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

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 13, 2020

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. manufacturers are raising wages, offering signing bonuses, and covering relocation costs to attract job candidates from farther away at a time of record-low unemployment and intense competition for skilled workers. Half a million factory jobs are currently unfilled, the most in nearly two decades, while Americans are moving around the country at the lowest rate in at least 70 years. WSJ

The Washington Post reports that women accounted for more than half of nonfarm U.S. payroll employment in December, the second time on record that women have out numbered men in the workforce. Women’s share of the labor force has been growing steadily over the past few years as industries with higher proportions of women, including health care and education, grow much faster than male-dominated industries such as manufacturing and construction. WaPo

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 10, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy added 145,000 jobs in December, below expectations. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5%, the labor force participation rate was unchanged at 63.2%, and average hourly earnings annual growth was 2.9%. BLS Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, New York Fed President John Williams stated that low interest rates in advanced economies are likely to persist for some time, posing challenges for how central banks operate. He noted that current low rate levels are largely due to “demographic changes, slow productivity growth, and demand for safe assets,” all longer-term trends unlikely to change in the near future. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 9, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 9,000 to 214,000 last week. The four-week moving average fell 9,500 to 224,000. DOL Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that China has confirmed that its chief trade negotiator will travel to Washington early next week to sign a phase-one trade agreement with the U.S. Under the agreement, China would greatly increase purchases of U.S. farm products, further open its financial sector, and pledge to not devalue the yuan to help Chinese exporters. WSJ

According to the Financial Times, the World Bank’s latest set of global growth forecasts suggest that easing trade tensions between the U.S. and China are unlikely to lead to a rapid improvement in the world economy. Global growth is expected to edge up only slightly from 2.4% in 2019 to 2.5% this year, with the outlook for advanced economies notably weaker than that of emerging markets. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 8, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ADP Employment Report shows that private-sector employment increased by 202,000 jobs in December, above expectations. The services sector added 173,000 jobs, while the goods-producing sector added 29,000 jobs. ADP Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Senate Finance Committee has approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which will now head to the full Senate for a vote. The new trade agreement has broad political support and is expected to pass next week, though the start of impeachment proceedings against President Trump could complicate the timing of the vote. WSJ