U.S. Economic News

January 22, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Existing home sales rose 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million in December and were up 10.8% compared to a year ago. Home sales declined in the Midwest but grew in the Northeast, South, and West last month. NAR Report

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index declined from +0.41 (revised) in November to -0.35 in December. Measures of production, sales, orders, & inventories, and employment subtracted from the headline index, while indicators of personal consumption and housing contributed positively. Chicago Fed Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the United States has threatened to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of European autos and auto parts if the E.U. fails to agree to a new trade agreement with the U.S. Key areas of trade tension between the U.S. and Europe include a proposed digital-services tax on American companies and restrictions on American agricultural imports. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, ongoing contraction in the transportation and manufacturing sectors is evidence that economic damage from the trade war is far from over, despite the recent de-escalation of U.S.-China trade tensions. Permanent supply chain shifts away from China may have lasting impacts on regional U.S. shipping volumes, while consumer spending has begun to decelerate in states most exposed to the trade war. NYT