree to the long-term contracts that the U.S. wants, as it could be seen as giving too much leverage to a strategic competitor. WSJ

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