U.S. Economic News

January 17, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Privately-owned housing starts rose 16.9% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.61 million (up 40.8% year-over-year). Housing permits fell 3.9% to a 1.42 million annual pace in December but were up 5.8% from last year. Census Bureau Report

Industrial production declined 0.3% in December (down 1.0% year-over-year) after rising 0.8% (revised) in November. Capacity utilization fell 0.4 point to 77.0. Fed Report

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely-watched measure of labor market health, indicated that the number of job openings fell to 6.8 million in NovemberThe number of hires was little changed at 5.8 million, while the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Senate easily passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Thursday evening, sending the much-anticipated overhaul of North American trade rules to the President’s desk for approval. Mexico approved the latest version of USMCA last month, leaving ratification by Canada as the final step toward implementation. WSJ