U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

March 19, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

New factory orders for manufactured goods increased 0.1% in January following a 0.1% (revised) rise in December, and are up 3.8% year to date. New orders excluding transportation fell 0.2% while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 0.8%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, the White House in a new report highlighted the strength of labor-force participation and pushed for policies to encourage more people to work as millions of baby boomers retire. The report stated the government could encourage greater labor-force participation through policies aimed at improving the accessibility of childcare, employer training programs, and changes to the criminal justice system. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that U.S. farm groups are increasing pressure on President Trump to launch trade talks with Tokyo as they lose sales and market share in Japan following America’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. U.S. pork exports to Japan totaled $1.6 billion last year, and have dropped 35% in volume thus far in 2019. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

March 18, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NAHB Housing Market Index remained steady at 62.0 in March. The inventory of affordably priced homes increased, bringing more entry-level buyers into the market. NAHB Report

U.S. News

Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal reports that Federal Reserve officials are likely to signal little if any appetite to raise interest rates this year, concerned about the risks of a sharp slowdown in global economic growth. Additionally, officials are preparing to announce when they will stop reducing their $4 trillion balance sheet. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Chinese government will cut taxes, increase deficit spending, and ease credit in order to mitigate its economic slowdown. The total stimulus will add up to 4.6 trillion yuan to the economy, a much smaller package relative to GDP than the program rolled out by Beijing in 2008. WSJ

 

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

March 15, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The March Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity grew only slightly, as the headline index declined 5.0 points to 3.7, its third consecutive month below 10.0.  The new orders index fell 5.0 points to 3.0, the shipments index declined 3.0 points to 7.7, and the index for number of employees rose to 13.8; meanwhile, hours worked turned negative for the first time since 2016.  NY Fed Report

Industrial production rose 0.1% in February (up 3.5% Y/Y), after decreasing 0.4% (revised) in January.  Capacity utilization edged down 0.1 point to 78.2 in February.  Fed Report

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose 4.0 points to 97.8 in the preliminary March reading, and is down 3.6 points on the year. The Index of Consumer Expectations increased 4.8 points to 89.2, while the Current Economic Conditions Index rose 2.7 points to 111.2. UMich Report

U.S. News

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely-watched measure of labor market health, indicated there were 7.6 million job openings at the end of January, unchanged from December.  Hires remained at 5.8 million while the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3%.  BLS Report

The Wall Street Journal reports that China made last-minute changes to a proposed foreign investment law to address forced technology transfer, hoping to bolster a compromise seen as crucial to striking a trade deal with Washington. The law would prohibit officials from divulging corporate secrets under threat of criminal prosecution. WSJ

U.S.-China Trade Outlook

U.S.-China Trade Outlook

March 14, 2019

Recent delays in trade talks between the U.S. and China have revived concerns about an all-out trade war between the two nations. The conflict has evolved beyond trade deficit issues as the U.S. pressures Beijing for substantive structural reforms that are unlikely to occur in the near term. Even if the U.S. and China can resolve the present trade dispute, the broader strategic confrontation will live on.

Related Documents: Key Insight – U.S.-China Trade Outlook

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims increased 6,000 to 229,000 last week. The four-week moving average fell 2,500 to 223,750. DOL Report

New home sales fell 6.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 607,000 in January, and are 4.1% below the January 2018  rate.  The median sales price fell to $317,200 and the inventory of new homes rose to 6.6 months at the current sales rate. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Chinese economy continues to slow despite authorities’ efforts to increase spending on infrastructure, lower taxes for households and businesses, and encourage banks to lend more to small businesses. The Chinese government has cited a number of headwinds restricting growth, including trade tensions with the U.S. and a slump in auto sales. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, British Parliament unexpectedly voted against a no-deal exit from the European Union a day after rejecting a Brexit deal for the second time. Capital markets and the British pound have remained strong through 2019, indicating investors are not expecting a disruptive Brexit as the March 29 deadline draws near. WSJ