US The ISM non-manufacturing index, a measure of the breadth of activity in the US service sector, beat expectations last week by climbing to 54.7 from a three-year low of 52.6 last month. The multiyear low of the non-man survey was especially concerning last month because it came just two days after its manufacturing counterpart [...]
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US US economy grew at a 1.9% annualized pace last quarter, slowing marginally from 2.0% recorded in the second quarter. Sectors centered on the domestic side of the economy, including consumer spending (+2.9%), residential investment (+5.1%), and government spending (+2%), all made positive contributions. US business investment declined for the second straight quarter (-3%), while [...]
US The legitimate slowdown in overall economic growth is exaggerated by the continuing drag from Boeing’s issues with the 737 MAX and the lingering strike at General Motors. The effect from both was apparent in September’s advance durable goods report, which saw overall orders fall 1.1%. Orders for transportation equipment fell 1.6%, reflecting declines in [...]
US Personal consumption, which comprises roughly 70% of overall US GDP, has proved remarkably resilient under the cloud of trade uncertainty and the darkening economic picture overseas. However, retail sales fell in September for the first time in seven months. The 0.3% decline in headline sales was dragged down by a sharp drop in auto [...]
US The optimism among small businesses took another leg down in September, with fewer businesses reporting that they expected sales and the economy to improve. At 101.8, the NFIB small business index is not quite as low as it was at the start of the year following the stock market’s sharp selloff and the longest [...]
US Consumer Confidence fell by a larger than expected 9.1 points to a still respectable 125.1. Consumers grew more cautious about both the present situation and future conditions. The robust assessment of the labor market a month earlier was also completely reversed. The Conference Board’s survey was out of sync with the University of Michigan’s [...]
US An unusually divided Federal Open Market Committee cut its target rate a quarter point to between 1.75% and 2.0% and left the door open to additional cuts. Two members of the committee dissented, arguing rates should be left unchanged. One member voted for a deeper, half-point cut. US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell offered [...]
US CPI inflation is beginning to heat up more materially. Core prices rose 0.3% for the third straight month, pushing the three-month annualised inflation rate to a 13-year high. The year-on-year rate hit 2.4%, which suggests PCE inflation (which tends to run about 0.3% below CPI inflation) may finally be at the Fed’s target. A [...]
US The ISM manufacturing index fell below 50 in August for the first time since 2016, as more firms reported a contraction than an expansion in manufacturing activity. The decline in the new orders subcomponent was even more worrisome. At 47.2, new orders tied the cycle low set in 2012, and suggests activity will remain [...]
US The second estimate of Q2 2019 GDP showed the economy grew at a 2.0% annualised pace, which was only a tenth lower than the initial estimate, most likely the consumer carried the weight in the second quarter. But revised data show personal consumption expenditures rose an even stronger 4.7% (4.3% previously), adding 3.1 percentage [...]