U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 25, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

New orders of manufactured durable goods increased 2.0% in June after falling 2.3% (revised) in May and are unchanged compared to a year ago. Excluding transportation, new orders rose 1.2% (up 1.1% from last year). Census Bureau Report

The U.S. Census Bureau Advance Economic Indicators Report shows that the goods deficit narrowed to $74.2 billion in June from $75.0 billion in May. Meanwhile, wholesale inventories rose 0.2% and retail inventories fell 0.1%. Census Bureau Report

Initial jobless claims fell 10,000 to 206,000 last week. The four-week moving average fell 5,750 to 213,000. DOL Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, a new study found that a higher Fed inflation target ahead of the 2007-09 recession likely would have given the central bank more room to lower interest rates, resulting in a much faster economic recovery. The research suggests that raising the Fed’s current inflation target to 3% or 4% could substantially improve the Fed’s ability to fight future recessions. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that the E.U. has released a report urging the U.S. to join forces in countering China’s attempts to take the lead on setting global standards for the technologies of the future. The statement reflects concerns that Chinese state-backed companies are extending their influence into international bodies that set technical criteria for sectors such as telecoms and the internet of things. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 24, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

New home sales rose 7.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 646,000 in June and were 4.5% above the June 2018 rate. The median sales price rose to $310,400, and the inventory of new homes fell to 6.3 months at the current sales rate. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that U.S. officials will travel to China next week to resume trade talks with China’s Vice Premier Liu He. The U.S. has recently relaxed some restrictions on sales by U.S. companies to Huawei, while Chinese officials have moved to increase purchases of U.S. farm products, possibly signaling an easing of tensions ahead of the latest round of negotiations. FT

Kate Davidson reports for the Wall Street Journal that the two-year federal spending deal announced by Congress this week is unlikely to result in a significant rise in spending, muting its impact on overall economic growth. Spending under the proposed budget deal would increase federal government spending in 2020 by just 3.5% and taper off further in 2021. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 23, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Existing home sales fell 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million in June and are down 2.2% compared to a year ago. NAR notes that there is a persistent shortage for mid-to-lower priced homes, which is pushing up home prices overall. NAR Report

The FHFA House Price Index shows that U.S. house prices rose 0.1% in May and were up 5.0% from year-ago levels. Year-over-year house price changes were positive in all nine census divisions. FHFA Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that the latest IMF Economic Outlook names a no-deal Brexit along with U.S. trade policy top threats to global economic growth in 2019. The latest IMF report forecast global growth will slow to 3.2% in 2019, the weakest rate of expansion in a decade. FT

According to the Wall Street Journal, a new study by Harvard economists Nathanial Hendren and Ben Sprung-Keyser found that government programs for low-income children more than pay for themselves over time, while those for adults generally do not. The most effective programs supported children’s medical care and education, which improved their health and likelihood of attending college, boosting their taxable income and earning power when they entered the workforce. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 22, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index edged up from -0.03 in May to -0.02 in June. The employment category contributed positively, the sales, orders, & inventories and personal consumption & housing categories contributed negatively, and production-related indicators made a neutral contribution. Chicago Fed Report

U.S. News

Alan Rappeport reports for the New York Times that escalating distrust between the U.S. and China has slowed the flow of Chinese funds into U.S. ventures, with Chinese investment plummeting nearly 90% since 2016. The decline is due in part to stricter capital controls within China and greater regulatory scrutiny in the U.S., and is expected to reverberate throughout the U.S. economy. NYT

The Washington Post reports that the pending congressional budget agreement to suspend the debt ceiling and set overall spending levels for the next two years is likely to include few, if any, of the $150 billion in new cuts requested by the White House. Instead, the budget agreement will likely increase spending by billions of dollars while reducing the chances of another government shutdown in September. WaPo

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

July 19, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose 0.2 point to 98.4 in the preliminary July reading and is up 0.5 point from July of last year. The Index of Consumer Expectations rose 0.8 point to 90.1 while the Current Economic Conditions Index fell 0.8 point to 111.1. University of Michigan

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that St. Louis Fed President James Bullard stated he would support a quarter-percentage-point rate cut at the FOMC’s July meeting but doesn’t believe a larger cut is needed. His statement pushes back against expectations of a more aggressive half-point cut to address concerns surrounding slower global growth, trade uncertainty, and muted inflation. WSJ

According to the Washington Post, more than 50 multinational corporations have announced plans to move manufacturing out of China to avoid U.S. tariffs. As growth hits a 27-year low, Chinese officials have announced a cutback in foreign investment restrictions to mitigate the exodus of foreign businesses. WaPo