U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 5, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. trade deficit increased from $39.8 billion (revised) in February to $44.4 billion in March. The goods deficit rose by $4.6 billion while the services surplus fell by $0.1 billion. Census Bureau Report

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell 10.7 points to 41.8 in April, indicating the first service sector contraction since December 2009. The New Orders Index fell 20 points to 32.9, while the Employment Index declined 17 points to 30.0. ISM Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that California has become the first state to borrow from the federal government to allow it to continue paying out rising claims for unemployment benefits, with other states including Illinois and Connecticut expected to follow soon. Nearly half of states entered the current downturn without sufficient unemployment trust funds to withstand a year-long recession, much less the unprecedented spike in claims and plunge in tax revenues from the present crisis. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 4, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

New factory orders for manufactured goods fell 10.3% in March following a 0.1% (revised) decrease in February. New orders excluding transportation were down 3.7%, while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.1%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Washington Post reports that the U.S. housing and rental market has fallen into a severe crisis as surging unemployment and delayed jobless benefits and stimulus checks threaten the ability of millions of Americans to make May rent and mortgage payments. Without billions in federal relief for homeowners, tenants, and landlords, many Americans may face eviction as eviction moratoriums are lifted and forbearance periods run out. WaPo

According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. businesses are calling for Congress to pass legislation shielding companies from virus-exposure lawsuits as the economy begins to emerge from its partial shutdown. The extent of liability protection has become a major point of contention as lawmakers begin working on the next round of stimulus funding for households and businesses. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 1, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ISM Manufacturing Index fell 7.6 points to 41.5 in April, indicating the sector is in contraction. The Employment Index fell 16.3 points to 27.5, while the New Orders Index fell 15.1 points to 27.1. ISM Report

Construction spending increased 0.9% in March to an annualized rate of $1.36 trillion. Private construction rose 0.7% and public construction rose 1.6%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that landlords are anticipating lower rent collections this month due to surging unemployment and planned rent strikes across the country. While April rent payments were down somewhat from normal levels, a recent survey found that barely half of renters are confident they will be able to pay their entire May rent. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 30, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 603,000 to 3,839,000 last week. The four-week moving average fell 757,000 to 5,033,250. DOL Report

Real disposable personal income decreased 1.7% in March, while real personal consumption expenditures (PCE) fell 7.3%. The PCE price index fell 0.3% (up 1.3% Y/Y), and the core price index fell 0.1% (up 1.7% Y/Y). BEA Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that the Federal Reserve warned of lasting medium-term economic damage to the U.S. economy at this week’s FOMC meeting, indicating that the Fed is prepared to make additional policy moves as necessary while stopping short of any major announcements. Fed chair Jay Powell cited three key risk factors guiding the Fed’s gloomier outlook: the unknown future trajectory of the virus, the potential loss of productive capacity as workers become disconnected from the labor force, and the global scope of the crisis.  FT

U.S. Economic Indicators

U.S. Economic Indicators

April 29, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The advance estimate of Q1 GDP indicates that the U.S. economy contracted at an annualized rate of 4.8%, a greater contraction than consensus estimates. The decline in real GDP reflects negative contributions from consumer spending, business investment, and private inventories that were partly offset by positive contributions from residential investment, government spending, and net exports. BEA Report

The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index fell 20.8% in March (down 16.3% Y/Y).  NAR reports that the housing market is grappling with the coronavirus-induced shutdown which has reduced new listings and contracts. NAR Report

U.S. News

According to the Financial Times, many U.S. restaurants that applied for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program are likely to return the funds as it becomes clear that the program’s requirements are poorly suited to the restaurant industry. The requirement that loans be spent within eight weeks and primarily on payroll render the loans less effective for the capital-intensive, cash-strapped restaurant industry. FT