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June 29, 2015

Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada

  • In a revised report, the U.S. Commerce Department said the nation’s economy contracted at a 0.2 percent annualized rate in the first quarter of 2015. While the report was still negative, the reading was improved over the 0.7 percent contraction the department previously reported. A better reading for exports contributed to the improved reading, as did an increase in consumer spending. Additionally, the Chicago Federal Reserve’s National Activity Index increased to -0.17 in May from -0.19 in April, a reading that suggested “subdued inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.”
  • New orders for durable goods in the United States fell 1.8 percent from April to May while shipments dropped 0.1 percent. The number of unfilled orders also declined, dropping 0.5 percent, and inventories declined 0.2 percent. 
  • Manufacturing activity in the various regions of the United States was mixed in June. The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank announced last week that its manufacturing index, which monitors the Central Atlantic region, rose to +6 in June from +1 in May as new orders increased significantly and employment continued to grow modestly. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said its index, which monitors the sector in the Midwest, rose to -9 in June from -13 in May as durable goods orders remained in negative territory and nondurable goods production fell.   
  • According to the U.S. Labor Department, the number of individuals who filed for federal unemployment benefits rose to 271,000 for the week that ended June 20 from 268,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell slightly while the number of individuals who continued to receive benefits increased to 2.247 million for the week that ended June 13 from 2.225 million the week before.
  • In other economic news: sales of existing homes in the United States increased 5.35 percent from April 2015 to May 2015 and were up 9.2 percent from May 2014 to May 2015; sales of new homes in the United States increased 2.2 percent from April to May and were up 19.5 percent year-over-year; U.S. personal incomes rose 0.5 percent from April to May; and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index increased to 96.1 in June from 90.7 in May.