U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 15, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims decreased 193,000 to 576,000. The four-week moving average decreased 47,250 to 683,000. DOL Report

Retail sales rose 9.8% in March and were up 27.7% compared to last year. Core sales — which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services — increased 6.9% from the prior month. Census Bureau Report

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity expanded in April as the headline index rose 9.0 points to 26.3. The new orders index increased 17.8 points to 26.9, the index for number of employees improved 4.5 points to 13.9, and the shipments index rose 3.9 points to 25.0. NY Fed Report

Business inventories increased 0.5% in February but were still down 0.5% from February of last year. Manufacturers’ sales fell 2.0% and were down 0.5% compared to a year ago. Census Bureau Report

Industrial production increased 1.4% in March and is up 1.0% year-over-year (down 3.4% from its pre-pandemic level). Capacity utilization rose 1.0 percentage point to 74.4%. Fed Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 14, 2021

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the International Energy Agency raised its annual forecast for oil demand in its most recent monthly report, suggesting that the global energy market continues to recover as oil prices rise. In addition, the buildup of global oil inventories from last year’s demand shock is being steadily drawn down, though fresh COVID-related restrictions in parts of Europe could dampen demand in the coming weeks. WSJ

Bloomberg reports that Federal Reserve officials are worried that disinflationary forces from before the pandemic may actually keep longer-term inflation below their 2% target, despite recent worries of inflation running too hot. While rising prices are a concern now as the global economy reopens, aggressive monetary policy actions over the last decade have been largely unsuccessful at raising inflation above 2% in many advanced economies, thanks to factors such as aging populations, technological innovation, and globalization. Bloomberg

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 13, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose to 98.2 in March as seven components improved and three weakened. The uptick in the index was primarily driven by an increase in the shares of small businesses with expectations for improving economic conditions and expectations for higher future sales. NFIB Report

Consumer prices rose 0.6% in March (up 2.6% from a year ago). The “core” CPI, which excludes food and energy, edged up 0.3% in March and has risen 1.6% since last year. BLS Report

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 12, 2021

U.S. News

Bloomberg reports that top Biden administration officials will hear today from more than a dozen CEOs of companies grappling with the sharply constrained global supply of semiconductors. While the White House has previously communicated that there is no short-term fix for the shortage, the meeting today signals that the administration is serious about confronting supply chain issues and improving supply chain resilience. Bloomberg

Bloomberg highlights that the Labor Department’s most recent report on producer prices includes a “below-the-radar” data point – the sharpest monthly spike since 1974 in processed goods for intermediate demand. Costs for these inputs – which include materials like steel and plastics – were 12.5% higher in March than year-ago levels and partly reflect a strengthening of demand as the economy revives. Bloomberg

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

April 9, 2021

U.S. Economic Indicators

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand rose 1.0% in March and is up 4.2% year-over-year, the largest yearly increase since September 2011. The core – which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services – rose 0.6% in March and is up 3.1% year-over-year. BLS Report

U.S. News

The New York Times reports that Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell emphasized that controlling the coronavirus pandemic in all nations, not just advanced economies, will be key to overall recovery and the global economic outlook. At an International Monetary Fund panel yesterday, Powell also highlighted the importance of investing in projects that will improve the inclusiveness and long-term potential of the U.S. economy. NYT