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November 10, 2014

Latest Economic News From The U.S. And Canada

  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued its revised worldwide economic growth estimates last week. The OECD predicts the Canadian economy will expand 2.3 percent this year, a slight reduction from its 2.5 percent growth estimate issued six months ago, and 2.5 percent next year. The U.S. economy is predicted to expand 2.2 percent in 2014 and 3.1 percent in 2015. Globally, the OECD expects 3.3 percent economic growth this year and 3.7 percent in 2014. Those figures are also down from earlier predictions.
  • Meanwhile, Statistics Canada announced the nation’s economy contracted 0.1 percent in August, the first contraction in eight months. Drop off in the manufacturing and oil and gas sectors led the decline.
  • The U.S. economy added 214,000 jobs in October as the nation’s unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent. Manufacturers added 15,000 jobs last month, but the labor force participation rate remained near its 35-year low. The U.S. Labor Department also announced last week that, for the week that ended Nov.1, 278,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time, a figure that was down 10,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also fell, as did the number of Americans who continued to receive federal jobless benefits. That figure dropped to 2.348 million for the week that ended Oct. 25 – its lowest level since December 2000 – from 2.387 million the week before.
  • The Canadian economy added 43,100 jobs in October, a number that was much better than the 5,000 loss analysts had predicted. The nation’s jobless rate fell to 6.5 percent, its lowest level since November 2008. Manufacturers in Canada added 33,200 jobs last month.
  • The U.S. trade deficit increased to $43.0 billion in September from $40.0 billion in August. Exports declined by $3 billion while imports rose slightly. The goods deficit increased to $62.7 billion in September from $60.3 billion in August.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the U.S. increased to 59.0 percent in October from 56.6 percent in September. It was the 17th month in a row the reading had indicated expansion in the manufacturing sector. The Markit PMI for the U.S. fell, however, declining to 55.9 in October from 57.5 in September as output growth hit a seven-month low.
  • The Royal Bank of Canada’s PMI increased to 55.3 in October from 53.5 in September as new orders posted their strongest gains in nearly a year.
  • Vehicle sales in the U.S. increased 6.1 percent from October 2013 to October 2014. Sales of foreign-made cars generally led the increase: Suburu sales advanced 24.7 percent year-over-year followed by Chrysler, Nissan, Kia and Volkswagen, whose sales rose 21.7 percent, 13.3 percent, 12.5 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively. Ford sales declined 1.8 percent while General Motors’ sales increased just 0.2 percent. 
  • In other economic news: new orders in the U.S. for manufactured goods increased 0.6 percent in September while inventories rose 0.2 percent; U.S. construction spending fell 0.4 percent from August 2014 to September 2014, but was up 2.9 percent year-over-year; an U.S. productivity increased at a two percent annualized rate in the third quarter of 2014.