U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 11, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Consumer prices fell 0.1% in March (up 2.4% on the year).  The “core” CPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.2% in February and is up 2.1% on the year.  BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House is preparing an aid package for farmers harmed by potential tariffs on U.S. exports to China. The administration is reportedly examining past farm income-assistance programs such as the Commodity Credit Corp., which was formed to stabilize farm incomes during the deepest parts of the Great Depression. WSJ

Lingling Wei of the Wall Street Journal writes that Chinese President Xi Jinping offered to further open China’s markets to foreign businesses. President Xi promised that China would import more foreign goods, accelerate access to Chinese insurance and financial sectors, and offer greater protection for intellectual property. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 10, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand rose 0.3% in March and is up 3.0% since March of last year.  The core — which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — rose 0.4% and is up 2.9% on the year.  BLS Report

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 2.9 points to 104.7 in March but remains near all-time highs, as eight of the components fell and two rose. The share of small business owners who expect the economy to improve fell 11 points.  NFIB Report

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that wholesale merchant inventories rose 1.0% in February to $625.6 billion. Inventories were up 5.5% year-over-year. Census Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan says he sees the Fed raising interest rates two more times this year. Kaplan also said that the pace of rate hikes could slow in coming years because of moderating growth in 2019 and 2020. WSJ

According to Laura Kusisto and Christina Rexrode of the Wall Street Journal, high home prices are pushing Americans deeper into debt. Data show that roughly 20% of Americans who recently took out a mortgage have debt-to-income ratios above 45%, the highest level since the Great Recession and a sign that this spring may be the weakest selling season in years. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 9, 2018

 

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, the White House is looking for ways to rescind some of the expenditures authorized by the recent $1.3 trillion spending bill. President Trump’s administration aims to use the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to cut certain funding, which would allow for a simple majority vote as opposed to a supermajority of 60 votes in the Senate. WSJ

Gillian Tett of the Financial Times writes that despite widespread fears of driverless vehicles destroying trucking jobs, the reality is that there is currently a dire shortage of truck drivers. While automated vehicles may be a longer-term threat, the rapid rise in online shopping and a historically tight labor market have pushed trucking capacity utilization to nearly 100%. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 6, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs in March, well below consensus. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%, the labor force participation rate edged down to 62.9%, and average hourly earnings edged up to 2.7% Y/Y. BLS Report

U.S. News

According to the Financial Times, the Trump administration is considering new tariffs on $100 billion of Chinese goods. The administration says that the tariffs would be in response to China’s recent retaliatory tariffs on roughly $50 billion of U.S. goods, which have been seen by some as the opening shots in a trade war. FT

The Wall Street Journal reports that China has vowed to “hit back forcefully” after President Trump announced that he is considering tariffs on a further $100 billion of Chinese imports. Although U.S. officials have said that there are bilateral talks occurring, Chinese officials completely denied that any talks were happening that may help avoid escalation. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 5, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. trade deficit increased from $56.7 billion in January (revised) to $57.6 billion in February. The goods deficit rose $0.3 billion while the services surplus fell $0.6 billion. Census Bureau Report

Initial jobless claims rose 24,000 to 242,000 last week. The four-week moving average increased 3,000 to 228,250.  DOL Report

U.S. News

Eric Morath of the Wall Street Journal writes that a new study by the University of Chicago found that recently-imposed trade barriers are unlikely to bring back many U.S. blue-collar jobs. The study reports that while tariffs may boost output for some domestic manufacturers, competition from China and other low-cost producers pushed the manufacturing sector to replace many lower-skilled workers with technology over the past two decades, a shift that is difficult to undo. WSJ

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