U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 20, 2018

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump says that he is prepared to levy tariffs on all $500 billion of goods imported from China. President Trump also reiterated that further U.S. tariffs will be determined by the severity of Chinese retaliation and that he actually wants China to do well. WSJ

Robin Wigglesworth of the Financial Times writes that trade tensions could cause U.S. firms to pull back on capital investments. Although faster global economic growth and cuts to U.S. corporate taxes have contributed to a recent acceleration in business investment, some analysts expect that an escalating trade war could slow investment growth to half its 2017 pace. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 19, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims declined 8,000 to 207,000 last week. The four-week moving average decreased 2,750 to 220,500.  DOL Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration projects that federal budget deficits will be more than $100 billion larger than previously expected in each of the next three years. The upward revisions, which will result in annual federal budget deficits of more than $1 trillion per year starting next year, are a result of expanded government spending and higher interest payments. WSJ

Richard Rubin of the Wall Street Journal writes that House Republicans are working on legislation to make recent tax cuts permanent for individuals. However, Senate Republicans are reportedly less interested in voting on another tax package, which would require 60 votes in the Senate but could allow Senate Democrats from Republican states the chance to vote for a sure-to-fail bill. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 18, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Privately-owned housing starts plunged 12.3% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million (down 4.2% year-over-year). Housing permits edged down 2.2% to a 1.27 million annual pace in June and are down 3.0% on the year.  Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell says that the U.S. economy is performing well and that the Fed should continue raising interest rates. However, Powell also highlighted the risk of permanently higher tariffs resulting from escalating trade tensions, which could force the Fed to slow the pace of rate hikes. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. seaborne imports into west-coast ports surged in June as importers stocked up on key goods in advance of new tit-for-tat tariffs. Although Chinese goods make up some 70% of imports to key ports in California, just 7% of goods would be affected by this round of tariffs. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 17, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NAHB Housing Market Index was unchanged at 68.0 in July.  Builder confidence remained strong due to robust consumer demand for new homes. NAHB Report 

Industrial production rose 0.6% in June (up 3.8% Y/Y), after decreasing 0.5% (revised) in May.  Capacity utilization rose 0.3 point to 78.0 in June.  Fed Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration has filed WTO claims against key trade partners in response to recent retaliatory tariffs. The U.S. says that the retaliatory tariffs, which came after the U.S. imposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, violate WTO rules while the U.S. tariffs are justified under international agreements. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 16, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Retail sales rose 0.5% in June and were up 6.6% on the year.  Core sales — which excludes autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services — were unchanged in June. Census Bureau Report
 
Business inventories rose 0.4% in May and were up 4.4% from last year.  
Manufacturers’ sales increased 0.6% and were up 5.1% on the year. Census Bureau Report
 
The July Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that industrial activity in the New York region
continued to grow at a brisk pace, as the headline index edged down 2.4 points to 22.6, still a high level.  The new orders index dipped to 18.2, the shipments index fell to 14.6, and the index for number of employees edged down to 17.2; meanwhile, the index for hours worked declined but remains in expansionary territory.  NY Fed Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that productivity growth has become increasingly concentrated within the top 5% of firms in developed nations while growth has stagnated for the bottom 95% of firms. Many of the firms enjoying strong productivity growth are large, multinational firms that can exploit economies of scale and have significant revenue streams, allowing them to better shoulder the cost of major investments. WSJ

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