U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 7, 2018

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that China has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over the recent U.S. tariffs on solar panels and washing machines. China contends that the tariffs do not follow international trade rules, and the country seeks compensation from the U.S. as a result. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said yesterday that the recent decline in the stock market does not overly concern him. Mnuchin said that he believes that the U.S.’ economic fundamentals remain strong and that the decline was in part due to algorithmic trading. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 6, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. trade deficit increased from $50.4 billion in November (revised) to $53.1 billion in December. The goods deficit rose $2.6 billion and the services surplus edged down $0.1 billion. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely-watched measure of labor market health, indicated there were 5.8 million job openings at the end of December, down slightly from November.  Hires held at 5.5 million while the quits rate ticked up 0.1 percentage point to 2.2%.  BLS Report

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. farmers are producing far too much wheat and corn, worsening the global supply glut. Farmers who have invested significant amounts of capital in machinery and equipment have little ability to scale production up or down on short notice, which has caused some agricultural commodity prices to tumble since 2014. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, a new study by the United Nations finds that the recent U.S. tax cuts will offer a limited boost to foreign investment in the U.S. The report finds only a mild boost to foreign investment in the U.S. after the tax cuts because so many foreign-based firms were already paying lower tax rates by taking advantage of deductions and loopholes. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 5, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rose 3.9 percentage points to 59.9 in January. The New Orders Index jumped 8.2 percentage points to 62.7 while the Employment Index rose 5.3 percentage points to 61.6. ISM Report

U.S. News

The Washington Post reports that the U.S. government is set to borrow $955 billion this fiscal year, an 84% increase from last year. The Congressional Budget Office stated in a report that the sharp increase in borrowing was due to lower tax receipts that are the result of recently-passed tax cuts, which may complicate future negotiations on spending bills in Congress. WaPo

Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal writes that there are a number of challenges facing new Fed chairman Jerome Powell, including the possibility of an overheating economy. Timiraos argues that rising long-term bond yields, a historically tight labor market, and inflated asset prices all could affect the Fed’s decisions on interest rate hikes in the coming months. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 2, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in January, above consensus. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%, the labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.7%, and average hourly earnings accelerated to 2.9% Y/Y. BLS Report

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index edged down 0.2 point to 95.7 in the final January reading, and is down 2.8 points on the year. The Index of Consumer Expectations rose 2.0 points to 86.3, while the Current Economic Conditions Index dropped 3.3 points to 110.5. Report

New factory orders for manufactured goods rose 1.7% in December following a 1.7% increase in November, and are up 6.0% on the year. New orders excluding transportation increased 0.7% while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.6%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Americans poured money into charitable-giving vehicles known as donor-advised funds at the end of 2017 before the new tax code took effect. The new tax code, which saw the standard deduction double for single filers and married couples, is expected to result in fewer charitable donations because fewer Americans will itemize their deductions. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 1, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims decreased 1,000 to 230,000 last week. The four-week moving average fell 5,000 to 234,500.  DOL Report

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.1% in Q4 after rising 2.7% (revised) in Q3. Hours worked increased 3.3% in Q4 and unit labor costs rose 2.0%. BLS Report

The ISM Manufacturing Index edged down 0.2 percentage point to 59.1 in January.  The New Orders Index decreased 2.0 percentage points to 65.4 and the Employment Index fell 3.9 percentage points to 54.2.  ISM Report
 
Construction spending increased 0.7% in December to an annualized rate of $1.25 trillion. 
Public construction edged up 0.3% and private construction rose 0.8%.  Census Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Federal Reserve held short-term interest rates steady after its recent meeting. Officials also said that they expect inflation to pick up this year, acknowledging a recent increase in market-based inflation expectations. WSJ

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