U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.5 points to 105.0 in May and remains near all-time highs as six components improved, one weakened, and three were unchanged. Capital spending plans increased along with expectations for sales, business conditions, and expansion. NFIB Report

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand rose 0.1% in May and is up 1.8% from May of last year. The core — which removes volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — rose 0.4% in May and is up 2.3% from a year ago. BLS Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, the gap between the number of job openings and the number of unemployed Americans increased to its largest margin on record in April, with over 1.5 million more unfilled jobs than Americans seeking work. Although growth in job openings has cooled in recent months, employers are still struggling to attract sufficient numbers of workers in a historically tight labor market. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that the U.S., Canada, and Australia have announced their intention to work together to encourage responsible development of materials that are critical for new energy technologies. A shift in global energy production away from fossil fuels is expected to sharply increase demand for materials such as copper, cobalt, and lithium, in which China is currently the world’s dominant supplier. FT