U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 4, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 10,000 to 202,000 last week, the lowest level in 50 years. The four-week moving average fell 4,000 to 213,500. DOL Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, a new IMF study found that, if enacted, 25% tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S. coupled with Chinese retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods would lower U.S. GDP by 0.3%-0.6% and China’s GDP by 0.5%-1.5%. The report noted that while global growth would decline overall, certain regions—including Mexico, Canada, Europe, and parts of Asia—would benefit in the short run from trade diverted through their economies. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 3, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index declined 3.6 percentage points to 56.1 in March. The New Orders Index fell 6.2 percentage points to 59.0, while the Employment Index increased 0.7 percentage point to 55.9. ISM Report

The ADP Employment Report shows that private-sector employment increased by 129,000 jobs in March, below expectations of 165,000. The services sector added 135,000 jobs, while the goods-producing sector lost 6,000 jobs. ADP Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, a newly-released New York Fed report indicates that younger Americans lack access to credit, making it harder to purchase homes and build personal wealth. The report found that millennials, burdened by high student-loan debt, have lower levels of mortgage originations and higher auto and credit card delinquency rates compared to previous generations. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that major auto makers are reporting declines in first quarter U.S. sales, citing post-recession sales peaks, rising prices, and the attractiveness of used car options as reasons why new vehicle sales are in decline. Some producers expressed cautious optimism that demand for new cars will pick up later this year amid sustained low unemployment and strong wage growth. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 2, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

New orders of manufactured durable goods fell 1.6% in February after rising 0.1% (revised) in January but are up 4.4% year-to-date. Excluding transportation, new orders edged up 0.1% (up 3.2% YTD). Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

According to the Financial Times, the World Trade Organization has warned of “strong headwinds” facing global trade over the next two years due to commercial tensions, slowing economies, financial volatility, and tighter monetary conditions in developed countries. The WTO downgraded its estimate of global trade growth in 2018 to 3.0% and expects global trade to grow by just 2.6% in 2019. FT

The Wall Street Journal reports that indices of manufacturing activity rebounded in the U.S. and China in March while dropping sharply in Europe, suggesting an uneven outlook on global growth. The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index for the eurozone indicated the largest decline in output in nearly six years as European manufacturers struggle with trade tensions and slowing demand from China. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 1, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Retail sales dropped 0.2% in February but were up 2.2% compared to last year.  Core sales — which excludes autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services — also fell 0.2% after a 1.7% (revised) surge in January. Census Bureau Report

The ISM Manufacturing Index increased 1.1 percentage points to 55.3 in March. The Employment Index rose 5.2 percentage points to 57.5 while the New Orders Index rose 1.9 percentage points to 57.4.  ISM Report

Construction spending rose 1.0% in February to an annualized rate of $1.32 trillion. Public construction rose 3.6% while private construction increased just 0.2%.  Census Bureau Report

Business inventories increased 0.8% in January and are up 5.3% from last year.  Manufacturers’ sales edged down 0.4% but are up 2.9% year-over-year. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that China’s official manufacturing PMI hit a six-month high in March, indicating expansions in new orders, production, and hiring. The rebound suggests that Beijing’s stimulus measures are finally starting to take effect, but economists caution that unresolved trade issues with the U.S. and deflationary pressure in manufacturing and commodities will continue to drag on China’s growth. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

March 29, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Disposable personal income increased 0.2% in February after easing 0.2% in January, while real personal consumption expenditure (PCE) rose 0.1% in January. The PCE price index eased 0.1% (up 1.4% Y/Y) and the core price index increased 0.1% (up 1.8% Y/Y) in January. BEA Report

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose 4.6 points to 98.4 in the final March reading and is down 3.0 points on the year. The Index of Consumer Expectations increased 4.4 points to 88.8, while the Current Economic Conditions Index rose 4.8 points to 113.3. University of Michigan

New home sales rose 4.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 667,000 in February, and are 0.6% above the February 2018 rate.  The median sales price rose to $315,300 and the inventory of new homes dropped to 6.1 months at the current sales rate. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal reports that Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said the central bank will closely monitor pressing risks to global growth, drawing on past examples of success by the Fed in mitigating risks from abroad. Clarida maintains that financial linkages have tightened from globalization, so foreign risks such as Brexit pose a greater threat. WSJ

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