U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 4, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ISM Manufacturing Index rose 3.2 percentage points to 61.3 in August. The Employment Index increased 2.0 percentage points to 58.5 while the New Orders Index jumped 4.9 percentage points to 65.1.  ISM Report
 
Construction spending was up 0.1% in July at an annualized rate of $1.32 trillion. 
Public construction rose 0.7% while private construction edged down 0.1%.  Census Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that sand companies operating in the Permian Basin may face declining demand for sand this year just as a flood of new sand supplies comes online. Although U.S. oil production is expected to set new records this year, constraints such as insufficient pipeline capacity and scarce labor mean that oil companies may cut back on production increases, causing the price of sand to drop. WSJ

Ben Bland of the Financial Times writes that the escalating U.S.-China trade war is forcing China-based manufacturers to realign global supply chains. Bland notes that while many firms are seeking to shorten supply chains to minimize the impact of tariffs on their products, it is unlikely that firms will be able to establish new relationships with factories, suppliers, and governments in the short-term, meaning that consumers will likely face higher prices. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

August 31, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index fell 1.7 points to 96.2 in the final August reading, and is down 0.6 point on the year. The Index of Consumer Expectations edged down 0.2 point to 87.1, while the Current Economic Conditions Index dropped 4.1 points to 110.3. Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that President Trump has threatened to pull the U.S. out of the WTO. The threat came yesterday as the President criticized the WTO for infringing on American sovereignty and for unfavorable outcomes in dispute-settlement cases brought before the organization. FT

Amrith Ramkumar of the Wall Street Journal writes that a prolonged rally in the U.S. dollar could put downward pressure on global stock markets. News that the U.S. may impose $200 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese imports caused the dollar to rise yesterday, and a further strengthening of the dollar could cause the prices of dollar-denominated commodities to rise for foreign buyers. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

August 30, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Real disposable personal income rose 0.2% in July while real personal consumption expenditures (PCE) also increased 0.2%. The PCE price index edged up 0.1% (up 2.3% Y/Y) and the core price index rose 0.2% (up 2.0% Y/Y). BEA Report

Initial jobless claims rose 3,000 to 213,000 last week. 
The four-week moving average decreased 1,500 to 212,250. DOL Report

U.S. News

The New York Times reports that the EU’s top trade official today said that the EU would be willing to remove all tariffs on cars and other industrial products as part of a trade deal with the U.S. The EU would require the U.S. to zero out all tariffs on foreign vehicles as well, though it is unclear if a narrow deal between the two trading partners would breach WTO rules. NYT

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. International Trade Commission has blocked the Trump administration from implementing tariffs on Canadian newsprint. The ITC ruled unanimously that Canadian newsprint imports did not cause “material injury” to U.S. paper producers, meaning that the tariffs will no longer be a headwind for U.S. newspapers, many of which had cut jobs in response to the tariffs. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

August 23, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The FHFA House Price Index shows that U.S. house prices rose 1.1% in the second quarter and were up 6.5% from the same period last year.  House prices rose in all fifty states and ninety-nine of the one hundred largest metropolitan areas. Report

New home sales fell 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 627,000 in July, but are 12.8% above the July 2017 rate.  The median sales price rose to $328,700 and the inventory of new homes increased to 5.9 months at the current sales rate. Census Bureau Report
 
Initial jobless claims fell 2,000 to 210,000 last week.
The four-week moving average decreased 1,750 to 213,750.  DOL Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Federal Reserve officials at their most recent meeting signaled that they are likely to raise interest rates in September. Most Fed officials see four rate hikes this year, though they also highlighted the risk from escalating trade disputes, which could be a headwind to growth and require slower rate increases. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

August 22, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Existing home sales edged down 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million in July, and are 1.5% below year-ago levels. NAR notes existing home sales are now at their weakest level in over two years as buyers are increasingly priced out of the market for existing homes.  NAR Report

U.S. News

Christopher Matthews of the Wall Street Journal writes that the hottest new area for investment in the oil industry is companies that handle drilling wastewater. Fracking in the Permian Basin alone produces over 600 million gallons of wastewater per day, and companies now are building new pipelines to transport the water, as opposed to trucking the water away as in the past. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan says that the Fed should move ahead with gradual rate increases due to a very strong job market and firming inflation. Kaplan also noted that bond market developments may be signaling that the current expansion is getting long in the tooth. WSJ

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