U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 19, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Privately-owned housing starts jumped 9.2% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.28 million (up 9.4% year-over-year). Housing permits declined 5.7% to a 1.23 million annual pace in August and are down 5.5% on the year. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal writes that the latest round of tariffs on Chinese goods will likely raise auto-parts prices for U.S. consumers. The newest tariffs, which cover roughly $200 billion of imports from China such as auto parts, could impact the prices of both new and used cars in the coming months. WSJ

Lucy Hornby of the Financial Times reports that Chinese officials have pledged a series of pro-business reforms that aim to bolster foreign confidence in the Chinese economy. Officials say that China will cut taxes, promote lending to non-Chinese firms, and allow for equal treatment of foreign and domestic firms. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 18, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NAHB Housing Market Index was unchanged at 67.0 in September. Builder confidence remained strong due to solid demand for housing, especially from millennials who represent an increasing share of homebuyers. NAHB Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that China will impose tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods in response to new U.S. tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. President Trump has promised that if China were to retaliate against the new U.S. tariffs the U.S. would impose tariffs on a further $267 billion of Chinese imports, which would mean that the U.S. would have tariffs in place affecting nearly every good imported from China. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow says that projected increases in federal government deficits are due to excess spending. Kudlow rejected the notion that deficits were widening because of recent tax cuts and stated that he expects the federal government to run deficits of 4-5% of GDP, which he believes “is not a catastrophe.” WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 14, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Retail sales edged up 0.1% in August and were up 6.6% on the year. Core sales — which excludes autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services — also inched up 0.1%. Census Bureau Report
 
Business inventories rose 0.6% in July and were up 4.3% from last year. 
Manufacturers’ sales were unchanged but were up 9.7% on the year. Census Bureau Report
 
Industrial production rose 0.4% in August (up 4.9% Y/Y), after increasing 0.4% (revised) in July. 
Capacity utilization rose 0.2 point to 78.1 in August. Fed Report

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose 4.6 points to 100.8 in the preliminary September reading, and is up 5.7 points on the year. The Index of Consumer Expectations increased 4.0 points to 91.1, while the Current Economic Conditions Index jumped 5.8 points to 116.1. Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that President Trump has lowered expectations of a potential new round of trade negotiations with China. Although Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has reached out to his Chinese counterparts to open trade dialogue again, President Trump says that the U.S. feels no pressure to make a deal because U.S. markets are surging and China’s markets are collapsing. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 13, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Consumer prices rose 0.2% in August (up 2.7% on the year). The “core” CPI, which excludes food and energy, edged up 0.1% in August and is up 2.2% on the year. BLS Report
 
Initial jobless claims fell 1,000 to 204,000 last week.
The four-week moving average decreased 2,000 to 208,000. DOL Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that new survey data show that three in five U.S. companies operating in China have already been hurt by the trade conflict between the two nations. One in three companies also report that they are considering relocating China-based manufacturing due to the tariffs. FT

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration is asking China to hold a new round of trade negotiations. However, trade experts caution that a new round of talks is unlikely to halt planned tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese imports. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 12, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand edged down 0.1% in August but is up 2.8% since August of last year.  The core — which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — edged up 0.1% and is up 2.9% on the year.  BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese leaders have told American business executives that Beijing will not target American firms’ operations in China as retaliation against U.S. tariffs. The shift in tone from just a few months ago, when Chinese officials warned of “corporate casualties” in the escalating trade war, comes as China’s economy appears to have weakened somewhat. WSJ

Richard Waters of the Financial Times writes that tech startups are bearing the brunt of U.S. tariffs on key Chinese technological items. Small companies have been forced to raise prices for their goods as tariffs have piled up and many companies face inflexible supply chains due to smaller pools of available cash and long-term existing commitments. FT

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