U.S. Economic Indicators

The U.S. trade deficit decreased from $46.9 billion (revised) in October to $43.1 billion in November. The goods deficit fell by $3.9 billion while the services surplus edged down less than $0.1 billion. Census Bureau Report

New factory orders for manufactured goods fell 0.7% in November following a 0.2% (revised) increase in October and are down 0.7% compared to a year ago. New orders excluding transportation were up 0.3%, while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.3%. Census Bureau Report

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rose 1.1 points to 55.0 in December. The New Orders Index declined 2.2 points to 54.9, while the Employment Index declined 0.3 point to 55.2. ISM Report

U.S. News

The Financial Times reports that vacancies in U.S. shopping malls at the end of 2019 were at their highest level in over 20 years, reflecting growing pressure on brick-and-mortar retailers amid the rise in online shopping. Total holiday retail sales in 2019 grew 3.4% compared to a year earlier, while year-over-year sales growth at physical stores was a mere 1.2%. FT