U.S. Economic News

August 16, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Privately-owned housing starts dropped 4.0% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million (up 0.6% year-over-year). Housing permits surged 8.4% to a 1.34 million annual pace in July and are up 1.5% from last year. Census Bureau Report
The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index fell 6.3 points to 92.1 in the preliminary August reading and is down 4.1 points from August of last year.
The Index of Consumer Expectations dropped 8.2 points to 82.3 while the Current Economic Conditions Index eased 3.3 points to 107.4. University of Michigan

U.S. News

Heather Long of the Washington Post writes that nine major countries — including several key U.S. trading partners — are in a recession or on the verge of one, stoking fears that the U.S. economy may be dragged into contraction as well. Long points out that most of these at-risk countries have export-dependent economies that have suffered due to escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China. WaPo

The Wall Street Journal reports that despite the partial scaling-back of the newest round of tariffs on Chinese goods, consumers likely will still face higher prices for goods such as apparel, electronics, and sporting goods. Analysis shows that the partial de-escalation of the new tariffs will still result in higher tariffs on more than half of all consumer goods imported from China starting September 1st and higher tariffs on virtually all Chinese goods starting December 15th. WSJ