Author Hugo Dante

Hugo Dante

Hugo Dante is a specialist in economic research in the Economic Policy and Research group at the ABA.

Economy

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased 6.4 points to 120.2 in January. The Present Situation Index declined slightly by 0.3 points to 169.6. The Expectations Index fell 10.4 points to 87.3. “Consumer Confidence declined in January, following a decrease in December,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The

Economy

Existing-home sales dropped 6.4 percent in December following two consecutive months of increases, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This followed a 1.9 percent increase in November. Sales are 10.3 percent below the December 2017 level of 5.56 million. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist,

Economy

Industrial production increased 0.3 percent in December after rising 0.4 percent in November, according to the Federal Reserve. Capacity utilization was 78.7 percent in December a rate that is 1.1 points below its long-run average (1927-2017). Manufacturing output increased 1.1 percent, its largest gain since February 2018. Production of durable goods increased 2.7 percent, while

Economy

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose to 58 in January, up two points from December and rebounding from the lowest reading in three years. Home builders cited declining mortgage rates among the chief reasons for the increase. “The gradual decline in mortgage rates in recent weeks helped to sustain builder

Economy

Producer prices declined 0.2 percent in December, seasonally adjusted, after rising 0.1 percent in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Producer prices rose 2.5 percent on an un-adjusted basis for the twelve months of 2018. The index for final demand goods moved down 0.4 percent in December, mirroring last month’s decline. The

Economy

The Consumer Price Index dipped 0.1 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This followed no change in November. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index rose 1.9 percent, the first time this index has increased at less than 2 percent since August 2017. Prices for

Economy

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index held steady at 104.4, 0.4 points below November’s reading. The December reading continues to hover near August’s record high of 108.8. Twenty-four percent of business owners surveyed said the next three months was a good time to expand, five point lower than last month’s reading. Reported job creation strengthened,

Economy

Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.7 percent in November, down from a downwardly revised 7.6 percent rate in October. Total outstanding credit increased $22.2 billion during the month (compared with $25.4 billion in October) to $3.979 trillion. Revolving credit, largely a reflection of credit card debt, increased at an annual

Economy

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index registered 57.6 points in December, 3.1 percentage points below November’s figure. This was the 107th consecutive month of expansion, as a reading above 50 indicates growth. Sixteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth, while one reported a decrease. The majority of respondents remain positive about business conditions and the economy, but tariffs (even with

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