U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 27, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index declined from 137.9 in October to 135.7 in November.  The decreased was driven by a worsening in the Expectations Index.  Conference Board Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Fed vice chairman Richard Clarida says that a recent spurt of productivity growth could explain why inflation remains relatively contained despite the hot economy. Clarida also noted that the sharp deceleration in business fixed investment in the third quarter will need to be reversed if the recent pickup in labor productivity growth is to be sustained. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal President Trump expects to move ahead with boosting the current tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. The President said that it is highly unlikely that he would accept Beijing’s request to refrain from raising tariff rates and that he also planned to impose tariffs on the remaining goods imports from China. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 26, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose from +0.14 (revised) in September to +0.24 in October.  The employment, sales, and production-related indicators made positive contributions, while the housing & personal consumption category contributed negatively. Chicago Fed Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal writes that Chinese ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai hopes the President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will make progress on economic and trade issues when they meet at the Group of 20 meetings in Buenos Aires. The Chinese ambassador stated that if current tensions between the U.S. and China continue, global markets may become fragmented. WSJ

Kris Maher of the Wall Street Journal reports that the cost of major infrastructure projects will rise due to tariffs, a strong economy and tight labor market. Through October, the prices of diesel fuel, asphalt, and steel mill products had increased significantly year-on-year, contributing to the rising costs of infrastructure investment. WSJ

Elga Bartsch writes in an op-ed for Financial Times that U.S. interest rates are slowly approaching the neutral level that stabilizes growth and inflation. Bartsch states that the Fed ought to continue raising rates to contain an overheating economy and ease imbalances accruing in the financial sector. FT

 

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 21, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index fell 1.1 points to 97.5 in the final November reading, and is down 1.0 point on the year. The Index of Consumer Expectations declined 1.2 points to 88.1, while the Current Economic Conditions Index edged down 0.8 point to 112.3. Report

New orders of manufactured durable goods decreased 4.4% in October after declining -0.1% (revised) in September, but are up 8.7% year to date. Excluding transportation, new orders edged up 0.1% (up 7.5% YTD).  Census Bureau Report

Initial jobless claims rose 3,000 to 224,000 last week. The four-week moving average increased 2,000 to 218,500. DOL Report

Existing home sales rose 1.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.22 million in October, but are 5.1% below year-ago levels. NAR says that the Fed should reevaluate its monetary policy to help ease the financial burden on potential first-time homebuyers. NAR report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that a trade war between the U.S. and China could put significant downward pressure on global growth by by 2021. According to the authors, the worst case scenario would cause global growth to be 0.8% below baseline projections by 2021, with United States output more than 1.0% below its baseline.  FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 20, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Privately-owned housing starts rose 1.5% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.23 million (down 2.9% year-over-year). Housing permits declined 0.6% to a 1.27 million annual pace in October and are down 6.0% on the year.  Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that local governments in China are providing funds to help private firms whose share prices have spiraled downward on the domestic stock exchange. A weakening private sector could further slow China’s growth, which eased to 6.5% last quarter. WSJ

Michael Derby of The Wall Street Journal reports that New York Fed President John Williams expects the Federal Reserve to continue steadily raising interest rates. Derby writes that the Federal Reserve is expected to raise rates again in December and throughout 2019 in order to quell inflationary pressures, despite unexpected slowing global growth and volatile financial markets. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 19, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NAHB Housing Market Index plunged 8.0 points to 60.0 in November and is now at its lowest point in over two years.  All the major components of the index posted declines this month as rising interest rates and home prices dampen demand. NAHB Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. factories are burning through inventories as logistical problems hamper restocking efforts. Company executives report that escalating tariffs, especially on Chinese imports, have driven firms to stock up on key goods, which in turn has exacerbated logistical issues and has increased input costs. WSJ

Jon Sindreu of the Wall Street Journal writes that a global U.S. dollar shortage has reemerged as 2018 comes to a close. Sindreu points to more restrictive banking regulations, the Fed’s shrinking balance sheet, and rising short-term interest rates in the U.S. as causes for the shortage. WSJ

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