U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

August 7, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs in July, broadly in line with expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 10.2% and labor force participation edged down from 61.5% to 61.4%. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the market for auto loans – which has increased more than 90% in the past decade – could face significant pressure if expiring economic relief measures lead to a spike in loan defaults. Many auto loans are now securitized, making it more difficult for borrowers to modify repayment terms during the current economic downturn. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that the White House has reinstated a 10% tariff on certain Canadian aluminum imports, citing a surge in Canadian aluminum entering the U.S. since the USMCA trade deal went into effect. Several American industry groups have criticized the move, arguing that Canada is an important, reliable source of raw aluminum for domestic manufacturers. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

August 6, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 249,000 to 1,186,000 last week. The four-week moving average fell 31,000 to 1,337,750. DOL Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that bankruptcy filings by U.S. farmers through June 2020 were up 8% from a year earlier, despite record levels of federal aid. The coronavirus pandemic hit on top of an ongoing six-year downturn in the Farm Belt, further depressing agricultural prices already under pressure from foreign competition and retaliatory trade actions. WSJ

Bloomberg reports that House lawmakers and the White House are still far from an agreement on a new coronavirus relief package ahead of a self-imposed Friday deadline. White House officials have indicated that the President is prepared to use executive authority to extend certain relief measures, including student loan forbearance, eviction moratoria, and supplemental unemployment benefits if an agreement cannot be reached. Bloomberg

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

August 5, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ADP Employment Report shows that private-sector employment increased by 167,000 jobs in July, well below consensus expectations of 1.9 million. The services sector gained 166,000 jobs, while the goods-producing sector gained 1,000 jobs. ADP Report

The U.S. trade deficit decreased from $54.8 billion (revised) in May to $50.7 billion in June. The goods deficit fell by $4.0 billion while the services surplus rose by $0.1 billion. Census Bureau Report

The ISM Services PMI rose 1.0 point to 58.1 in July, indicating growth in the services sector for the second straight month. The New Orders Index increased 6.1 points to 67.7, while the Employment Index fell 1.0 point to 42.1. ISM Report

U.S. News

Bloomberg reports that a second round of layoffs looms for workers at small businesses where Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds are starting to run out. A recent poll by Cornell University shows that about one in four workers hired back due to PPP were told by their employer that they could be laid off again, revealing the predicament of many small businesses in the absence of additional aid or rapid recovery of business activity. Bloomberg

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

August 4, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

New factory orders for manufactured goods increased 6.2% in June following a 7.7% increase in May. New orders excluding transportation increased 4.4%, while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 3.4%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

According to Bloomberg, surging unemployment insurance claims and decreased job postings in California following a new wave of virus-induced shutdowns could foreshadow broader weakness in the U.S. labor market. National job gains likely slowed in July as virus cases rose, while an increasing share of temporary layoffs may turn permanent. Bloomberg

The Financial Times reports that the U.S. oilfield services sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as oil producers cut back on capital expenditures in response to lower demand and plunging prices. Service providers doubt the North American market will ever return to its pre-pandemic strength and instead are looking to cut costs and offload U.S. assets as they turn to overseas markets. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

August 3, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Construction spending decreased 0.7% in June to an annualized rate of $1.36 trillion. Both private and public construction fell 0.7%. Census Bureau Report

The ISM Manufacturing Index rose 1.6 points to 54.2 in July. The Employment Index rose 2.2 points to 44.3, while the New Orders Index rose 5.1 points to 61.5. ISM Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. oil refineries operated well below capacity in the second quarter as demand for fuel, especially jet fuel, remained depressed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fuel makers may have to continue adapting to a lower demand environment as the world increasingly shifts away from fossil fuels towards more renewable energy sources. WSJ