Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada
- The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index, a key indicator of current and future economic growth in the United States, increased to 123.6 in June from 123.0 in May. Meanwhile, the Chicago Federal Reserve’s National Activity Index, another key gauge of economic growth, rose to -0.01 in June from -0.07 in May. According to the bank, that reading suggested “growth in national economic activity was very close to its historical trend.”
- Driven by a decline in motor vehicle sales, wholesale sales in Canada fell one percent from April to May while volumes also fell by one percent. Sales for April were also revised downward, from 1.9 percent to 1.7 percent.
- The Kansas City Federal Reserve announced its manufacturing index for the Midwest increased to -7 in July from -9 in June as nondurable goods manufacturing picked up. The reading showed a decline in durable goods manufacturing, including manufacturing in the metals sector. Overall, production was up as were shipments.
- The number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits fell to 255,000 for the week that ended July 18 from 281,000 the week before. It was the lowest level for the report since November 1973. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also fell, as did the number of individuals who continued to receive benefits. That figure fell to 2.207 million for the week that ended July 11 from 2.216 million the week before. The Labor Department also announced last week that the unemployment rates in 21 states fell between April and May. Rates stayed the same in 17 states and increased in the final 12. Thirty-one states added jobs while 17 states lost them. (Employment levels were unchanged in two states.)
- Sales of existing homes in the United States increased 3.2 percent between May and June and are now at record levels. Meanwhile, sales of new homes in the United States fell 6.8 percent for the month, but were still 18.1 percent above their June 2014 levels, however.