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June 21, 2015

Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada

  • According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. industrial production fell 0.2 percent from April to May as manufacturing output dropped 0.2 percent and output at mines declined 0.3 percent. Output at utilities increased 0.2 percent for the month while overall industrial production was up 1.4 percent from May 2014.
  • In a reading that was significantly worse than analysts predicted, Statistics Canada announced last week that manufacturing sales in the country declined 2.1 percent from March to April. (Analysts had predicted a 1.8 percent rise.) A drop in food sales drove the decline. Inventories were up 0.8 percent while unfilled orders were down two percent and new orders dropped 5.6 percent.
  • Regional manufacturing readings have been mixed so far this month. The New York Federal Reserve Bank announced last week that its manufacturing index for the state fell to -2.0 in June from +3.0 in May as new orders and shipments both fell. (Employment readings improved somewhat, however, while prices remained relatively steady.) Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank announced its index for the Philadelphia-New Jersey region increased to +15.2 this month from +6.7 in May as the new orders, shipments and employment readings all improved.
  • The number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 267,000 for the week that ended June 13 from 279,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell slightly while the number of Americans who continued to receive federal jobless benefits fell to 2.222 million for the week that ended June 6 from 2.272 million the week before. The U.S. Labor Department also announced last week that the jobless rates in 25 states increased in May. Rates were unchanged in 16 states and stayed the same in the remaining nine states. Despite the upticks in unemployment, the majority of states – 37 – added jobs in May while just 12 lost them. (Employment remained the same in Montana.)
  • In other economic news: the number of new homes in the U.S. under construction fell 11.1 percent between April and May, but increased 5.1 percent between May 2014 and May 2015; the U.S. consumer price index increased 0.4 percent between April and May, but was unchanged year-over-year; and the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index, a key predictor of future economic growth readings, increased 0.7 percent in May to 123.1.