U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 12, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 5.5 points to 90.9 in April, as nine components weakened and one improved. The decline in the headline index was driven by plummeting expectations of future sales which was partially offset by expectations of future economic improvement. NFIB Report

Consumer prices fell 0.8% in April (up 0.3% from a year ago). The “core” CPI, which excludes food and energy, fell 0.4% in April – the largest monthly decline in the series history dating back to 1957 – and is up 1.4% from last year. BLS Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 11, 2020

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that factory furloughs are becoming permanent layoffs as some manufacturers are forced to close plants for good, indicating that a growing share of recent pandemic-induced job losses won’t be temporary. Increased factory closures will further erode the U.S. industrial workforce, which has been falling as a share of overall employment for decades and never fully recovered from the financial crisis. WSJ

According to Bloomberg, even if the coronavirus is successfully contained in the coming weeks, the crisis will have long-lasting financial and psychological impacts on consumer behavior. Financial strain from income losses will limit consumers’ ability to spend when businesses reopen, and the fear of crowd-prone public spaces will be a difficult mentality to reverse. Bloomberg

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 8, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy lost 20.5 million jobs in April, fewer than consensus expectations. The unemployment rate increased to 14.7% the highest rate since the series began in 1948 – and labor force participation declined from 62.7% to 60.2%. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that nearly two weeks after the federal government made an additional $310 billion available for small business aid, more than 40% still remains available – suggesting demand for the loans is cooling. Likely the most significant factor behind slowing demand is that small business are concluding that the loan requirements are incompatible with their needs. WSJ

Bloomberg reports that despite record-low mortgage rates, mortgage credit availability has fallen by more than 25% since February as risk-averse lenders tighten standards during the coronavirus crisis. Reduced lending could further dampen economic activity by weighing on home sales as states relax stay-at-home orders and the traditional buying season begins.  Bloomberg

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 7, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 677,000 to 3,169,000 last week. The four-week moving average fell 861,500 to 4,173,500. DOL Report

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 2.5% in Q1 but rose 0.3% compared to a year ago. Hours worked decreased 3.8% and unit labor costs rose 4.8%. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that House Democrats are finalizing a new coronavirus relief package expected to include more than $750 billion in aid for state and local governments and another round of direct support for Americans. Lawmakers have indicated that the bill could be ready for a House vote as early as next week. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

May 6, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ADP Employment Report shows that private-sector employment decreased by 20,236,000 jobs in April, in line with consensus expectations. The service sector lost 16,007,000 jobs, while the goods-producing sector lost 4,229,000 jobs. ADP Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that Washington is considering ramping up economic measures against China amid rising anger over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. U.S. officials are considering new curbs on supply chains and investment flows, with particular focus on limiting technology and pharmaceutical supply chain exposure to China. FT