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September 3, 2014

Economic Data Points for Week of 9/2

  • While the Manufacturing Alliance for Productivity and Innovation Foundation (MAPIF) lowered its U.S. economic growth predictions for 2014 and 2015, the U.S. Commerce Department announced the nation’s economy performed better than previously estimated in the second quarter of 2014. U.S. gross domestic product increased at a 4.2 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, slightly faster than the four percent rate the department estimated last month. In another piece of positive news, MAPIF estimated manufacturing production would increase 3.4 percent this year, above its earlier forecast, and 3.6 percent in 2015. 
  • Meanwhile, the Canadian economy expanded at a 3.1 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, its fastest pace of expansion in three years. A 17.8 percent increase in exports helped drive the reading, which was one percentage point higher than analysts had predicted. Household spending rose 3.8 percent while business investment advanced 0.9 percent.
  • The manufacturing sectors in various regions of the U.S. were mixed last month. In Texas, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said its production index dropped to +6.8 in August from +19.1 as new orders, shipments and capacity utilization all fell. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, announced its manufacturing index rose to +12 in August, its highest level since March 2011, as shipments and new orders rose significantly, but the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported its composite index fell to +3 in August from +9 in July as production, shipments and new orders all fell. 
  • U.S. consumers were more optimistic last month: the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index increased to 82.5 in August from 81.8 in July while the Conference Board consumer confidence reading jumped to 92.4 in August from 90.3 in July. (That report showed consumers were more optimistic about the economic situation today, but slightly more negative about the future.) 
  • In other economic news: the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s National Activity Index increased to +0.39 in July from +0.21 in June; U.S., personal incomes rose 0.2 percent in July while personal consumption increased 0.1 percent; and the number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits fell very slightly for the week that ended Aug. 23 while the number of Americans who continued to receive benefits increased to 2.527 million for the week that ended Aug. 16 from 2.502 million the week before.