U.S. Economic News

March 16, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Privately-owned housing starts fell 7.0% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.24 million (down 4.0% year-over-year). Housing permits dropped 5.7% to a 1.30 million annual pace in February but are up 6.5% on the year.  Census Bureau Report
Industrial production jumped 1.1% in February (up 4.4% Y/Y), after contracting 0.3% (revised) in January. 
Capacity utilization rose 0.7 point to 78.1 in February.  Fed Report

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose 2.3 points to 102.0 in the preliminary March reading, and is up 5.1 points on the year. The Index of Consumer Expectations edged down 1.4 points to 88.6, while the Current Economic Conditions Index jumped 7.9 points to 122.8. Report

U.S. News

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely-watched measure of labor market health, indicated there were 6.3 million job openings at the end of January, up sharply from December.  Hires rose to 5.6 million while the quits rate edged down to 2.2%.  BLS Report