Banks and the Economy

Small Business Optimism Index Steady in December

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index held steady at 104.4, 0.4 points below November’s reading. The December reading continues to hover near August’s record high of 108.8. Twenty-four percent of business owners surveyed said the next three months was a good time to expand, five point lower than last month’s reading. Reported job creation strengthened, as 60 percent of businesses ...

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Consumer Credit Growth Increased in November

Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.7 percent in November, down from a downwardly revised 7.6 percent rate in October. Total outstanding credit increased $22.2 billion during the month (compared with $25.4 billion in October) to $3.979 trillion. Revolving credit, largely a reflection of credit card debt, increased at an annual rate of 5.5 percent to ...

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FOMC Minutes Show “Limited Amount” of Additional Tightening Likely

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) highlighted that only a limited amount of interest rate increases would be appropriate, given current information on the economy. With the federal funds rate judged to be at or near the lower end of the range of estimates of the neutral rate, the Committee “could afford to be patient about further policy firming.” The ...

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ISM: Non-Manufacturing Sector Growth Slower in December

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index registered 57.6 points in December, 3.1 percentage points below November’s figure. This was the 107th consecutive month of expansion, as a reading above 50 indicates growth. Sixteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth, while one reported a decrease. The majority of respondents remain positive about business conditions and the economy, but tariffs (even with the recent hold on increases ...

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312,000 Jobs Added in December, Unemployment Rate rises to 3.9 percent

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 312,000 in December, an increase from last month’s upwardly revised reading of 176,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate rose from 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent. Private service-providing industries gained 227,000 jobs, led by education and health services, which added 82,000 jobs. Goods-producing employment rose by 74,000 jobs during ...

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ADP: 271,000 Jobs Added in December

The non-farm private sector added 271,000 jobs in December, according to the ADP National Employment Report. This followed a 179,000 job increase in November. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees gained 89,000 jobs. Medium-sized businesses with 50-499 employees created 129,000, while large businesses added 54,000 jobs. “We wrapped up 2018 with another month of significant growth in the labor ...

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