August 10, 2015

Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada

  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in July as the nation’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.3 percent. The manufacturing industry added 15,000 jobs last month. The DOL also announced last week that the number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time rose to 270,000 for the week that ended Aug. 1 from 267,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims dropped, however, as did the number of Americans who continued to file for benefits. That figure fell to 2.255 million for the week that ended July 25 from 2.269 million the week before.
  • The Canadian economy gained 6,600 new jobs in July, but those positions were all part-time. The number of full-time jobs in the country declined by 24,000 while the number of part-time jobs increased by 17,300. (Manufacturers shed 4,600 jobs in July.) The nation’s unemployment rate remained at 6.8 percent. 
  • The U.S. trade deficit increased to $43.8 billion in June from $40.9 in May. Exports rose just $0.1 billion in June while imports were up $2.8 billion. The U.S. trade deficit for the first six months of the year is running 0.6 percent ahead of where it was at the same time in 2014. 
  • Canada’s trade deficit dropped to $476 million in June from $3.4 billion in May. A 6.3 percent increase in exports drove the improvement, which was much more profound than analysts had predicted. (The rise in exports was the most significant since December 2006.)
  • New orders for manufactured goods in the United States increased 1.8 percent between May and June. Shipments increased 0.5 percent, unfilled orders were virtually unchanged and inventories were up 0.6 percent.
  • The Markit purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the United States increased to 53.8 in July from 53.6 in June as production and new orders strengthened. Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management PMI fell to 52.7 in July from 53.5 the month before as employment and inventories fell.
  • The Royal Bank of Canada PMI fell to 50.8 in July from 51.3 in June. Assistant Chief Economist Paul Ferley said, “The RBC PMI indicates a second consecutive month of improving business conditions in July though still at a very modest pace and slightly below that achieved in June. As we enter the second half of the year, a strengthening U.S. economy and weaker Canadian dollar should provide a greater boost to exports and business conditions for manufacturers.”
  • In other economic news: Construction spending in the United States rose 0.1 percent between May 2015 and June 2015 and 12 percent between June 2014 and June 2015; U.S. personal incomes increased 0.4 percent between May and June while consumption rose 0.2 percent; and U.S. vehicle sales increased 5.3 percent between July 2014 and July 2015.