Banks and the Economy

Small Business Optimism Index Remains Elevated in October

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell to 107.4, 0.5 point below September’s reading. This is just below the highest reading in index history. Thirty percent of business owners surveyed said the next three months was a good time to expand, three points lower than last month’s reading. Reported job creation increased three points, as 60 percent of businesses reported ...

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Producer Prices Rose in October

Producer prices increased 0.6 percent in October, seasonally adjusted, after increasing 0.2 percent in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Producer prices rose 2.9 percent for the twelve months ended October 2018. The index for final demand goods increased 0.6 percent in October, the largest rise since May. The index for final demand energy rose 2.7 percent, ...

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FOMC Holds Rates Steady

At its meeting today, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) unanimously voted to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2.0 to 2.25 percent. The committee’s statement was similar to that of September, once again noting “that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with sustained expansion of economic ...

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Consumer Credit Growth Slowed in September

Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.3 percent in September, down from an upwardly revised 7.0 percent rate in August. Total outstanding credit increased $11.0 billion during the month (compared with $22.8 billion in August) to $3.95 trillion. Revolving credit, largely a reflection of credit card debt, decreased at an annual rate of 0.4 percent to ...

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ISM: Non-Manufacturing Sector Growth Slower in October

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index registered 60.3 points in October, 1.3 percentage points below September’s figure. This was the 105th consecutive month of expansion as a reading above 50 indicates growth. Seventeen non-manufacturing industries reported growth, while one reported a decrease. The majority of respondents remain positive about business conditions and the economy, but capacity, logistics, and tariffs are ongoing concerns. Growth ...

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International Trade Gap Widened 1.3 percent in September

The U.S. international trade deficit widened in September, rising 1.3 percent to $54.0 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Both imports and exports rose by 1.5 percent. August’s trade deficit was downwardly revised from $53.2 billion to $53.3 billion. The goods deficit increased 0.8 percent to $77.2 billion, while the services surplus ...

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