U.S. Economic Indicators

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rose 3.0 percentage points to 59.7 in February. The New Orders Index rose 7.5 percentage points to 65.2, while the Employment Index declined 2.6 percentage points to 55.2. ISM Report

New home sales rose 3.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 621,000 in December, but are 2.4% below the December 2017 rate.  The median sales price rose to $318,600 and the inventory of new homes rose to 6.6 months at the current sales rate. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that China lowered its economic growth target this year to between 6% and 6.5% amid a deepening slowdown that is further exacerbated by elevated debt levels. Despite such high levels of debt, Chinese authorities are considering increasing deficit spending, launching new tax cuts, and boosting bank lending to small and private companies. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren stated the Fed should hold off on interest rate hikes while it assesses whether turbulence in the economy at the end of 2018 has carried into 2019. Rosengren also indicated that it remains to be seen if last year’s weaknesses are signs of a long-term slowdown or a response to temporary concerns. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that President Trump disrupted trade relations with India and Turkey after deciding goods from the two countries were no longer eligible for tariff-free access to the U.S. market. The U.S. trade representative stated that Turkey and India no longer qualified as “beneficiary developing countries,” which provided low-income and emerging economies with duty-free access to the U.S. market for some exports. FT