U.S. Economic News

December 2, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ISM Manufacturing Index fell 0.2 percentage point to 48.1 in November. The Employment Index declined 1.1 percentage points to 46.6, while the New Orders Index fell 1.9 percentage points to 47.2. ISM Report

Construction spending fell 0.8% in October to an annualized rate of $1.29 trillion. Private construction decreased 1.0% while public construction fell 0.2%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Washington Post reports that President Trump has announced tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina – effective immediately – in response to devaluation of their currencies against the dollar. The surprise policy shift is intended to bolster the competitiveness of American farmers and manufacturers in global markets. WaPo

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. services surplus is on pace for its steepest annual decline since 2003 as global demand for U.S. services wanes amid cyclical factors including a strong dollar and slowing foreign economies. Other trends affecting the trade balance for services include declining reliance of foreign firms on U.S. technological expertise and the growing numbers of Americans seeking medical and education services abroad to avoid spiraling domestic costs. WSJ