December 1, 2014

Latest Economic News From The U.S. And Canada

  • According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s second estimate, U.S. gross domestic product increased 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014. That reading was up from the 3.5 percent growth rate revealed in the department’s initial estimate, issued last month. Improved readings for personal consumption and fixed residential investment accounted for the improved reading. Unfortunately, the report also indicated weaker export growth.
  • Meanwhile, the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank’s National Activity Index fell in October and the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) Foundation estimated the U.S. economy will grow just 2.8 percent in 2015 and three percent the year after while the country’s manufacturing sector will expand 3.5 percent next year and 3.9 percent in 2016. Those figures are all down from the foundation’s previous estimates.
  • The manufacturing sectors in various regions of the U.S. continued to show some strength in reports released last week. The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank announced its manufacturing index held steady at +10.5 as the employment sub-index improved while the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank announced its index fell to +4 in November from +20 in October as the shipments and new orders readings dropped significantly. Both of those readings, of course, were above the zero-mark that indicates general expansion in the regions’ manufacturing sectors.
  • The number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time increased to 313,000 for the week that ended Nov. 22 from 292,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also rose while the number of Americans who continued to receive federal jobless benefits declined to 2.316 million for the week that ended Nov. 15 from 2.333 million the week before. That figure was at its lowest since Dec. 9, 2000.
  • In other economic news: the Conference Board index of consumer confidence fell in November; the University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading improved this month; and personal incomes in the U.S. increased 0.2 percent in October.