U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 21, 2020

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that global foreign direct investment fell for a fourth straight year in 2019 to its lowest level in nearly a decade, signaling a slowdown in globalization amid a cooling world economy. Multinational companies have avoided expanding global operations due to regulatory uncertainty, trade tensions, and growing geopolitical risk aversion. WSJ

According to the Washington Post, the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook report anticipates global growth recovering to 3.3% this year from 2.9% in 2019, largely due to easing U.S.-China trade tensions and monetary stimulus from major central banks. Growth is expected to pick up in emerging European and Latin American markets, while uncertainty remains high for advanced economies dealing with ultra-low interest rates, high wealth inequality, and record levels of corporate debt. WaPo

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 17, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Privately-owned housing starts rose 16.9% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.61 million (up 40.8% year-over-year). Housing permits fell 3.9% to a 1.42 million annual pace in December but were up 5.8% from last year. Census Bureau Report

Industrial production declined 0.3% in December (down 1.0% year-over-year) after rising 0.8% (revised) in November. Capacity utilization fell 0.4 point to 77.0. Fed Report

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely-watched measure of labor market health, indicated that the number of job openings fell to 6.8 million in NovemberThe number of hires was little changed at 5.8 million, while the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Senate easily passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Thursday evening, sending the much-anticipated overhaul of North American trade rules to the President’s desk for approval. Mexico approved the latest version of USMCA last month, leaving ratification by Canada as the final step toward implementation. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 16, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 10,000 to 204,000 last week. The four-week moving average fell 7,750 to 216,250. DOL Report

Retail sales rose 0.3% in December and were up 5.8% from a year ago. Core sales — which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services —  rose 0.5%. Census Bureau Report

Business inventories edged down 0.2% in November but were up 2.7% from November of last year. Manufacturers’ sales rose 0.3% in November and were down 2.0% compared to a year ago. Census Bureau Report

The NAHB Housing Market Index fell one point to 75 in January after reaching a two-decade high last month. According to NAHB, low interest rates and a healthy labor market will contribute to further home building gains in 2020. NAHB Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 15, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand edged up 0.1% in December and is up 1.3% year-over-year. The core — which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — also rose 0.1% in December and is up 1.5% from a year ago.  BLS Report

The January Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity was little changed as the headline index inched up 1.5 points to 4.8. The new orders index rose 4.9 points to 6.6, while the shipments index declined 0.9 point to 8.6; meanwhile, the index for number of employees fell 1.4 points to 9.0, and the hours worked index was positive, indicating a slightly longer workweek. NY Fed Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. and China are preparing to sign the first phase of a trade deal this morning that will include around $200 billion in Chinese purchases of American goods and services over the next two years. The pact is also expected to include suspension of planned U.S. tariff increases, reductions of some existing U.S. tariffs, and pledges from China to give U.S. companies greater access to its financial sector and better intellectual property protection. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 14, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 2.0 points to 102.7 in December as two components improved, six weakened, and two were unchanged. Despite the dip in the index, an increased number of small business owners reported better business conditions and improved sales expectations. NFIB Report

Consumer prices rose 0.2% in December (up 2.3% from a year ago). The “core” CPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.1% in December and is up 2.3% from last year. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that China’s export growth slowed to just 0.5% last year – the lowest reading in three years – as trade tensions with the United States and a decelerating global economy took their toll. Improvement in China’s exports will depend on economic recovery of China’s trading partners; the partial trade deal with the U.S. due to be signed later this week will likely have only a marginal effect. FT