U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 24, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell from 101.4 (revised) in October to 96.1 in November. Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions and near-term expectations for jobs, business conditions, and financial prospects declined. Conference Board Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that former Fed chair Janet Yellen, chosen by President-elect Joe Biden to be the next Treasury Secretary, will face the challenge of building broad consensus on economic policy as the economic recovery loses momentum and additional stimulus from Congress remains uncertain. Yellen has said that pulling back on spending too abruptly could lead to a sluggish recovery like the one that followed the financial crisis, and has argued that risks associated with borrowing to support the recovery remain low so long as interest rates and inflation stay muted. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 23, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose from +0.32 in September to +0.83 in October. Three of the four broad categories of indicators – production, employment, and sales, orders, & inventories – contributed positively to the overall index, while the consumption category contributed negatively. Chicago Fed Report

U.S. News

According to the Financial Times, the public sector layoffs resulting from the dramatic fall in state and local tax receipts have particularly impacted African-American workers who make up a disproportionate share of the public sector workforce. Nearly 1.4 million state and local government workers have lost their jobs since February, a number that is likely to grow without additional federal aid. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 19, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims rose 31,000 to 742,000 last week. The four-week moving average decreased 13,750 to 742,000. DOL Report

Existing home sales rose 4.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.85 million in October and were up 26.6% compared to a year ago. Home sales increased in all four major regions on both a month-on-month and year-over-year basis with the Midwest posting the strongest sales growth. NAR Report

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (“LEI”) rose 0.7% in October following a 0.7% increase in September. Deceleration of the index in recent months suggests growth will moderate significantly in the finals months of 2020. Conference Board Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 18, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Privately-owned housing starts increased 4.9% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.53 million (up 14.2% year-over-year). Housing permits were unchanged at a 1.55 million annual pace (up 2.8% from last year). Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, inflation expectations remain muted despite investor optimism that COVID-19 vaccines could stimulate a faster-than-expected economic rebound. While massive fiscal stimulus raised concerns of runaway inflation, these fears have not materialized as the disinflationary effects of the pandemic continue to outweigh inflationary pressures. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

November 17, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Retail sales rose 0.3% in October and were up 5.7% from a year ago. Core sales — which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services —  edged up 0.1%.  Census Bureau Report

Industrial production rose 1.1% in October but is down 5.3% year-over-year. Capacity utilization rose 0.8 point to 72.8. Fed Report

Business inventories edged up 0.7% in September but were down 4.7% from September of last year. Manufacturers’ sales rose 0.3% in September but were down 1.9% compared to a year ago. Census Bureau Report

The NAHB Housing Market Index increased five points to 90 in November, a new all-time high. NAHB reports that low mortgage rates and the ongoing shift toward the suburbs is keeping builder confidence elevated. NAHB Report