U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 11, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.9 point to 108.8 in August, a new all-time high, as six of the components rose and four fell. The share of small business owners who are planning to hire more workers reached a record high.  NFIB Report

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that wholesale merchant inventories rose 0.6% in July to $636.3 billion. Inventories were up 5.0% year-over-year. Census Report

U.S. News

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely-watched measure of labor market health, indicated there were 6.9 million job openings at the end of July, little changed from June. Hires were flat at 5.7 million while the quits rate inched up to 2.4%.  BLS Report

Bob Tita of the Wall Street Journal reports that workers at two of the largest U.S. steel-producing firms are demanding higher wages as tariffs on imported steel drive profits higher. Union leaders say that steelmakers can afford to offer larger pay raises than they would have otherwise offered, especially because the two firms account for 40% of flat-rolled steel production capacity in the U.S. and can set prices accordingly. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 10, 2018

U.S. News

Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal writes that Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren says that the Fed should continue gradually hiking interest rates. Rosengren says that three or four more rate hikes will move the fed funds rate closer to its neutral rate, at which point the Fed may have to continue raising rates in order to contain inflationary pressures and prevent overheating. WSJ

The Washington Post reports that blue-collar jobs are growing at their fastest rate in over thirty years. Data show that jobs in goods-producing industries like mining, construction, and manufacturing are growing at a 3.3% annual rate, much faster than the growth rate for jobs in the service sector. WaPo

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 7, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy added 201,000 jobs in August, above consensus. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.9%, the labor force participation rate dropped to 62.7%, and average hourly earnings accelerated to 2.9% Y/Y. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that New York Fed President John Williams said Thursday that a potential yield-curve inversion alone is not enough to stop him from supporting further rate hikes. Williams said that an inverted yield curve would not automatically signal a recession due to extensive, global quantitative easing that has occurred over the last decade. WSJ

Richard Rubin of the Wall Street Journal writes that House Republicans are moving to make December’s personal tax cuts permanent. Though the tax cuts for individuals are currently scheduled to expire in 2025 and any extension wouldn’t have an immediate effect, House Republicans are hurrying to make the cuts permanent in advance of this fall’s midterm elections. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 6, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ADP Employment Report shows that private-sector employment increased by 163,000 jobs in August, below expectations of 182,000. The services sector added 139,000 jobs and the goods-producing sector added 24,000 jobs. ADP Report

Initial jobless claims fell 10,000 to 203,000 last week. The four-week moving average decreased 2,750 to 209,500.  DOL Report

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 2.9% in Q2 and was up 1.3% on the year. Hours worked increased 2.0% (revised) in Q2 and unit labor costs fell 1.0% (revised). BLS Report

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rose 2.8 percentage points to 58.5 in August. The New Orders Index increased 3.4 percentage points to 60.4 while the Employment Index inched up 0.6 percentage point to 56.7. ISM Report
 
New factory orders for manufactured goods fell 0.8% in July following a 0.6% (revised) increase in June,
but are up 8.3% on the year. New orders excluding transportation edged up 0.2% while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft jumped 1.6%. Census Bureau Report

 

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 5, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. trade deficit jumped from $45.7 billion in June (revised) to $50.1 billion in July. The goods deficit rose $4.2 billion while the services surplus edged down $0.1 billion. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

he Wall Street Journal reports that St. Louis Fed President James Bullard has called for a pause in Fed rate hikes. Bullard says that the Fed should hold off on rate hikes until more economic data come in, and also pointed to the flattening yield curve as evidence that raising federal interest rates further could push the economy toward a recession. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. and Canada will resume trade talks today in an effort to reach a new NAFTA deal. The tense talks come as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that no NAFTA deal is better for Canada than a bad NAFTA deal, and that there are key provisions, including a dispute-resolution system, that must be included in any new deal. WSJ

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