Banks and the Economy

Consumer Confidence Strengthened in August

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased 2.9 points to 122.9 in August, the second consecutive monthly increase, though last month’s index was downwardly revised from 121.1 to 120.0. The Present Situation Index rose 5.8 points to 151.2, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The Expectations Index grew 1.0 point to 104.0 after posting a 3.4 point increase in July. “Consumer ...

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Durable Goods Orders Fell 6.8% in July

New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 6.8% in July to $229.2 billion, following a 6.4% June increase, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. July’s figure was the largest monthly decline since August 2014. Transportation equipment, down three of the last four months, drove the decline, falling 19.0% to $74.3 billion over the month. New orders excluding defense fell 7.8% ...

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Existing-Home Sales Declined in July

Existing-home sales decreased 1.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million in July, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales are 2.1% above a year ago, but are at the lowest level of 2017. “Buyer interest in most of the country has held up strongly this summer and homes are selling fast, but the negative effect ...

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New Home Sales Fell to Seven-Month Low in July

New single-family home sales declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 in July, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The July level was 9.4% below the upwardly revised June rate of 630,000 and 8.9% below the July 2016 estimate. July’s sales were the weakest figure since December. Sales grew 6.2% ...

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Industrial Production Rose 0.2% in July

Industrial production grew 0.2% in July after 0.4% June increase, according to the Federal Reserve. July represented the sixth consecutive month without a decline. Manufacturing output fell 0.1% in July after a 0.2% increase in June. Production of durable goods decreased 0.5%, while nondurables edged up 0.4% during the month. Capacity utilization for manufacturing decreased by 0.1 percentage point to ...

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Fed Divided Over Timing of Next Rate Hike

The Federal Open Market Committee was divided over when it will next raise the target federal funds rate, which they decided to hold at 1 to 1.25 percent, according to minutes from the FOMC’s July 25-26 meeting. “Some” FOMC members expressed uncertainty about inflation, saying that the committee “could afford to be patient” in deciding when to raise rates, while ...

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