Growth In U.S., Canada Slows
- The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.5 percent annualized rate in the third quarter of 2018, down from a 4.2 percent growth rate in the second quarter. In related news, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago announced its National Activity Index increased to +0.24 in October from +0.14 in September, signaling a slight increase in growth in the first month of the fourth quarter.
- Growth in Canada slowed in the third quarter to a two percent annualized rate, from a 2.9 percent rate in the second quarter, due to a decline in both business investment and household spending, The Financial Post reported last week. In September the economy contracted 0.1 percent, the first decline in growth in seven months.
- Manufacturing readings for the various regions have been mixed in November. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, activity in Texas continued to expand this month, though at a “markedly slower pace. The bank noted its production index, “a key measure of state manufacturing conditions,” fell nine points to +8.4, indicating “output growth continued to abate.” The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s manufacturing survey fell slightly, to +14 in November from +15 in October due to declines in employment and the number of new orders.
- The number of U.S. residents who filed for federal unemployment benefits rose to 234,000 for the week that ended Nov. 24, up from 224,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also increased. The number of individuals who continued to file for benefits rose to 1.71 million for the week that ended Nov. 17 from 1.668 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also increased.
- In other economic news: the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell to 135.7 in November down from 137.9 in October; personal incomes in the United States rose $84.9 billion, or 0.5 percent from September 2018 to October 2018 while disposable personal income increased $81.7 billion, 0.5 percent; and the number of new home sales in the United States fell 8.9 percent from September 2018 to October 2018 and 12 percent from October 2017 to October 2018.