Author Archives: Stephen Newton

Manufacturing Sector Growth Rose in June

The ISM Manufacturing Index registered 60.2 points in June, up 1.5 percentage points from the previous month, according to the Institute for Supply Management. June’s reading indicates the twenty-second consecutive month of expansion in manufacturing, as readings over 50 points denote expansion. Of the eighteen manufacturing industries, seventeen reported growth, while none reported contraction. Nine of the ten index components ...

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Construction Spending Rate Rose 0.4 percent in May

Construction spending increased 0.4 percent at a seasonally adjusted annual level (SAAL) of $1,309.5 billion, in May, according to the Census Bureau. April’s spending estimate was downwardly revised to $1,304.5 billion. May’s figure is 4.5 percent greater than the May 2017 estimate of $1,253.6 billion. Total private construction was $1,005.4 billion SAAL, a 0.3 percent increase from the revised April ...

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Consumer Sentiment Remains Strong in June

Consumer Sentiment increased 0.2 points in June to 98.2, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. June’s figure is 3.4 percent above the June 2017 index. The Current Economic Conditions Index rose 4.7 points to 116.5. The reading was 3.6 percent above the June 2017 estimate. The Consumer Expectations Index declined 2.8 points to 86.3 and was 3.0 ...

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First Quarter GDP Revised from 2.2 to 2.0 percent

Real GDP grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.0 percent during the first quarter of 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s second estimate, down from 2.2 percent in the “second” estimate. The general picture of economic growth remained the same. The percent change primarily reflected a downward revision to private inventory investment, PCE and exports. The ...

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Durable Goods Orders Fell 0.6 percent in May

New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 0.6 percent in May to $248.8 billion, following a 1.0 percent April decline, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The volatile transportation equipment sector led the decline, falling 1.0 percent to $86.1 billion over the month. Motor vehicles and parts were the largest contributor to transportation’s decline, decreasing 4.2 percent to $55.6 billion. ...

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Consumer Confidence Slips in June

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased 2.4 points to 126.4 in June. The Present Situation Index was nudged down 0.1 point to 161.1. The Expectations Index declined 4.0 points to 103.2. “Consumer confidence declined in June after improving in May,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions was relatively unchanged, ...

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New Home Sales Rose 6.7 percent in May

New single-family home sales increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 689,000 in May, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The May level was 6.7 percent above the upwardly revised April rate of 646,000 and 14.1 percent above the May 2017 estimate. Sales increased 17.9 percent in the South, while the ...

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Existing-Home Sales Fell 0.4 Percent in May

Existing-home sales decreased 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million in May, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This followed a 2.5 percent decline in April. Sales are 3.0 percent below the May 2017 level. “Closings were down in a majority of the country last month and declined on an annual basis in each ...

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Housing Starts Up 5 percent in May

Housing starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.350 million in May, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The figure was 5.0 percent above the April rate of 1.286 million and 20.3 percent higher than the May 2017 rate. Single-family home starts rose 18.3 percent from last month. Multifamily surged 11.3 percent since April and are up 27.4 percent ...

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Industrial Production Slipped 0.1 percent in May

Industrial production fell 0.1 percent in May after an upwardly revised 0.9 percent increase in April, according to the Federal Reserve. Capacity utilization nudged down to 77.9 percent in May, but remains the second highest level in three years. Manufacturing output declined 0.7 percent after remaining unchanged last month. Production of durable goods decreased 1.0 percent, while nondurable goods production ...

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