U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 30, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The advance estimate of 2019 Q4 GDP indicates that the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 2.1% in the fourth quarter, in line with consensus estimates. The increase in real GDP reflects positive contributions from net exports, consumer spending, government spending, and residential investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from business investment and private inventories. BEA Report

Initial jobless claims fell 7,000 to 216,000 last week. The four-week moving average fell 1,750 to 214,500. DOL Report

U.S. News

The Washington Post reports that the Fed left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, consistent with expectations as the U.S. economy continues to grow at a slow but steady pace. However, central bank officials noted that they are monitoring a number of risks that could impact the global and U.S. economies, including ongoing trade tensions and the coronavirus outbreak. WaPo

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 29, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. Census Bureau Advance Economic Indicators Report shows that the goods deficit widened to $68.3 billion in December from $63.0 billion in November. Meanwhile, wholesale inventories edged down 0.1% and retail inventories were unchanged. Census Bureau Report

The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index fell 4.9% in December (up 4.6% Y/Y).  NAR reports that the ongoing shortage of affordable housing options remains a long-term concern. NAR Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest projections by the Congressional Budget Office show that the national debt and federal budget deficits are on track to reach their highest levels since World War II over the next decade. Debt held by the public is projected to reach 98% of GDP by 2030, resulting from the combination of tax cuts and increased spending on social safety net programs. WSJ

The New York Times reports that the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is testing the global economy’s dependence on China, as industries ranging from manufacturing to tourism brace for hits to first-quarter production and profits. Some foreign-owned companies are already making plans to temporarily change supply chains until the crisis abates, but uncertainty surrounding the ultimate extent of the virus has left others paralyzed as they wait for more information. NYT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 28, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

New orders of manufactured durable goods rose 2.4% in December after falling 3.1% (revised) in November and are down 1.5% compared to a year ago. Excluding transportation, new orders declined 0.1% last month (up 0.3% from last year). Census Bureau Report

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose from 128.2 (revised) in December to 131.6 in January. The improvement was driven primarily by improvement in consumers’ assessment of the current job market and expectations for future job prospects. Conference Board Report

U.S. News

The New York Times reports that President Trump has announced plans to broaden tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to include products made with steel and aluminum inputs. Imports of certain steel- and aluminum-containing goods, which are not subject to the same tariffs as the unfinished metals, have risen notably since the original tariffs went into place, hurting domestic producers. NYT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 27, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

New home sales edged down 0.4% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 694,000 but were up 23% from December 2018. The median sales price rose to $331,400 and the inventory of new homes edged up to 5.7 months at the current sales rate. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that home prices and residential investment around the world are cooling, holding back growth prospects for the global economy while making an outright collapse in the housing market less likely. Property markets in global cities became highly synchronized after the financial crisis as investors in search of better yields in a low-interest rate environment bought up properties in major financial hubs. WSJ

According to the Financial Times, the E.U.’s plans to start taxing carbon imports has emerged as a potential new flashpoint in trade ties with the United States, with U.S. officials warning that there will be an official reaction if the new taxes are deemed protectionist in nature. Taxing carbon imports has become a top priority for the E.U. under European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, creating yet another point of contention as European countries spar with the U.S. over proposed digital services taxes. FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

January 24, 2020

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that new warehouse construction in North America is expected to far outpace demand over the next two years, a positive development for tenants seeking better rents but raising concerns about overbuilding. Vacancy rates are still historically low as e-commerce continues to grow, but are forecast to rise to 5.2% by the end of 2021 from 4.6% at the end of last year. WSJ

According to the Financial Times, business activity in the eurozone remained unexpectedly weak in January as a mild improvement in German manufacturing activity was offset by service-sector weakness in France. Eurozone growth is expected to remain subdued in the near term, with concerns about a developing U.S.-E.U. trade battle adding to economic anxieties. FT