U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 19, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

Existing home sales rose 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.7 million in January and were up 23.7% compared to a year ago. Home sales increased on a month-on-month basis in the Midwest and the South while sales increased substantially on a year-on-year basis in all four major regions. NAR Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that while manufacturing output is accelerating around the globe, the service sector continues to lag behind in Japan and the Eurozone. In contrast, the U.S. may be better positioned than most, as data show steady growth in both the services and manufacturing sectors. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 18, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims rose 13,000 to 861,000 last week. The four-week moving average decreased 3,500 to 833,250. DOL Report

Privately-owned housing starts decreased 6.0% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.58 million (down 2.3% year-over-year). Housing permits rose 10.4% to a 1.88 million annual pace (up 22.5% from last year). Census Bureau Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 17, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand rose 1.3% in January and is up 1.7% year-over-year. The core – which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services – rose 1.2% in January and is up 2.0% year-over-year. BLS Report

Retail sales rose 5.3% in January and were up 7.4% from last year. Core sales — which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services — increased 6.0% from the prior month. Census Bureau Report

Business inventories increased 0.6% in December but were down 2.4% from December of last year. Manufacturers’ sales rose 1.7% and were up 1.8% compared to a year ago. Census Bureau Report

Industrial production increased 0.9% in January but is down 1.8% year-over-year. Capacity utilization rose 0.7 points to 75.6%. Fed Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 16, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity expanded modestly in February as the headline index rose 8.6 points to 12.1. The new orders index increased 4.2 points to 10.8, the shipments index declined 3.3 points to 4.0, and the index for number of employees ticked up 0.9 point to 12.1. NY Fed Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, preliminary January spending data from Affinity Solutions show the most recent round of COVID-19 relief checks drove a jump in consumer spending among lower- and middle-income households. Of the households that received stimulus payments, 88% have already spent their $600 checks, a trend likely to drive the first monthly increase in retail sales since September. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

February 12, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index declined 2.8 points to 76.2 in the preliminary February reading and is down 24.8 points from February of last year. The Index of Consumer Expectations fell 4.2 points to 69.8, while the Current Economic Conditions Index declined 0.5 points to 86.2. University of Michigan

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that federal deficits are expected to surge over the next decade, but by less than predicted last summer, thanks to an improving economic outlook and higher expectations for inflation and spending. As a share of economic output, the deficit is projected to be 10.3% in FY2021, compared to 14.9% in FY2020 and an average of 3.3% over the past 50 years. WSJ