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August 23, 2015

Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada

  • The Conference Board’s index of leading indicators, a key gauge for future economic growth in the United States, declined 0.2 percent in July to 123.3. Conference Board Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research Ataman Ozyildirim said, “Current conditions, measured by the coincident economic index, have been rising moderately but steadily, driven by rising employment and income, and even industrial production has improved in recent months.”
  • According to MSCI, U.S. and Canadian steel and aluminum shipments declined from their 2014 levels while inventory positions also deteriorated across the board. In July 2015, U.S. service center steel shipments fell seven percent from July 2014 while steel product inventories increased rose percent year-over-year. U.S. service center shipments of aluminum products in July decreased by 0.6 percent year-over-year while aluminum inventories increased 3.1 percent. Meanwhile, Canadian service center shipments of steel products decreased by 14.4 percent from July 2014 while steel product inventories climbed eleven percent. Canadian service center aluminum shipments in July fell 3.1 percent year-over-year while inventories rose 7.4 percent.
  • Regional manufacturing readings in the United States have been mixed so far this month. According to the New York Federal Reserve, the manufacturing sector in the state contracted in August. The bank’s general business conditions index fell to -14.9 this month – its lowest level in six years – from +4.1 in July. A sharp decline in new orders, shipments and inventories drove the negative reading. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve announced its manufacturing index increased to +8.3 in August from +5.7 in July even though the number of new orders fell slightly. Sub-indices for employment and production strengthened in the Philadelphia region this month.
  • The number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time increased to 277,000 for the week that ended August 15 from 273,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also rose slightly, but the number of Americans who continued to file for federal jobless benefits fell to 2.254 million for the week that ended August 8 from 2.278 million the week before. Meanwhile, the Department of Labor also announced 34 states added jobs in July while 16 states lost jobs. Jobless rates were down in 24 states, up in 14, and unchanged from June to July in the remaining 12.
  • In other economic news: wholesale sales in Canada increased 1.3 percent from May to June; the number of new homes under construction in the United States increased 16.3 percent between June 2015 and July 2015 and was up 7.5 percent between July 2014 and July 2015; sales of existing homes in the United States also increased in July, rising two percent from June 2015 and 10.3 percent year-over-year; and the U.S. consumer price index rose 0.1 percent from June to July and 0.2 percent from July 2014 to July 2015.