September 3, 2019

Canada Posts Robust Growth While United States Lags


  • Statistics Canada has reported the nation’s economy grew for the fourth month in a row in June, expanding 0.2 percent due in large part to a 3.7 percent increase in the value of the nation’s exports. The services sector expanded 0.3 percent while goods producing industries contracted 0.2 percent. Mining improved, but the manufacturing sector shrank 1.4 percent. June’s strong growth rate helped boost second quarter growth to 3.7 percent.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce, meanwhile, announced that the U.S. economy expanded two percent in the second quarter, 0.2 percentage points lower than the government estimated previously. Part of the reason for the shift was lower levels of exports. The second quarter growth rate also was down from a 3.1 percent expansion in the first three months of the year. In related news: the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago announced that its National Activity Index, a key indicator of future growth, fell to -0.36 in July from +0.03 in June.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas announced that its production reading for Texas manufacturers rose eight points to +17.9 in August. The bank said, “Other measures of manufacturing activity also suggested faster expansion in August. The shipments index rose seven points to 17.6, and the capacity utilization index rose five points to 15.7, both reaching 11-month highs. The new orders index moved up from 5.5 to 9.3, while the growth rate of orders index was largely unchanged at 1.8.” The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, meanwhile, said the manufacturing industry in the Central Atlantic region also improved. The bank’s composite index rose from -12 in July to +1 in August due to higher readings for shipments and new orders. Employment fell, however, and the measure of local business conditions was slightly negative. Click here to read the full report.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of individuals who filed for federal unemployment benefits rose to 215,000 for the week that ended Aug. 24, up from 211,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell, however. The number of individuals who continued to receive benefits rose to 1.698 million for the week that ended Aug. 17 from 1.676 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell.
  • In other economic news: real disposable personal incomes in the United States increased 0.3 percent in July 2019; the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell 9.8 percentage points from July 2019 to August, the largest drop in the reading since December 2012; and the Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence also declined, but only from 135.8 in July to 135.1 in August.