U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 12, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Consumer prices edged up 0.1% in June (up 2.9% on the year). The “core” CPI, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.2% in June and is up 2.3% on the year.  BLS Report

Initial jobless claims dropped 18,000 to 214,000 last week. 
The four-week moving average decreased 1,750 to 223,000.  DOL Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that according to a recent survey, economists expect the unemployment rate to drop to a 50-year low of 3.6% by 2019. Many surveyed economists predict that recent tax cuts and increased federal spending will strengthen demand, which should provide a boost to hiring throughout this year and into 2019. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 11, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand rose 0.3% in June and is up 3.4% since June of last year.  The core — which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — edged up 0.3% and is up 2.7% on the year.  BLS Report

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that wholesale merchant inventories rose 0.6% in May to $633.5 billion. 
Inventories were up 5.9% year-over-year. Census Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. unveiled tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese imports, targeting products ranging from fish to luggage. Though China will likely retaliate against this latest round of tariffs, China imports less than $200 billion from the U.S., making a tit-for-tat retaliation difficult. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, stronger economic momentum has convinced some Federal Reserve officials to get on board with a faster rate hike schedule. Though some Fed officials previously advocated for a slower pace of rate hikes to avoid stifling growth, building inflationary pressures have pushed officials to consider compressing the rate hike schedule in order to prevent the economy from overheating. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 10, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index edged down 0.6 point to 107.2 in June, but remains in the top 2 percent of all readings, as five of the components rose and five fell. The share of small business owners who indicated that now is a good time to expand fell 5 points. NFIB Report

U.S. News

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely-watched measure of labor market health, indicated there were 6.7 million job openings at the end of April, an all-time high.  Hires rose to 5.6 million while the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3%.  BLS Report

According to the Wall Street Journal, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco claim that recent tax cuts may stimulate the economy less than previously anticipated. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed when the economy was already running hot, and research suggests that fiscal stimulus can provide a better boost to economic activity when there is more slack in the economy. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 9, 2018

U.S. News

Greg Ip from the Wall Street Journal writes that recently-imposed tariffs will likely hurt exporters even more than importers. U.S. tariffs will decrease demand for foreign goods and services, which will in turn deprive trading partners of money to buy U.S. exports, especially when foreign retaliatory tariffs make U.S. exports more expensive. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that a flattening yield curve has pushed some Fed officials to question whether the Fed should slow its current rate hike schedule to avoid an inverted yield curve – which has historically signaled an imminent recession. Last week, the yield curve fell to its lowest level since 2007, and further narrowing in the yield curve could compel the Fed to raise rates just once more in 2018 rather than the two additional rate hikes currently planned. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 5, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ADP Employment Report shows that private-sector employment increased by 177,000 jobs in June, below expectations of 190,000. The services sector added 148,000 jobs while the goods-producing sector added 29,000 jobs. ADP Report

Initial jobless claims rose 3,000 to 231,000 last week. The four-week moving average increased 2,250 to 224,500.  DOL Report

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index increased 0.5 percentage point to 59.1 in June. The New Orders Index rose 2.7 percentage points to 63.2 while the Employment Index edged down 0.5 percentage point to 53.6. ISM Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. businesses are preparing for production disruptions as tariffs on imported Chinese goods are set to be enforced on Friday. The U.S. will impose $34 billion in tariffs on imported Chinese machinery, auto parts, and medical devices, and China has stated intentions to retaliate in-kind. WSJ

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