Canadian Manufacturing Sales Fall
- Statistics Canada reported last week that manufacturing sales in the country fell 1.2 percent to $58 billion from May to June 2019. Sales were down in 16 of 21 industries and the petroleum and coal product and food sectors accounted for most of the month’s decline. Sales of primary metals increased 11.7 percent. Manufacturing sales rose 1.7 percent in the second quarter.
- According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the Midwest’s manufacturing sector contracted in August by the most since March 2016, reflecting a slump in orders and weaker sales as trade tensions between the U.S. and China became more pronounced. The composite index of factory activity dropped to -6 from -1 in July. More than half of firms expect a negative impact from the latest round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, the bank said.
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 209,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time ever during the week of August 17, down from 221,000 the week before. (The four-week moving average of first-time claims rose, however.) The number of individuals who continued to receive benefits fell to 1.674 million during the week that ended August 10, down from 1.728 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also declined.
- In other economic news: the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index for the United States, a gauge of future economic growth, rose 0.5 percent in July to 112.2; sales of new homes in the United States fell 12.8 percent from June 2019 to July 2019, but increased 4.3 percent between July 2018 and July 2019; and sales of existing homes in the United States rose 2.5 percent from June to July 2019 and 0.6 percent year-over-year.