U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

March 12, 2018

 

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that St. Louis Fed president James Bullard warned yesterday that the Federal Reserve risks slowing the U.S.’ recovery. Bullard also said that the Fed would not have to raise interest rates very high in order to slow the current expansion and that already-below-target inflation would remain subdued if rates were raised too quickly. FT

Andrew Van Dam of the Washington Post argues that standard statistics such as the trade balance are imperfect measures of bilateral trade. Van Dam contends that the bilateral trade balance exaggerates trade deficits between countries, and that value-added measurements are more accurate measures of a country’s exports. WaPo

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

March 9, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy added 313,000 jobs in February, above consensus. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%, the labor force participation rate jumped to 63.0%, and average hourly earnings decelerated to 2.6% Y/Y. BLS Report

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that wholesale merchant inventories rose 0.8% in January to $619.1 billion. Inventories were up 4.8% year-over-year. Census Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump yesterday signed sweeping tariffs on steel and aluminum imports but exempted Canada and Mexico from the duties. The tariffs will take effect in two weeks, though many Congressional Republicans have voiced their opposition to the tariffs and have expressed fears of retaliation from trading partners, especially those in Europe. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

March 8, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims rose 21,000 to 231,000 last week. The four-week moving average increased 2,000 to 222,500.  DOL Report

U.S. News

Eric Morath of the Wall Street Journal reports that a new study from the Brookings Institution argues that while automation is not broadly eliminating jobs, it may be keeping incomes lower than they otherwise would be. The study found that automation actually increased total employment in advanced economies over the last five decades, but that productivity-enhancing advances meant that the owners of capital took home a larger share of profits. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, a new report from Harvard economists finds that recent tax cuts would have a net cost of $1.2 trillion to the U.S. Treasury over a decade. The paper also finds that the tax cuts would add a total of about 0.4% to economic growth over ten years, though growth benefits would expand if Congress extends certain expiring tax provisions, such as full expensing of capital investments. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

March 7, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ADP Employment Report shows that private-sector employment increased by 235,000 jobs in February, above expectations of 205,000.  The services sector added 198,000 jobs and the goods-producing sector added 37,000 jobs. ADP Report
 
The U.S. trade deficit increased from $53.9 billion in December (revised) to $56.6 billion in January. 
The goods deficit rose $2.8 billion while the services surplus edged up $0.1 billion. Census Bureau Report
 
Nonfarm business sector labor productivity was unchanged in Q4 (revised) after rising 2.6% (revised) in Q3. 
Hours worked increased 3.3% in Q4 and unit labor costs rose 2.5%. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn will soon resign. Cohn remains opposed to President Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, which many fear will cause a global trade war. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

March 6, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

New factory orders for manufactured goods fell 1.4% in January following a 1.8% increase in December, but are up 8.4% on the year. New orders excluding transportation increased 0.4% while new orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.3%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

Paul Hannon of the Wall Street Journal writes that global inflation in developed economies stalled in January despite expectations of a pickup. As global economic growth accelerates, many market-watchers have expected inflationary pressures to ramp up, though data show that inflation in OECD countries edged down in January, mainly due to weaker inflation in Europe. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, more business income will be subject to state taxes because of changes to the federal corporate tax code. Now that the federal corporate tax rate has been lowered, businesses will have more income subject to state taxes, which may cause states to lower their corporate tax rates, spend the additional revenue, or lower individual tax rates. WSJ

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