U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.6 points to 103.1 in August as three components improved, six weakened, and one was unchanged. Capital spending plans and earnings expectations improved, while plans for increasing employment and inventories eased. NFIB Report

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely-watched measure of labor market health, indicated there were 7.2 million job openings at the end of July, essentially unchanged from JuneHires inched up to 6.0 million, while the quits rate was little changed at 2.4 percent. BLS Report

U.S. News

According to the Financial Times, U.S. retailers are dropping Chinese suppliers in response to tariffs and switching to countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand to source their goods. While U.S. tariffs have accelerated retailers’ need to pull out of China, many already had plans in place to shift supply chains out of the country amid rising labor costs. FT

The Financial Times reports that global manufacturing activity, particularly in the auto industry, is experiencing its most severe and geographically widespread downturn in at least six years as pressure mounts from the U.S.-China trade war. Manufacturing activity among car producers across the globe has reached near-record lows and is likely to continue to ease as sentiment among manufacturers remains weak. FT