Banks and the Economy

ABA Calls for Clarity, Flexibility on Eligible Contract Participant Definition

As the Commodity Futures Trading Commission continues its ongoing initiative to simplify and modernize its rules, ABA last week wrote to the CFTC to highlight how a relatively inflexible definition of “eligible contract participant” under CFTC regulations has constrained banks from helping borrows mitigate risk by participating in swaps transactions.

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Consumer Credit Growth Slowed in August

Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.2% in August, down from a downwardly revised 5.7% rate in July. Total outstanding credit increased $13.1 billion during the month (compared with $17.7 billion in July) to $3.77 trillion. Revolving credit, largely a reflection of credit card debt, grew at an annual rate of 7.0% to $1.0 trillion, compared ...

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33,000 Jobs Shed in September after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma

Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 33,000 in September, the first negative reading since September 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. July’s and August’s figures were revised from 189,000 and 156,000 to 138,000 and 169,000, respectively. The national unemployment rate ticked down from 4.4% to 4.2%, the lowest level since 2001. Private service-providing industries lost 49,000 jobs, led ...

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Manufactured Goods Orders Grew 1.2% in August

New orders for manufactured goods increased 1.2% to $471.7 billion in August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It followed a 3.3% decline in July. New orders for manufactured durable goods grew 2.0% to $233.5 billion in August. Nondefense aircraft and parts led the increase, jumping 44.8% to $10.5 billion. Shipments of manufactured durable goods increased 0.5% to $237.8 billion. ...

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Job Cuts Continued to Decline in September

Employers announced plans to cut 33,346 jobs in September, according to a report issued by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. September’s announced cuts were 4.4% lower than August’s. The month’s figure was 27.0% lower than September 2016. The retail sector continues to lead the way in job cuts, with 71,057 so far this year. This is 36.8% higher than the same ...

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International Trade Balance Narrowed in August

The U.S. international trade deficit narrowed in August, falling 2.7% to $42.4 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Imports slipped 0.1%, while exports grew 0.4%. August’s report followed a shrinking trade balance in the preceding two months. July’s trade deficit was downwardly revised slightly from $43.7 billion to $43.6 billion. The goods ...

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ISM: Non-Manufacturing Sector Grew in September

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index registered 59.8 points in September, 4.5 percentage points above August’s figure. This was the 93rd consecutive month of expansion as a reading above 50 indicates growth. Fifteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth in September, while two reported contraction. September’s reading was the highest since February 2012. Growth in the Business Activity Index increased 3.8 points to 61.3, ...

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ADP: 135,000 Jobs Added in September

The non-farm private sector added 135,000 jobs in September, according to the ADP National Employment Report. August’s figure was revised down from 237,000 to 228,000. The September reading was the smallest increase since October 2016, largely due to Hurricane Harvey and Irma. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees lost 7,000 jobs. Medium-sized businesses with 50-499 employees created 63,000, while ...

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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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