Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada
- Manufacturing sales in Canada increased by 1.7 percent from November to December, the best showing in three months and a read that was well above analysts’ expectations of a one percent rise. Sales of transportation equipment and motor vehicles led the improvement.
- The number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time increased to 304,000 for the week that ended Feb. 7 from 279,000 the week before. The number of Americans who continued to receive benefits fell, however, declining to 2.354 million for the week that ended Jan. 31 from 2.405 million the week before. The four-week moving averages for both first-time and continuing claims fell. The U.S. Labor Department also announced last week there were five million jobs open in the U.S. in December 2014, up from 4.8 million in November.
- The National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism Survey fell to 97.9 in February from 100.4 in January as owners became more pessimistic about general business conditions. Additionally, fewer owners this month said they plan to hire, make capital investments or increase inventories than did in January.