Author Archives: Jack McCabe

Consumer Credit Growth Accelerated in May

Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.8% in May, up from a revised 4.1% rate in April. Total outstanding credit increased $18.4 billion during the month (compared with $12.9 billion in April) to $3.84 trillion. Revolving credit grew at an annual rate of 8.7% to $1.0 trillion, compared to a 1.4% increase in April. Non-revolving credit ...

Read More »

Fed Raises Rates for Third Time in Six Months

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to raise the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 1 to 1.25 percent. Like in March, the vote was near unanimous, with Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari once again casting the only dissenting vote, wanting to hold rates steady. The projected policy path for the federal ...

Read More »

Retail Sales Slipped in May

There were $473.8 billion in retail and food service sales in May, down 0.3% from the previous month and up 3.8% from May 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts – also fell 0.3%. Year-over-year core sales increased 3.8%. Retail trade sales decreased 0.3% from April and are up 4.0% from last ...

Read More »

Consumer Prices Decreased 0.1% in May

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.1% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index rose 1.9%. Prices for all items less food and energy, the “core CPI,” increased 0.1% in May, the same as in April. The index rose 1.7% for the 12 months ending in ...

Read More »

Small Business Optimism Remained Strong in May

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index held steady at 104.5 in May, maintaining the high level of post-election optimism. Five of the ten index components rose, while four declined. Reported job creation has improved, as 59% of businesses reported hiring or trying to hire. However, 51% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. ...

Read More »

Producer Prices Unchanged in May

Producer prices were unchanged in May, seasonally adjusted, after rising 0.5% in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Producer prices rose 2.4% for the twelve months ended May 2017. The index for final demand goods decreased 0.5% in May, the largest drop since February 2016. Most of the decline was due to a 3.0% decrease in the ...

Read More »

Consumer Confidence Declines for Second Consecutive Month

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased to 117.9 in May, down 1.5 points from April. The Present Situation Index rose 0.4 point to 140.7, while the Expectations Index declined 2.8 points to 102.6. “Consumer confidence decreased slightly in May, following a moderate decline in April,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “However, consumers’ assessment ...

Read More »

Fed Holds Rates Steady

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) unanimously voted to hold the target range for the federal funds rate steady at 0.75 to 1 percent at their May meeting. The Committee had raised rates by 25 basis points at their previous meeting in March with the expectation of two more rate increases this year. The FOMC recognized that growth in ...

Read More »

ISM: Non-Manufacturing Sector Grew in April

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index registered 57.5 points in April, 2.3 percentage points above March’s figure. This was the 88th consecutive month of growth. Sixteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth in April, while only one reported contraction. Growth in the Business Activity Index increased 3.5 points to 62.4. Seventeen industries reported increased business activity and one reported decreased activity. Respondents noted that ...

Read More »

Manufacturing Sector Expanded in April

The ISM Manufacturing Index registered 54.8 points in April, down 2.4 percentage points from the previous month, according to the Institute for Supply Management. April’s reading indicates an eighth consecutive month of expansion in manufacturing, as readings over 50 points denote expansion. Of the eighteen manufacturing industries, sixteen reported growth while one reported contraction. The Employment Index decreased 6.9 points ...

Read More »