Economic Growth Strong In Canada, United States
- The U.S. economy expanded at a 4.2 percent annualized rate in the second quarter of 2018, up from a 2.2 percent growth rate in the first quarter. In related news: the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago announced its National Activity Index, a key gauge of future economic growth, was unchanged at +0.18 in September—a reading that indicates steady future growth.
- The Canadian economy, meanwhile, grew at a 0.2 percent rate in July, higher than the 0.1 percent analysts had predicted. Between July 2017 and July 2018, the economy expanded 2.4 percent. Manufacturing was the biggest component of the better-than-expected reading; the second increased 1.2 percent in July.
- Regional manufacturing readings in the United States remained strong in September. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas announced last week that its manufacturing survey for the state of Texas fell slightly to +28.1, but still remained very high. New orders and production were softer in September. The Federal Reserve Board of Richmond improved to +29 in September from +24 in August due to improvements in readings for shipments and new orders. Additionally, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City fell slightly, to +13 in September from +14, due to declines in readings for shipments and new orders.
- The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased to 138.4 in September, up from 134.7 in August and is now at an 18-month high and is only six points off its record high, set in 2000. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, meanwhile, also increased, rising to 100.1 in September from 96.2 in August.
- According to the U.S. Labor Department, 214,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the week that ended Sept. 22, up from 202,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also rose slightly. The number of individuals who continued to file for jobless benefits also jumped, rising to 1.661 million during the week that ended Sept. 15 from 1.645 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell, however.
- In other economic news: personal incomes in the United States increased 0.3 percent while personal consumption expenditures also rose by 0.3 percent; new home sales in the United States increased 3.5 percent from July 2018 to August 2018 and 12.7 percent from August 2017 to August 2018.