U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 7, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 19,000 to 234,000 last week. The four-week moving average rose 4,500 to 224,750. DOL Report


U.S. News

Emre Peker at the Wall Street Journal reports that eurozone economic growth is expected to slow significantly as global trade and the increasing risk of a chaotic Brexit weigh on the currency union. In addition to the U.S.-China trade dispute, Italy’s ballooning national debt and the weakening manufacturing and export outlook in Germany will act as headwinds for the E.U. in 2019. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, despite steady declines in foreign ownership of U.S. government debt over the last decade, there has not been a notable jump in government bond yields because U.S. investors have a strong appetite for government debt. Although domestic investors have picked up the slack due to weaker foreign demand, some analysts say that this trend cannot continue forever and that the U.S. may face issues trying to fund itself in the future. WSJ

The New York Times reports that the USMCA deal, President Trump’s replacement to NAFTA, has little chance of passing Congress without significant changes. While Democrats maintain the deal does not go far enough to protect workers and the environment, Republicans say it goes too far in restricting trade. NY Times

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 6, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. trade deficit decreased from $55.7 billion in October (revised) to $49.3 billion in November. The goods deficit fell $6.7 billion while the services surplus decreased $0.3 billion. Census Bureau Report


U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S.’ chief trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing early next week to continue trade talks as the March 1 deadline to reach an accord approaches. In previous talks, the Chinese agreed to broaden areas for discussion to include items China previously would not negotiate on for national security reasons. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, OPEC is backing a partnership with a group of 10 nations led by Russia, attempting to manage the global oil market with a pact that would transform the cartel. The pact would formalize the loose union between OPEC countries and the group led by Russia, which includes former Soviet states and Mexico, and the partnership could ultimately benefit the U.S. oil industry. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 5, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index dropped 1.3 percentage points to 56.7 in January. The New Orders Index dropped 5.0 percentage points to 57.7 while the Employment Index rose 1.2 percentage points to 57.8. ISM Report


U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that a recent survey conducted by the Fed found a growing minority of banks reported tightening standards for some loans in the fourth quarter and expected loan demand and performance to weaken. This finding suggests that an increasing number of institutions are anticipating a lending slowdown in 2019. WSJ

Paul Hannon reports for the Wall Street Journal that Europe’s economy had a weak start to 2019, as Italy remains stuck in recession and uncertainty around Britain’s exit from the E.U. has dragged on U.K. growth. The eurozone’s economy slowed more sharply than expected in 2018 and appear set to cool further this year. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that Europe would be the biggest winner of a U.S.-China tariff war by picking up the largest portion of bilateral trade diverted from the two largest economies. A report, published by the U.N.’s trade and investment body, concluded that tariffs imposed by Beijing and Washington would do little to protect their domestic economies because most of the trade would switch to other countries, particularly the E.U. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 4, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

New factory orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.6% in November following a 2.1% (revised) drop in October, but are up 7.9% year to date. New orders excluding transportation fell 1.3% while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.6%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan believes the Fed will halt interest rate increases until at least the summer. A slowing global economy, tight financial conditions, and muted inflationary pressures all contributed to the Fed’s recent decision to keep the target rate between 2.25% and 2.50%. WSJ

Ruth Simon of the Wall Street Journal reports that after a strong 2018, many small businesses are becoming more cautious about their investment and hiring plans. Small businesses are responding to early signs of slowing sales, tariffs, volatile financial markets, and residual effects of the government shutdown, according to a survey conducted for the Wall Street Journal. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that the weakness in global trade flows is worsening more quickly than expected. Although the U.S. and China are reportedly moving closer to a deal that would end their trade war, a rapidly-dimming global expansion and tight financial conditions have dampened demand for exports. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 1, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy added 304,000 jobs in January, far above consensus. The unemployment rate rose to 4.0%, the labor force participation rate edged up to 63.2%, and average hourly earnings annual growth edged down to 3.2%. BLS Report

The ISM Manufacturing Index increased 2.3 percentage points to 56.6 in December. The Employment Index edged down 0.5 percentage point to 55.5 while the New Orders Index rose 6.9 percentage points to 58.2.  ISM Report

Construction spending rose 0.8% in November to an annualized rate of $1.3 trillion.  Public construction fell 0.9% while private construction increased 1.3%.  Census Report

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that wholesale merchant inventories edged up 0.3% in November to $654.0 billion. Inventories were up 6.5% year-over-year. Census Report

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