Banks and the Economy

Manufacturing Index Surged to Thirteen-Year High in September

The ISM Manufacturing Index registered 60.8 points in September, up 2.0 percentage points from the previous month, according to the Institute for Supply Management. September’s reading indicates the thirteenth consecutive month of expansion in manufacturing, as readings over 50 points denote expansion. It was the highest reading since May 2004. Of the eighteen manufacturing industries, seventeen reported growth, while one, ...

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Construction Spending Rebounded 0.5% in August

Construction spending grew in August after two consecutive monthly declines, landing at a seasonally adjusted annual level (SAAL) of $1,218.3 billion, according to the Census Bureau. July’s spending estimate was revised up to a rate of $1,212.3 billion. August’s figure is 2.5% greater than the August 2016 estimate of $1,189.1 billion. Total private construction was $954.8 billion SAAL, a 0.4% ...

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Consumer Sentiment Eases in September

Consumer Sentiment fell 1.7 points in September to 95.1, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. Last month’s figure is 4.3% higher than the September 2016 index. The Current Economic Conditions Index grew 0.8 point to 111.7 but remained 7.5 points higher than the September 2016 estimate. The Consumer Expectations Index decreased 3.3 points to 84.4 after increasing ...

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Second Quarter GDP Upwardly Revised from 3.0% to 3.1%

Real GDP for the second quarter of 2017 grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.1%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s third estimate, up from the second estimate of 3.0%. The general picture of economic growth remained the same. Last quarter’s growth was the strongest since the first quarter of 2015. The increase in the estimate was ...

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Durable Goods Orders Grew 1.7% in August

New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 1.7% in August to $232.8 billion, following a 6.8% July decline, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Transportation equipment drove the increase, growing 4.9% to $77.4 billion over the month after a 19.6% July decline. New orders excluding defense grew 2.2% on the month, while orders of nondefense capital goods jumped 4.7% to ...

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Consumer Confidence Dips in September

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased 0.6 point to 119.8 in September. Last month’s index was downwardly revised from 122.9 to 120.4. The Present Situation Index fell 2.3 points to 146.1 after growing in each of the four preceding months. The Expectations Index grew 0.5 point to 102.2 after posting a 1.3 point decrease in August. “Consumer confidence decreased ...

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Fed to Begin Reducing Balance Sheet in October

The Federal Open Market Committee said it will begin reducing the Fed’s balance sheet in October, according to a statement from the committee released yesterday. The balance sheet is swollen with $4.5 trillion in securities purchased as part of quantitative easing programs between 2008 and 2014. The committee also decided to hold rates at 1 to 1.25 percent, citing “realized ...

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