Growth Strong In Both United States And Canada
- The Canadian economy expanded at a 2.9 annualized percent rate in the second quarter, the fastest pace in a year. A 2.9 percent increase in exports helped drive the positive reading. Household spending rose 0.6 percent and business investment increased 0.4 percent. Statistics Canada also raised the growth rate for the first quarter from 1.3 percent to 1.4 percent.
- The U.S. government revised its estimated growth rate for the second quarter to 4.2 percent from its previous estimate of 4.1 percent. Read the full press release explaining the change here. In related news, the Federal Reserve Board of Chicago’s National Activity Index, a gauge of future growth fell to +0.13 in August from +0.49 in July.
- TheFederal Reserve Bank of Dallas announced that its manufacturing survey for the state of Texas fell to +30.9 in August from +32.3 in July. The sector remained strong and the new orders sub-index improved. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond said its manufacturing survey rose to +24 in August from +20 the previous month. The bank noted employment and wages continued to rise, but manufacturing firms continued to struggle to find workers with the skills they needed, as that indicator dropped to -17, its lowest value on record.
- The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index hit its highest level in nearly two decades in August, rising to 133.4 from 127.9 in July. The Conference Board explained, “Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved further. Expectations, which had declined in June and July, bounced back in August and continue to suggest solid economic growth for the remainder of 2018. Overall, these historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending in the near-term.” The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell, however, dropping to 96.2 last month from 97.9 the month before.
- U.S. personal incomesincreased 0.4 percent in July while personal consumption rose 0.3 percent.
- The U.S. Department of Labor said 213,000 individuals filed for unemployment benefits for the first time during the week that ended August 25, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell, however, and was at its lowest level since December 1969. The number of individuals who continued to file for benefits also declined, dropping to 1.708 million for the week that ended Aug. 18 from 1.728 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also fell.