US Employers added 224K jobs in June. That pushed the three-month average up to 171K, but the 172K average over the first six months of this years is down substantially from the 211K average the prior six months. The unemployment rate edged back up to 3.7%, and wage growth came in a touch weaker than [...]
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US The US Commerce Department reported last week that durable goods orders declined 1.3% in May, surpassing consensus expectations for a scant 0.3% decline.The good news: Taking the May decline at face value likely overstates the weakness of factory activity in May. Boeing’s ongoing struggles with its 737 MAX fleet of aircraft were largely to [...]
US The Fed kept rates unchanged last week but opened the door to easing later this year by noting the heightened uncertainty to the economic outlook and the persistent undershoot of inflation. Seven committee members expected the year-end Fed funds rate to be 50 bps lower, one expected it to be 25 bps lower and [...]
US Most employment indicators continued to show a great deal of strength last week, including the latest JOLTS data and the weekly initial unemployment claims, which rose but remain near historic lows. The JOLTS survey noted that hires rose slightly to 5.9 million in April, while separations were essentially unchanged at 5.6 million. There were [...]
US US durable goods orders fell 2.1% during April. Orders have been influenced by volatile aircraft orders in recent months, and this was again the case. The grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX and subsequent negative headlines have led to net cancellations, which weighed heavily on April’s outcome. The civilian aircraft component of orders fell [...]
US US industrial production fell 0.5% in April. A drop in utilities output offset an increase in mining. The real sore spot in the report, however, was the 0.5% drop in manufacturing output. Consistent with softness at the retail level, auto production fell 2.6%, but just as weak was production of machinery - an ominous [...]
US The trade deficit widened slightly in March to $50.0 billion. Exports posted an increase for the third consecutive month, but imports jumped 1.1% after a measly gain in February and a drop in January. The widening does not look to be quite as large as the BEA estimated heading into the initial release of [...]
US The Fed’s policy-setting committee decided to make no change to official short-term interest rates, as was widely expected. Investors appeared to react negatively to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s post-meeting press conference, which was widely characterized as more hawkish than anticipated. Powell stated that the recent pattern of below-target inflation may prove “transitory” and that [...]
US US real GDP grew at an annualised rate of 3.2% in Q1 of 2019. The first quarter headline rate of growth was stronger than most analysts had expected, and it represents a pick-up in growth relative to Q4. But underlying details of economic growth were not quite as strong as the headline growth rate [...]
US US small business optimism was virtually unchanged in March. Despite the stock market having recovered from its end-of-year rough patch and the government shutdown now firmly in the rearview mirror, the index remains noticeably below the current cycle’s high reached in August. The lack of a rebound suggests that small businesses are feeling the [...]