U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 12, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.6 point to 102.4 in October as eight components improved and two weakened. The increase in the headline index was driven by plans to increase inventories, capital outlays, and employment. NFIB Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that the latest round of corporate earnings reports suggests that the slowdown in spending on new factories and equipment by large U.S. companies persisted into the third quarter of 2019, while executives warn that the slump is likely to continue into the fourth quarter. Company leaders appear to be deferring capital investments as they wait for greater clarity on trade negotiations. FT

According to the Wall Street Journal, West Coast imports of trans-Pacific goods plummeted last month following a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods, with the largest Pacific ports handling 14.1% fewer inbound containers than a year ago. The decline in shipments and large swings in trade volumes reflect the confusion among U.S. importers, as many had previously stockpiled goods to avoid anticipated tariff hikes but are now slowing orders as they burn off inventory. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 11, 2019

U.S. News

Bloomberg reports that Myanmar is poised to attract a surge of investment as manufacturers seeking to avoid U.S. tariffs shift production from China, while previous destinations such as Vietnam are experiencing capacity constraints and congested infrastructure. The U.S.-China trade war has provided an opportunity for Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries as companies attempt to skirt tariffs on Chinese goods. Bloomberg

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Census Bureau is overhauling its data systems after discovering that published statistics from the 2020 census could be used to identify millions of individual census respondents. To better protect respondents’ identities, the Bureau has opted to both mathematically adjust results and sharply reduce the number of statistics it publishes, raising concerns among academics and businesses that rely on census data for research. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 8, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose 0.2 point to 95.7 in the preliminary November reading but is down 1.8 points from November of last year. The Index of Consumer Expectations rose 1.7 points to 85.9 while the Current Economic Conditions Index fell 2.3 points to 110.9. University of Michigan

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump has contradicted an earlier statement from Chinese officials that each country would roll back tariffs as part of phase one of a potential trade deal, stating that the U.S. has not yet agreed to any reduction in tariffs. The remarks raised questions about how smoothly negotiations are proceeding behind the scenes. WSJ

According to Bloomberg, the median age of first-time U.S. homebuyers has risen to a record high of 33, reflecting young Americans’ struggle to become homeowners amid a nationwide shortage of affordable housing options. Elevated debt levels have made it harder for younger Americans to save for a down payment, and tighter lending standards make getting a bank loan more difficult for buyers without excellent credit scores. Bloomberg

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 7, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 8,000 to 211,000 last week. The four-week moving average rose 250 to 215,250. DOL Report

U.S. News

According to a recent Wall Street Journal survey, economists are roughly split over whether the recent hiring slowdown is primarily due to a shortage of workers or a softening demand for labor. About 45% of respondents blamed the slowdown on the tightness of the labor market and employers’ struggle to find enough workers, while around 38% cited businesses’ easing desire to expand payrolls. WSJ

Bloomberg reports that Chinese officials have announced that both China and the U.S. have agreed to simultaneously roll back existing tariffs as part of a phase-one deal as negotiators work toward a comprehensive trade agreement. Should U.S. officials confirm the consensus to mutually phase out tariffs, it would be an important step toward de-escalating the trade war that has rattled investors and cast a shadow over the global economy. Bloomberg

Keybridge Releases Report on 2018 Progress toward the 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative National Calorie Goal

Keybridge Releases Report on 2018 Progress toward the 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative National Calorie Goal

November 6, 2019

In September 2014, the American Beverage Association, The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper (formerly Dr Pepper Snapple Group), PepsiCo, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation announced a commitment to reduce beverage calorie consumption per person by 20 percent by 2025 nationwide. This report features 2018 estimates and percent change from baseline of per person beverage calorie consumption. The 2018 results demonstrated a 3.3-calorie decline in beverage calories per person per day, the strongest show of progress toward the national calorie goal since it was launched.

Link: 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative: Report on 2018 Progress

Link: Detailed Methodology