Banks and the Economy

Industrial Production Unchanged in February

Industrial production was unchanged in February after decreasing 0.1% in January. Over the last year, industrial production was up 0.3%. Manufacturing output increased 0.5% in February, the same increase as January. Production of durable goods rose 0.6%, while nondurables rose 0.4% during the month. Capacity utilization for manufacturing increased by 0.3 percentage point to 75.6%, a rate that is 2.8 ...

Read More »

Housing Starts Rose in February

Housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.288 million in February, 3.0% above the revised January rate of 1.251 million, and 6.2% above the February 2016 rate. Housing activity increased in only one out of the four regions as the West saw housing starts jump 35.7%. The Northeast, Midwest, and South experienced declines of 9.8%, 4.6%, and ...

Read More »

Fed Raises Rates for First Time in 2017

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to raise the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 to 1 percent. The vote was near unanimous, with Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari casting the only dissenting vote, wanting to hold rates steady. The projected policy path for the federal funds rate was in line ...

Read More »

Builder Confidence Reaches 12-Year High in March

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose to 71 in March, a six point increase from February’s reading of 65. “Builders are buoyed by President Trump’s actions on regulatory reform, particularly his recent executive order to rescind or revise the waters of the U.S. rule that impacts permitting,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder ...

Read More »

Retail Sales Rose in February

There were $474.0 billion in retail and food service sales in February, up 0.1% from the previous month and 5.7% from February 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts – increased 0.2% after rising by 1.2% in January. Year-over-year core sales increased 5.7%. Retail trade sales increased 0.1% from January and are ...

Read More »

CPI Increased 0.1% in February

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.1% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index rose 2.7%. Prices for all items less food and energy, the “core CPI,” increased 0.2% in February, down slightly from January. The index rose 2.2% for the 12 months ending in February. The food index increased 0.2% its largest ...

Read More »

Producer Prices Increased 0.3% in February

Producer prices rose 0.3% in February, seasonally adjusted, after climbing 0.6% in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Producer prices rose 2.2% for the twelve months ended February 2017, which is the largest increase since the twelve months ended March 2012. The index for final demand goods rose 0.3% in February. The increase was led by a ...

Read More »

Small Business Optimism Remained Strong in February

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decreased 0.6 points in February to 105.3, maintaining the high level of post-election optimism. Three of the ten index components rose, while six declined. All of the index components have held near record highs since the remarkable increases after the election. Reported job creation has improved, as 52% of businesses reported hiring or trying ...

Read More »