U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 5, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. economy gained 2.5 million jobs in May, despite consensus expectations that 7.7 million would be lost. The unemployment rate decreased to 13.3% and labor force participation increased from 60.2% to 60.8%. BLS Report

U.S. News

The New York Times reports that several states are revoking unemployment benefits for workers who turn down job offers due to fears of contracting the coronavirus while at work. This reality may help businesses recall workers more quickly as they try to reopen and avoid closing permanently, but also puts workers worried about the virus in the difficult position of choosing between physical health and financial security. NYT

According to the Financial Times, increases in vehicle traffic, car sales, and flights combined with a fall in panic purchases all suggest consumer confidence is improving after bottoming out in late March and early April. However, a full recovery of consumer demand will be restricted by social distancing rules, travel bans, and the speed at which consumers can feel safe returning to ‘normal’ life. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 4, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. trade deficit increased from $42.3 billion (revised) in March to $49.4 billion in April. The goods deficit rose by $5.8 billion while the services surplus fell by $1.3 billion. Census Bureau Report

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.9% in 2020 Q1 (revised) but rose 0.7% compared to the previous year. Hours worked decreased 5.6% and unit labor costs rose 5.1%. BLS Report

Initial jobless claims fell 249,000 to 1,877,000 last week. The four-week moving average decreased 324,750 to 2,284,000. DOL Report

U.S. News

The Washington Post reports that almost half of commercial rents went unpaid in May, increasing financial pressure on landlords, property managers, and cash-strapped local governments. Small business are particularly vulnerable to the rent crisis, though recent changes to the Paycheck Protection Program could alleviate strain by increasing the percentage of funds that can be used towards rent. WaPo

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 3, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ADP Employment Report shows that private-sector employment decreased by 2,760,000 jobs in May, far fewer than consensus expectations; however, the report only utilizes data through the 12th of the month and does not reflect the full impact of COVID-19 in May. The services sector lost 1,967,000 jobs, while the goods-producing sector lost 794,000 jobs. ADP Report

New factory orders for manufactured goods fell 13% in April following an 11% (revised) decrease in March. New orders excluding transportation were down 8.5%, while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 6.1%. Census Bureau Report

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rose 3.6 points to 45.4 in May, indicating continued contraction in the non-manufacturing sector but at a slower rate than last month. The New Orders Index increased 9.0 points to 41.9, while the Employment Index increased 1.8 points to 31.8. ISM Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that states are facing a surge in improper and fraudulent unemployment claims as they attempt to process unprecedented requests for benefits during the coronavirus pandemic. More than $26 billion in unemployment insurance payments could be wasted as fraudsters take advantage of overwhelmed state processing systems and massive inflows of federal funding. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 2, 2020

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, a new report from the Congressional Budget Office forecasts that the U.S. economy will not fully recover from the coronavirus pandemic and related shutdowns until the fourth quarter of 2029, marking down its 10-year GDP forecast by 3% ($7.9 trillion) compared to its January projections. While recent indicators of factory activity suggest the economy may have bottomed out in April, the rate of recovery is likely to be slow. WSJ

The Financial Times reports that the data center industry has been a major beneficiary of the coronavirus pandemic as the crisis shifts more economic activity online. Data center stocks have outperformed large technology platforms and are increasingly viewed by investors as “recession-proof” as companies recognize their need for expanded digital infrastructure. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 1, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ISM Manufacturing Index rose 1.6 points to 43.1 in May, indicating continued contraction in the manufacturing sector but at a slower rate than last month. The Employment Index rose 4.6 points to 32.1, while the New Orders Index rose 4.7 points to 31.8. ISM Report

Construction spending decreased 2.9% in April to an annualized rate of $1.35 trillion. Private construction fell 3.0% and public construction fell 2.5%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

A recent poll by the Washington Post found that a majority of Americans still favor controlling the spread of the coronavirus over restarting the economy – an indication that the virus remains a serious concern even as states move to lift stay-at-home restrictions. Americans remain starkly divided, however, on their level of comfort with resuming normal activities and personal fears about the virus, with sharp divisions by political party, race, and gender. WaPo