U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 26, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. Census Bureau Advance Economic Indicators Report shows that the goods deficit widened to $83.7 billion in January from $83.2 billion in December. Meanwhile, wholesale inventories rose 1.3% and retail inventories decreased 0.6%. Census Bureau Report

Real disposable personal income increased 11.0% in January, while real personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased 2.0%. The PCE price index rose 0.3% (up 1.5% Y/Y), and the core price index rose 0.3% (up 1.5% Y/Y). BEA Report

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index declined 2.2 points to 76.8 in the final February reading and is down 24.2 points from February of last year. The Index of Consumer Expectations fell 3.3 points to 70.7, while the Current Economic Conditions Index declined 0.5 points to 86.2. University of Michigan

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 25, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

New orders of manufactured durable goods rose 3.4% in January after increasing 1.2% (revised) in December. Excluding transportation, new orders rose 1.4% after increasing 1.7% the month before. Census Bureau Report

The second estimate of Q4 GDP indicates that the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 4.1% in the fourth quarter, up slightly from the prior estimate of 4.0%. For the second estimate, upward revisions to residential investment, inventories, and government spending were partly offset by a downward revision to consumer spending. BEA Report

Initial jobless claims fell 111,000 to 730,000 last week. The four-week moving average decreased 20,500 to 807,750. DOL Report

The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index declined 2.8% in January (up 13.0% Y/Y). The decline in the index was primarily driven by declines in the Northeast and the West. NAR Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 24, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

New home sales rose 4.3% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 923,000 and were up 19.3% above year-ago levels. The median sales price decreased to $346,400 and the inventory of new homes edged down to 4.0 months at the current sales rate. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

Bloomberg reports that a “phase change” from a liquidity-driven market to one based on growth and earnings is likely to take place when optimism about inflation peaks, even before the Federal Reserve pulls back on relief efforts. The tightening in financial conditions would be signaled by higher real yields and a bottoming in real rates and credit spreads. Bloomberg

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 23, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose from 88.9 (revised) in January to 91.3 in February. Consumers’ assessments of current business and labor market conditions increased, while near-term expectations for jobs, business conditions, and financial prospects slightly moderated. Conference Board Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that national employment in residential construction, package delivery, and warehousing now exceeds pre-pandemic levels, while overall manufacturing employment is just 5% below its February 2020 level. Blue-collar employment, which is traditionally negatively impacted by economic downturns, has been boosted by a buoyant housing market and high e-commerce sales – trends that are expected to persist even after widespread vaccine distribution later this year. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 22, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (“LEI”) rose 0.5% in January following a 0.4% increase in December. While the LEI’s pace of increase has slowed since mid-2020, the broad-based improvement in January suggests economic growth could recover gradually as vaccine deployment accelerates in the first half of 2021. Conference Board Report

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose from +0.41 in December to +0.66 in January. All four of the broad categories of indicators – production, employment, consumption, and sales, orders, & inventories – contributed positively to the overall index. Chicago Fed Report