U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

December 16, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Retail sales fell 1.1% in November but were up 4.1% from last year. Core sales — which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services —  decreased 0.5% from the prior month. Census Bureau Report

The NAHB Housing Market Index fell four points to 86 in December, the first monthly decline since April. NAHB reports that housing demand is still strong heading into 2021, though affordability challenges will persist as construction costs rise and inventories stay low. NAHB Report

Business inventories increased 0.7% in October but were down 3.9% from October of last year. Manufacturers’ sales rose 1.0% but were down 2.9% compared to a year ago. Census Bureau Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

December 15, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity expanded slightly in December as the headline index fell 1.4 points to 4.9. The new orders index was little changed at 3.4, the shipments index rose 5.8 points to 12.1, and the index for number of employees increased 4.8 points to 14.2. NY Fed Report

Industrial production increased 0.4% in November but is down 5.5% year-over-year. Capacity utilization rose 0.3 point to 73.0. Fed Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

December 14, 2020

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, small banks have performed surprisingly well during the pandemic-induced recession, benefitting from the large share of government stimulus that has ended up at community banks and boosted deposits and loans. While the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases and expiration of many federal aid programs poses risks to the entire banking sector, both large and small banks have historically high capital levels to help them absorb potential loan losses. WSJ

Bloomberg reports that a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers is expected to unveil a $908 billion pandemic relief plan Monday afternoon. The two-part proposal is an attempt to allow less controversial aspects of the plan – such as small business relief and unemployment benefits – to move forward while giving lawmakers more time to hash out the details of liability protections for employers and aid for state and local governments. Bloomberg

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

December 10, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims rose 137,000 to 853,000 last week. The four-week moving average increased 35,500 to 776,000. DOL Report

Consumer prices rose 0.2% in November (up 1.2% from a year ago). The “core” CPI, which excludes food and energy, also rose 0.2% and is up 1.6% from last year. BLS Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

December 9, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”) indicated that the number of job openings was little changed at 6.7 million in October. The number of hires was little changed at 5.8 million, while the layoffs and discharges rate increased to 1.2%. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that data from job-search site ZipRecruiter show that the number of available U.S. jobs edged down in the first week in December. The slowdown in job postings is further evidence of a softening labor market, raising concerns of a temporary stall or backslide in the overall economic recovery as virus cases surge heading into the new year. WSJ