U.S. Economic News

January 11, 2018

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims increased 11,000 to 261,000 last week. The four-week moving average rose 9,000 to 250,750.  DOL Report
The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand edged down 0.1% in December but is up 2.6% since December of last year.  
The core — which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — inched up 0.1% and is up 2.3% on the year.  BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Canada has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) over the Trump administration’s use of tariffs on Canadian lumber producers. While lumber is not being addressed in ongoing NAFTA renegotiations, trade experts say that this complaint, which comes just weeks before the next round of NAFTA talks, could create even more tension among the negotiating parties. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, a new paper by a University of Virginia economist argues that the recent surge in opioid overdose deaths in certain regions of the U.S. is not due to economic decline, but rather to cheap drug prices. The author argues that the correlation between economic decline and increased overdose deaths is spurious and that efforts to improve economic conditions in these areas are unlikely to result in significant drug mortality reductions. WSJ