Author Archives: Jack McCabe

103,000 Jobs Added in March

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 103,000 in March, a decrease from last month’s strong reading of 326,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, maintaining the lowest level since December 2000. Private service-providing industries gained 87,000 jobs, led by professional and business services and education and health care, adding 33,000 and 25,000 ...

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313,000 Jobs Added in February

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 313,000 in February, an increase from last month’s reading of 239,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, maintaining the lowest level since December 2000. Private service-providing industries gained 187,000 jobs, led by retail trade and professional and business services, adding 50,000 apiece. Goods-producing employment rose by ...

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Fourth Quarter GDP Grew 2.6%

Real GDP grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.6% during the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s “advance” estimate, down from 3.2% in the third quarter. The growth in real GDP reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, residential fixed investment, state and local government spending, and federal government ...

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Consumer Confidence Declined in December

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased 6.5 points to 122.1 in December. Last month’s index was downwardly revised from 129.5 to 128.6. The Present Situation Index grew 1.7 points to 156.6 after increasing 2.9 points last month. The Expectations Index fell 11.9 points to 99.1. “Consumer confidence retreated in December after reaching a 17-year high in November,” said Lynn ...

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New Home Sales Increase to Highest Level in a Decade

New single-family home sales increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 in October, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The October level was 6.2% above the downwardly revised September rate of 645,000 and 18.7% above the October 2016 estimate. October’s sales were the strongest figure since October 2007. Sales grew ...

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Housing Starts Declined in September

Housing starts decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.127 million in September, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The decline was 4.7% below the upwardly revised August rate of 1.183 million but is 6.1% above the September 2016 rate. Single-family home starts fell 4.6% from last month. Housing activity decreased in three of the four regions as the Northeast, ...

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156,000 Jobs Added in August

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 156,000 in August, a decrease from July’s downwardly revised figure of 189,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4%, staying within a 10 basis point range in the last five months. Private service-providing industries added a net 95,000 jobs, led by gains in professional and business ...

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Existing-Home Sales Declined in July

Existing-home sales decreased 1.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million in July, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales are 2.1% above a year ago, but are at the lowest level of 2017. “Buyer interest in most of the country has held up strongly this summer and homes are selling fast, but the negative effect ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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