U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 22, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims decreased 39,000 to 547,000. The four-week moving average decreased 27,750 to 651,000. DOL Report

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose from -1.20 in February to +1.71 in March. All four broad categories of indicators improved from February and contributed positively to the overall index, led by production and consumption. Chicago Fed Report

Existing home sales fell 3.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.0 million in March but were up 12.3% compared to a year ago. Home sales decreased on a month-on-month basis in all four major regions but saw double-digit year-on-year growth in all except the Midwest. NAR Report

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (“LEI”) rose 1.3% in March following a 0.1% decrease in February. All ten components contributed positively to the index, suggesting a broad-based increase in economic momentum, supported by vaccination campaigns, fiscal stimulus, and gradual lifting of restrictions on mobility. Conference Board Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 21, 2021

U.S. News

Bloomberg reports that international momentum is building for President Biden’s proposal of a global minimum corporate tax, with support recently signaled by a key official from the Netherlands – long considered a destination for companies looking to minimize taxes. The U.S. and other members of the OECD are hoping for a deal by this July to reduce tax competition between countries, though uncertainties around the exact nature of such a deal remain. Bloomberg

The Wall Street Journal reports that the number of Hispanic homebuyers – a consistent source of strength in the housing market during recent years – grew to nearly 9 million in 2020, the biggest annual increase in two decades. While Hispanic individuals comprise slightly less than a fifth of the country’s population, they accounted for more than half of all homeownership growth in the decade leading up to the pandemic and may account for as much as 70% of homeownership growth over the next two decades. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 20, 2021

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that many economists expect the recovery of economy activity to outpace that of payrolls, potentially causing bottlenecks and pressure on wages and prices. Although job openings currently exceed pre-pandemic levels, employers may be reluctant to hire until consumer demand has recovered, while workers who dropped out of the labor force during the pandemic will take time to return. WSJ

The New York Times reports that the federal government is preparing to open two new relief programs targeted at small businesses in the live-event and restaurant industries, as the larger Paycheck Protection Program nears its end next month. Both programs offer recipients in the struggling industries grants of up to $10 million to replace lost sales, but funds are expected to run out quickly – the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, for example, may see $120 billion in applications for less than $30 billion in available funds. NYT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 19, 2021

U.S. News

Bloomberg reports that the unprecedented buildup of oil inventory that amassed during the early days of the pandemic is now almost depleted, in a boon for producers but a concern for motorists and governments wary of inflation. Commercial oil inventories across the OECD have returned to their five-year average, with most of the surplus currently located in China. Bloomberg

The Wall Street Journal reports that new estimates from the Federal Reserve suggest the pandemic’s toll on small businesses was not as bad as feared, with permanent closures roughly 200,000 above the historical average of 600,000. Barber shops, nail salons, and other providers of personal services appear to have been the hardest hit. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 16, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

Privately-owned housing starts increased 19.4% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.74 million (up 37.0% year-over-year). Housing permits increased 2.7% to a 1.77 million annual pace (up 30.2% from last year). Census Bureau Report

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index increased 1.6 points to 86.5 in the preliminary April reading and is up 14.7 points from April of last year. The Index of Consumer Expectations was unchanged at 79.7 points, while the Current Economic Conditions Index rose 4.2 points to 97.2. University of Michigan