U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 11, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.5 points to 105.0 in May and remains near all-time highs as six components improved, one weakened, and three were unchanged. Capital spending plans increased along with expectations for sales, business conditions, and expansion. NFIB Report

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand rose 0.1% in May and is up 1.8% from May of last year. The core — which removes volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — rose 0.4% in May and is up 2.3% from a year ago. BLS Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, the gap between the number of job openings and the number of unemployed Americans increased to its largest margin on record in April, with over 1.5 million more unfilled jobs than Americans seeking work. Although growth in job openings has cooled in recent months, employers are still struggling to attract sufficient numbers of workers in a historically tight labor market. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that the U.S., Canada, and Australia have announced their intention to work together to encourage responsible development of materials that are critical for new energy technologies. A shift in global energy production away from fossil fuels is expected to sharply increase demand for materials such as copper, cobalt, and lithium, in which China is currently the world’s dominant supplier. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 10, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”) indicated there were 7.4 million job openings at the end of April, essentially unchanged from March.  Hires edged up to 5.9 million, while the quits rate remained at 2.3 percent. BLS Report

U.S. News

According to the Financial Times, Vietnam has vowed to crack down on companies that have been relabeling Chinese goods as made in Vietnam to avoid U.S. tariffs. Vietnam has benefited substantially from U.S. companies shifting purchasing and manufacturing away from China, with exports of Vietnamese goods to the U.S rising 40% in Q1 of 2019. FT

The Wall Street Journal reports that the American South has begun to diverge economically from the rest of the U.S., reversing decades of improvement driven by low taxes and low wages that once attracted thousands of blue-collar jobs. The rural South is struggling to compete for businesses and workers amid increased globalization in manufacturing and years of underinvestment in human capital development. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 7, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy added 75,000 jobs in May, well below consensus. The unemployment rate remained at 3.6%, the labor force participation rate held steady at 62.8%, and average hourly earnings annual growth edged down to 3.1%. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that although the U.S. and Mexico have made significant progress in border security negotiations over the past several days, the U.S. is still on track to impose tariffs on Mexican goods next week. The Mexican government is planning to deploy 6,000 troops to stem the flow of migrants entering the country from Guatemala, but the U.S. insists that Mexico take further action to help enforce U.S. asylum policies. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, a recent Fed report found that American households’ net worth rose 4.5% in the first quarter of 2019, more than making up for losses from last year’s stock market turbulence. The report also indicated a slowdown in household debt accumulation that could reflect a slowdown in spending, a worrying sign for the consumer-driven U.S. economy. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 6, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims were unchanged from last week at 218,000. The four-week moving average fell 2,500 to 215,000. DOL Report

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 3.4% in Q1 and rose 2.4% compared to last year. Hours worked increased 0.5% and unit labor costs fell 1.6%. BLS Report

The U.S. trade deficit declined from $51.9 billion in March (revised) to $50.8 billion in April. The goods deficit fell by $1.0 billion while the services surplus increased by $0.1 billion. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, international negotiators are making progress on rewriting rules for how countries tax multinational corporations in the era of digitization. Participants are optimistic that the OECD-managed talks will reach consensus on policies to minimize disputes between countries and discourage nations from enacting separate taxes on international corporations. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 5, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ADP Employment Report shows that private-sector employment increased by 27,000 jobs in May, significantly below expectations of 175,000. The services sector added 71,000 jobs, while the goods-producing sector lost 43,000 jobs. ADP Report

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rose 1.4 points to 56.9 in May. The New Orders Index rose 0.5 point to 58.6, while the Employment Index rose 4.4 points to 58.1. ISM Report

U.S. News

According to the Financial Times, the U.S. Commerce Department has warned that any halt to China’s rare earth exports would cause “significant shocks” to U.S. supply chains. The Commerce Department recommended streamlining the permitting process for domestic mining to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign suppliers of critical minerals. FT

Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal reports that a major trade war between the U.S. and China is comparable to the 1973 Arab oil embargo, but would have milder consequences given currently low inflation. He noted that although many companies are starting to shift supply chains away from China to minimize potential disruptions, the process will take years to complete and will harm U.S. productivity. WSJ