U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 1, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ADP Employment Report shows that private-sector employment increased by 235,000 jobs in October, slightly above expectations of 210,000.  The services sector added 150,000 jobs and the goods-producing sector added 85,000 jobs.  ADP Report
 
The ISM Manufacturing Index fell 2.1 percentage points to 58.7 in October. 
The new orders index decreased 1.2 percentage points to 63.4 and the employment index edged down 0.5 percentage point to 59.8.  ISM Report
 
Construction spending increased 0.3% in September to an annualized rate of $1.22 trillion. 
Public construction rose 2.6% but private construction edged down 0.4%.  Census Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the GOP tax plan will not lower tax rates for the highest-earning individuals. The plan will also reportedly delay the repeal of the estate tax in an effort to obtain support from some critics who have said that the proposed tax plan affords too many benefits to the wealthy. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

October 31, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index jumped from 120.6 to 125.9 in October.  The improvement was driven by increases in the Present Situation Index to 151.1 and the Expectations Index to 109.1.  Conference Board Report

According to the Employment Cost Index, compensation costs for civilian workers rose 0.7% in the third quarter and are up 2.5% on the year.  Wages and salaries were up 2.5% on the year and benefit costs were up 2.4%. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. savings rate fell to a 10-year low of 3.1% in September as Americans purchased more big-ticket items like cars and appliances. While experts say that this is a sign of confidence in consumers, the low savings rate could pose a problem in the event of an economic downturn. WSJ

Harriet Torry of the Wall Street Journal writes that inflation remains well below the Fed’s target of 2%, creating a conundrum for policymakers. Some Fed officials have said that they should raise rates to keep the economy from overheating when inflation does pick up, while others have argued that the Fed should wait to see evidence of rising inflation before raising rates. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

October 30, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

Real disposable personal income was unchanged in September while real personal consumption expenditures (PCE) jumped 0.6%. The PCE price index rose 0.4% (1.6% Y/Y) and the core price index inched up 0.1% (1.3% Y/Y). BEA Report

U.S. News

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Joe Ricketts argues that community banks have become unnecessarily burdened with post-crisis regulations, harming their ability to lend to entrepreneurs. Ricketts contends that smaller community banks should be subject to different regulations than larger financial institutions to ensure that community banks are able to lend more freely. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that The National Association of Homebuilders (“NAHB”) will oppose the House Republicans’ tax bill because the bill eliminates the deduction for mortgage interest payments. The NAHB says that the bill will be harmful to the housing sector, as it will weaken the incentive to own a home, thereby adversely affecting home prices. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal President Trump is likely to name Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as the replacement for current Fed chair Janet Yellen. If nominated and confirmed, Powell would take the chair position in February 2018, though President Trump has still left open the possibility of nominating Yellen for another term. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

October 27, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The first estimate of Q3 GDP indicates that the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 3.0%, above the consensus estimate of 2.5%. The reading reflects healthy consumer spending, business investment, and net exports as well as strong contributions from private inventories. BEA
 
The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index jumped 5.6 points to
100.7 in the final October reading and is up 13.5 points on the year.  The Index of Consumer Expectations increased 6.1 points to 90.5, and the Current Economic Conditions Index rose 4.8 points to 116.5.  Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the House of Representatives narrowly voted to adopt the Senate budget for fiscal year 2018, clearing another hurdle for tax reform. The House Ways and Means Committee now expects to release its tax reform bill by this coming Wednesday in hopes of having a bill on the president’s desk by the end of the year. WSJ

According to the Washington Post, Congressional Republicans still have not yet resolved critical points of disagreement on their tax reform plan. Key sticking points include the treatment of 401(k) plans, the deduction of state and local taxes, and expansion of the child-care tax credit. WaPo

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

October 26, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. Census Bureau Advance Economic Indicators Report shows that the goods deficit widened to $64.1 billion in September from $63.3 billion (revised) in August.  Meanwhile, wholesale inventories rose 0.3% while retail inventories fell 1.0%.  Census Bureau Report
 
The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index
was unchanged in September (down 3.5% Y/Y).  NAR says that any savings attributable to lower mortgage rates have been offset by climbing home prices which have pushed many buyers out of the market.  NAR Report

Initial jobless claims increased 10,000 to 233,000 last week.  The four-week moving average fell 9,000 to 239,500. DOL Report

U.S. News

Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration continues to roll back regulations in order to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Ip writes that changes to pharmaceutical and telecom regulations should help to speed the development of new drugs and expand broadband access across the country. WSJ

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