U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 19, 2021

U.S. News

The Washington Post reports that President-elect Biden is set to nominate Rohit Chopra, an Obama-era regulator and colleague of Senator Elizabeth Warren, to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Combined with last week’s indication that Biden will tap Gary Gensler to run the SEC, the choice of an outspoken industry critic for head of the CFPB may signal the incoming administration’s intent to press for more aggressive enforcement of financial sector regulations. WaPo

The Wall Street Journal reports that today’s confirmation hearing for Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen included her remarks on the need for lawmakers to “act big” to avoid further economic damage to American workers and small businesses. Yellen also affirmed the Treasury’s commitment to market-determined exchange rates and acknowledged bipartisan concern over the growing national debt. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 15, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand rose 0.3% in December and is up 0.8% year-over-year. The core – which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services – rose 0.4% in December and is up 1.1% year-over-year. BLS Report

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index dropped 1.5 points to 79.2 in the preliminary January reading and is down 20.6 points from January of last year. The Index of Consumer Expectations fell 0.8 points to 73.8, while the Current Economic Conditions Index fell 3.3 points to 87.7. University of Michigan

Retail sales fell 0.7% in December but were up 2.9% from last year. Core sales — which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services — decreased 1.9% from the prior month. Census Bureau Report

Business inventories increased 0.5% in November but were down 3.1% from November of last year. Manufacturers’ sales rose 0.7% but were down 1.3% compared to a year ago. Census Bureau Report

Industrial production increased 1.6% in December but is down 3.6% year-over-year. Capacity utilization rose 1.1 points to 74.5%. Fed Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 14, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims rose 181,000 to 965,000 last week. The four-week moving average increased 18,250 to 834,250. DOL Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that initial jobless claims reached their highest level in nearly five months last week, as the surge in COVID-19 cases triggered a wave of layoffs to begin the new year. Although initial claims tend to rise immediately after the holidays even in typical years, the magnitude of this year’s spike suggests that increasing COVID-19 cases and fresh business restrictions in some areas are exerting renewed pressure on the labor market. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 13, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

Consumer prices rose 0.4% in December (up 1.4% from a year ago). The “core” CPI, which excludes food and energy, also rose 0.1% and is up 1.6% from last year. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that a quick recovery from COVID-19 has been a boon for the Chinese economy, with China expected to be the only major economy in the world to have grown in 2020. As a result, global economic growth is now more reliant on China for growth than ever before, as the U.S. and many others continue to reel from the pandemic. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 12, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index declined to 95.9 in December as nine components weakened and one improved. The decline in the index was primarily driven by large decreases in expectations for future economic conditions and future sales growth. NFIB Report

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”) indicated that the number of job openings was little changed at 6.5 million in November. The number of hires was little changed at 6.0 million, while the layoffs and discharges rate increased to 1.4%. BLS Report