U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 28, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The third estimate of Q1 GDP indicates that the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 2.0%, below the second estimate of 2.2%. The reading reflects healthy business investment, mediocre consumer spending, and weak residential investment. BEA Report
 
Initial jobless claims rose 9,000 to 227,000 last week. 
The four-week moving average increased 1,000 to 222,000.  DOL Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that some economists have recently upgraded their expectations for second-quarter U.S. growth. The upgrade comes amid a smaller-than-expected trade deficit in May, though economists warn that the smaller deficit may be due to companies exporting key goods ahead of expected tariffs. WSJ

Patricia Cohen of the New York Times writes that with unemployment at a multidecade low, firms are competing to hire a shrinking pool of foreign workers. U.S. employers have struggled to fill vacant job postings as the labor market has tightened, and have begun hiring temporary foreign workers, especially for lower-paying service jobs like landscaping and housekeeping. NYT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 27, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

New orders of manufactured durable goods edged down 0.6% in May after falling 1.0% (revised) in April, but are up 9.9% year-over-year.  Excluding transportation, new orders slipped 0.3% (up 8.2% Y/Y).  Census Bureau Report
 
The U.S. Census Bureau Advance Economic Indicators Report shows that the goods deficit narrowed to $64.8 billion in May from $67.3 billion in April.
Meanwhile, wholesale inventories rose 0.5% and retail inventories rose 0.4%. Census Bureau Report
 
The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index edged down 0.5% in May (down
2.2% Y/Y).  NAR says that the spring buying season was lackluster, as demand remained healthy but supply did not pick up in response.  NAR Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration has decided to abandon efforts to impose new limits on Chinese investment in the U.S. The move comes after a sharp selloff in equity markets after reports came out that the administration was considering invoking executive authority to impose the new restrictions. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 25, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell  from +0.42 (revised) in April to -0.15 in May.  The production and personal consumption & housing components made negative contributions while the employment and sales components contributed positively. Chicago Fed Report

New home sales rose 6.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 689,000 in May, and are 14.1% above the May 2017 rate.  The median sales price declined to $313,000 and the inventory of new homes decreased to 5.2 months at the current sales rate. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that the Trump administration plans to further restrict Chinese investment in key high-tech sectors in the U.S. Although Chinese foreign direct investment in the U.S. has already plunged more than 90 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same period of 2017, the White House is expected to unilaterally declare an “economic emergency” and establish new limits on Chinese investment. FT

Josh Mitchell of the Wall Street Journal writes that student-loan forgiveness programs may end up posing a risk to some borrowers who are unable to cover the additional tax expense. Mitchell points out that the IRS treats any forgiven debt as income, so if a borrower has a significant balance of their loan forgiven they may be unable to pay the additional taxes. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 22, 2018

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that OPEC has tentatively agreed to boost production by 600,000 barrels per day. The production boost comes as recent production outages in Venezuela and Libya have driven oil prices above $75 a barrel. WSJ

The New York Times reports that the European Union has placed retaliatory tariffs on $3.2 billion of U.S. goods. The tariffs, which come after recent U.S. tariffs on European steel and aluminum, apply to goods such as bourbon, motorcycles, and orange juice. NYT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 21, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 3,000 to 218,000 last week. The four-week moving average decreased 4,000 to 221,000.  DOL Report

The FHFA House Price Index shows that U.S. house prices rose 0.1% in April and were up 6.4% from the same period last year. House prices rose on a monthly basis in six of nine census divisions, with the largest gains coming in the East North Central division. Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross blamed speculators for the recent sharp rise in domestic steel prices. Ross said that “intermediaries” are stockpiling steel and intentionally constricting supply and driving prices up, and that the Commerce Department would investigate these practices. FT

According to the Wall Street Journal, Germany’s largest automakers support the abolition of all import tariffs between the E.U. and U.S. The move is seen as a way to avoid an all-out trade war between the two trading partners and comes after the E.U. retaliated against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. WSJ

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