U.S. Economic News

December 5, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. trade deficit decreased from $51.1 billion (revised) in September to $47.2 billion in October. The goods deficit fell by $3.7 billion while the services surplus rose $0.2 billion. Census Bureau Report

Initial jobless claims fell 10,000 to 203,000 last week. The four-week moving average fell 2,000 to 217,750. DOL Report

New factory orders for manufactured goods rose 0.3% in October following a 0.8% (revised) decline in September and are down 0.4% compared to a year ago. New orders excluding transportation were up 0.2%, while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 1.1%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the 2017 U.S. tax cuts reduced the overall U.S. tax burden to one of the lowest among the 36 OECD countries. U.S. taxes at all levels of government as a share of GDP declined 2.5% in 2018, part of a longer-term trend of U.S. tax reduction that began with President George W. Bush in 2001. WSJ

According to the Financial Times, a recent survey found that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe this year’s record-breaking stock market rally has had little or no impact on their personal finances, calling into question the relevance of market performance to President Trump’s reelection chances. Only 40% of respondents correctly reported that the stock market had increased in value in 2019, suggesting that most Americans have very little awareness of market movements. FT