U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 18, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index slipped 7.6 points to 90.7 in the preliminary January reading, and is down 5.0 points on the year. The Index of Consumer Expectations declined 8.7 points to 78.3, while the Current Economic Conditions Index fell 6.1 points to 110.0. Report
 
Industrial production rose 0.3% in December (up 4.0% Y/Y), after increasing 0.4% (revised) in November.  
Capacity utilization edged up 0.1 point to 78.7 in November.  Fed Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. officials are considering de-escalating tariffs on Chinese imports to calm markets and incentivize Beijing to make deeper concessions in the trade war. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly proposed the idea to advance trade talks and win China’s support for longer-term reforms. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that the U.S. government shutdown is an emerging headwind to growth, according to New York Fed President John Williams. Williams also stated that the strong global growth, fiscal stimulus, and accommodative financial conditions that all contributed to the U.S. economy are diminishing. FT

According to the Financial Times, the E.U. is prepared to lower tariffs on imported U.S. cars as part of a trade deal, but is also warning that the bloc will retaliate if Washington levies punitive tariffs on Europe’s auto sector. Cecilia Malmstrom, the E.U.’s trade chief, said the willingness to engage on the issue would depend on what the U.S. puts on the table in negotiations. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 17, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 3,000 to 213,000 last week. The four-week moving average decreased 1,000 to 220,750. DOL Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, a collection of anecdotal information on current economic conditions, signals that optimism is fading among U.S. businesses due to the government shutdown, trade war, rising borrowing costs, and a volatile stock market. While the report is has a generally positive outlook of the U.S. economy, it reveals a sense of worry that Fed officials will have to consider during their next meeting. WSJ

Emre Peker of the Wall Street Journal reports that the European Union set restrictions on steel imports in response to disruptive trade policies taken by the U.S. Europe’s imports surged since the U.S. imposed a 25% tariff on steel imports into the U.S., and their new restrictions hope to balance protecting European steelmakers and avoiding harm to steel users. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Reserve has linked rising student debt to declining homeownership among young Americans. The Fed’s research found that homeownership among young people in the U.S. fell 9 percentage points, and 2 percentage points of that drop was tied directly to student debt. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 16, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NAHB Housing Market Index rose 2.0 points to 58.0 in January, up from its two-year low in December. All the major components of the index posted gains this month, aided by falling mortgage rates, low unemployment, and solid job growth. NAHB Report

U.S. News

Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal reports that Kansas City Fed president Ester George, one of the most hawkish members of the Fed, stated that the Federal Reserve ought to refrain from more interest rate hikes while it studies the effects of the policy normalization enacted to-date. George maintains that the pause in normalization is necessary to ensure monetary policy is not leading to an economic downturn and an undershooting of the Fed’s inflation target. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that threats of a full-blown global trade war and rising political tensions between major world powers are the dominant global risks, according to a report by the World Economic Forum. The report also cites cyberattacks and climate change as potential hazards to global growth. WSJ

According to the Financial Times, the U.S. government shutdown has triggered ripple effects across the U.S. economy and risks hurting the confidence among companies already concerned about the trade war and stock market turbulence. Historically, government shutdowns have temporary economic effects, but Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has warned that a shutdown of this length could begin to have negative consequences. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 15, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The January Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that industrial activity in the New York region grew at a slower rate this month, as the headline index declined 8 points to 3.9, its lowest level in over a year.  The new orders index fell 10 points to 3.5, the shipments index was little changed at 17.9, and the index for number of employees fell to 7.4; meanwhile, hours worked remained steady.  NY Fed Report

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand eased 0.2% in December but is up 2.5% since December of last year. The core — which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — was unchanged but is up 2.8% year-over-year. BLS Report

U.S. News

According the Wall Street Journal, the economic outlook for Europe and the world darkened after growth in Germany slowed sharply last year due to easing exports to China and less domestic demand. Economists fear Germany’s slowdown will be a channel through which the slowing Chinese economy can harm other economies. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that the partial government shutdown is making it more difficult for U.S. business to receive approval for new products, obtain import licenses, and receive clarity on regulatory changes. Economists expect that the uncertain business conditions coupled with the lack of paychecks for 800,000 government employees could reduce GDP by at least $2 billion per week. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 14, 2019

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, Chinese exports unexpectedly declined in December, falling 4.4 percent from a year ago. December’s decline followed a nine-month surge in China’s exports as companies frontloaded orders to avoid tariffs. WSJ

Paul Hannon of the Wall Street Journal reports that the United States and other large economies are set for a further slowdown this year, according to leading indicators released by the OECD. These warnings come amid signs that some components of the global economy are slowing more rapidly than previously thought. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that economic reports in emerging and developed markets have been below expectations, causing Citigroup’s leading indexes to fall to their lowest levels since June. The decline is driven by lukewarm figures from China and Europe, as well as a drop in a U.S. manufacturing activity. WSJ