U.S. Economic News

July 17, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The July Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that industrial activity in the New York region grew modestly, although the headline index fell 10 points to 9.8.  The new orders index fell to 13.3, the shipments index retreated to 10.5, and the index for number of employees moderated to 3.9; meanwhile, hours worked remained unchanged.  NY Fed Report

U.S. News

Laura Kusisto of the Wall Street Journal writes that some of the most popular places to live in the U.S. are suffering the most from the current shortage of new homes as residents resist new development. Builders face numerous hurdles such as restrictive zoning laws, the desire to preserve historic structures, and opposition from residents who believe that the new homes will add congestion to local neighborhoods. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that even as U.S. exports of crude oil have surged since the removal of the export ban in 2015, U.S. imports of crude oil have also grown. The majority of the increase in imports has come from Canadian oil, which is heavier than the light, sweet crude that is extracted from many of the U.S. shale plays. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal U.S. companies increased their contributions to employees’ 401(k) accounts in 2016 to 4.7% on average, up from 3.9% in 2015. Employers say that they need to spend more in order to retain the best workers while also ensuring that older, comparatively expensive workers have enough savings to retire on time to make way for relatively cheaper, younger workers. WSJ