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September 29, 2014

Latest Economic News From The U.S. And Canada

  • The Department of Commerce significantly increased its estimate for second quarter growth in the U.S. On Friday, the department announced the economy expanded at a 4.6 percent annualized rate between April and June, a significant improvement from previous estimates and from the 2.1 percent decline in growth in the first quarter. However, reports going forward may not be as positive. The Chicago Federal Reserve Bank’s National Activity Index, which gauges overall economic activity in the U.S., fell to -0.21 in August from +0.26 in July. A drop in production drove the decline.
  • Regional manufacturing sectors in the U.S. continued to improve this month. The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank announced its manufacturing index increased from +12 in August to +14 in September as shipments, new orders and employment increased. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank’s index increased to +6 this month from +3 in August. Production and employment increased, but new orders declined this month.
  • The number of Americans who received federal unemployment benefits for the first time increased to 293,000 for the week that ended Sept. 20 from 281,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell slightly while the number of Americans who continued to receive benefits increased to 2.439 million for the week that ended Sept. 13 from 2.432 million the week before.
  • In other economic news: in an advance report, the U.S. Commerce Department announced the number of durable goods orders in the U.S. fell 18.2 percent between July 2014 and August 2014; the number of existing homes sold in the U.S. fell 1.8 percent from July 2014 to August 2014 and was down 5.3 percent between August 2013 and August 2014; the number of new homes sold in the U.S. rose 18 percent for the month of August and was up 33 percent year-over-year; and, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan, consumer confidence in the U.S. was at a 14-month high in September.