U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 11, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 8,000 to 196,000 last week, the lowest level for initial claims since 1969. The four-week moving average fell 7,000 to 207,000. DOL Report

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand rose 0.6% in March and is up 2.2% since March of last year. The core — which removes volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — was unchanged in March and is up 2.0% from a year ago. BLS Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the U.S. and China have agreed on an enforcement mechanism for their potential trade deal. Mnuchin indicated that the two countries are also close to completing a currency agreement which would limit China’s ability to manipulate its currency to gain an unfair trade advantage. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said the U.S. economy is doing well, despite his expectation that growth will slow this year from last year. Clarida stated that Fed officials are remaining patient as they assess the need for monetary policy adjustments amid slowing global growth and Brexit. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 10, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Consumer prices rose 0.4% in March (up 1.9% from a year ago). The “core” CPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.1% in March and is up 2.0% from twelve months ago. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the International Monetary Fund has cut its global growth forecast for this year to 3.3%, down from 3.5% in January. The IMF attributed its lower expectations to an environment of increased trade tensions, declining business confidence, tightening financial conditions, and higher policy uncertainty across many economies. WSJ

According to the Financial Times, the European Central Bank has reiterated its commitment to hold rates steady through at least the end of 2019, keeping monetary stimulus in place until the eurozone’s slowdown reverses course. The ECB is also planning to issue cheap central bank funding in an effort to resist credit shortages and is considering implementing a tiered deposit rate. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 9, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index edged up 0.1 point to 101.8 in March and remains near all-time highs as five components rose, three fell, and two were unchanged. Expectations for current job openings rose while expectations for the economy to improve remained unchanged. NFIB Report

U.S. News

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely-watched measure of labor market health, indicated there were 7.1 million job openings at the end of February, down 0.5 million from January.  Hires remained at 5.7 million while the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent.  BLS Report

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. announced plans to impose tariffs on $11 billion in imports from the European Union in response to a World Trade Organization ruling in the U.S.’s favor regarding EU subsidies to the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. The tariffs proposed by the U.S. would apply to a range of both aviation and non-aviation goods, though the final list of items and level of tariffs will ultimately be determined by a WTO-appointed arbitrator. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 8, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

New factory orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.5% in February following no change in January and are up 2.4% compared to a year ago. New orders excluding transportation rose 0.3% while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.1%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. lawmakers have until October to reach a deal to increase discretionary federal spending, a critical driver of GDP growth in the current economic expansion. Although analysts expect Congress to reach a bipartisan deal before spending limits automatically kick in this fall, there is a chance that heightened political tension could impede a new spending agreement, leading to an estimated 0.6% decrease in GDP growth. WSJ

According to the Financial Times, the latest update to the Brookings-FT Tracking Index for the Global Economic Recovery (TIGER) indicates that the global economy has entered a “synchronized slowdown” that is unlikely to reverse in 2019. The worsening outlook is driven by fading momentum in Europe, China, and the U.S., which may be difficult to reverse through fiscal stimulus and conventional monetary policy given current high levels of public debt and interest rates near or below zero. FT

 

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 5, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs in March, above consensus. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8%, the labor force participation rate edged down to 63.0%, and average hourly earnings increased by 3.2% over the past 12 months. BLS Report

U.S. News

The New York Times reports that U.S. manufacturing growth is expected to slow considerably as the industry faces headwinds from steel and aluminum tariffs, cooling growth in China and Europe, and waning effects of last year’s tax cuts. Cautious manufacturers are postponing investment in equipment, but a sharp increase in layoffs appears unlikely in the near term given the strength of the labor market and healthy consumer confidence. NYT

According to the Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker announced Thursday that he doesn’t anticipate a rate cut in 2019 or 2020, but sees at most one rate increase this year. Mr. Harker expects sustained, moderate growth of just over 2.0% in 2019, but acknowledged the risks posed by rising business uncertainty and decreasing confidence. WSJ

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