Banks and the Economy

Beige Book: Economic Expansion Continues into 2017

Economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace across the twelve Federal Reserve Districts over the period from January to mid-February, according to the just-released Federal Reserve Beige Book. Consumer spending expanded at a moderate pace this period. Most Districts reported expanded retail sales at a subdued pace, with numerous Districts reporting an ongoing shift from purchases ...

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Construction Spending Declined in January

Construction spending decreased 1.0% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual level (SAAL) of $1,180.3 billion, according to the Census Bureau. December’s spending estimate was revised to a rate of $1,192.2 billion. January’s figure is 3.1% greater than the January 2016 estimate of $1,144.9 billion. Total private construction rose to $911.6 billion SAAL, up 0.2% from the revised December estimate ...

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Manufacturing Sector Expanded in February

The ISM Manufacturing Index registered 57.7 points in February, up 1.7 points from the previous month and the highest reading since August 2014, according to the Institute for Supply Management. February’s reading indicates a sixth consecutive month of expansion in manufacturing, as readings over 50 points denote expansion. Of the eighteen manufacturing industries, seventeen reported growth while only one reported ...

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Fourth Quarter GDP Grew at 1.9%

Real GDP for the fourth quarter of 2016 grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.9%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s revised estimate, unchanged from the advance estimate. The general picture of economic growth remained the same. The change in GDP reflected an upward revision to personal consumption expenditures that was offset by downward revisions to nonresidential ...

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Durable Goods Orders Increased in January

New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 1.8% in January to $230.4 billion, following a 0.8% December decrease, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. New orders excluding defense rose 1.5% on the month, as orders of nondefense capital goods increased 3.6% to $69.0 billion. Shipments of manufactured durable goods decreased 0.1% to $238.3 billion. Inventories of manufactured durable goods were ...

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New Home Sales Increased in January

New single-family home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000 in January, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The January level was 3.7% above the revised December rate of 535,000 and 5.5% above the January 2016 level. Sales rose in most regions, increasing 15.8% in the Northeast, 14.8% in ...

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Consumer Sentiment Fell in February

Consumer Sentiment declined 2.2 points in February to 96.3, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. The Current Economic Conditions Index rose 0.2 points to 111.5, while the Consumer Expectations Index fell 3.8 points to 86.5. “While consumer confidence edged upward in late February, it remained slightly below the decade peak recorded in January. Overall, the Sentiment Index ...

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