Author Archives: Stephen Newton

Industrial Production Rose 0.7% in April

Industrial production grew 0.7% in April after a downwardly revised 0.5% increase in March, according to the Federal Reserve. Capacity utilization rose to 78.0% in April, the highest level in three years. Manufacturing output grew 0.5% after remaining unchanged last month. Production of durable goods decreased 0.5%, while nondurable goods production rose 1.5%. Capacity utilization for manufacturing fell 0.1 percentage ...

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Housing Starts Drop 3.7% in April

Housing starts decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.287 million in April, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The figure was 3.7% below the March rate of 1.336 million but 10.5% higher than the April 2017 rate. Single-family home starts were virtually unchanged, nudging up 0.1% from last month. Multifamily slowed 12.6% since March but rose 19.1% since April ...

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Retail Sales Rose 0.3% in April

There were $497.6 billion in retail and food service sales in April, up 0.3% from the previous month and 4.7% from April 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. March’s number was upwardly revised to reflect a 0.8% increase. Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts – rose 0.3%. Year-over-year core sales increased 4.8%. Retail trade sales increased 0.4% ...

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Consumer Prices Rose 0.2% in April

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.2% in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This followed a 0.1% March decline. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index rose 2.5%. Prices for all items less food and energy, the “core CPI,” grew 0.1% in April, following a 0.2% March increase. The index rose 2.1% ...

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Producer Prices Rose 0.1% in April

Producer prices increased 0.1% in April, seasonally adjusted, after rising 0.3% in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Producer prices rose 2.6% for the twelve months ended April 2017. The index for final demand goods was unchanged in April, after increasing 0.3% last month. The index for final demand energy rose 0.1%, while prices for final demand ...

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Small Business Optimism Index Remained Strong in April

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index grew to 104.8, 0.1 point above March’s reading. Four of the ten index components rose in April, while three declined. Twenty-seven percent of business owners surveyed said the next three months was a good time to expand, one point lower than last month’s reading. Reported job creation grew four points, as 57% of businesses ...

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Consumer Credit Growth Slowed in March

Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.6% in March, down from a 4.3% rate in February. Total outstanding credit increased $11.7 billion during the month (compared with $13.6 billion in February) to $3.87 trillion. Revolving credit, largely a reflection of credit card debt, declined at an annual rate of 3.0% to $1.03 trillion, compared to a ...

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164,000 Jobs Added in April, Unemployment Down to 3.9%

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 164,000 in April, an increase from last month’s reading of 135,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, the first sub-4% unemployment figure since 2000. Private service-providing industries gained 119,000 jobs, led by professional and business services and education and health care, adding 54,000 and 31,000, respectively. ...

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Manufactured Goods Rose 1.6% in March

New orders for manufactured goods grew 1.6% to $507.7 billion in March, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The increase followed a 1.7% rise in February. New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 2.6% to $255.2 billion in March. Transportation equipment led the increase, growing 7.6% to $91.4 billion. Shipments of manufactured durable goods increased 0.4% to $250.4 billion. Inventories ...

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ISM: Non-Manufacturing Sector Growth Slowed in April

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index registered 56.8 points in April, 2.0 percentage points below March’s figure. This was the 99th consecutive month of expansion as a reading above 50 indicates growth. All eighteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth in April. Growth in the Business Activity Index decreased 1.5 points to 59.1, the 105th consecutive month of growth. Fifteen industries reported increased business ...

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