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September 14, 2015

Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada

  • The National Association of Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the third quarter fell to 45.6 in September and is now more than six points below the level it was at in March. The decline in outlook for small manufacturers was even more pronounced, dropping to 43.7 in the third quarter from 55.0 six months ago. (A reading above 50.0 indicates the manufacturing sector is expanding.) NAM explained that while “manufacturing leaders are generally more positive than negative in their outlook” they still have “nagging worries about the global economy, and since last year … have grappled with a number of significant headwinds that have held back demand and production, particularly for exports.” NAM’s says those challenges are a stronger U.S. dollar, lower crude oil prices and weaker economic growth in some international markets.
  • The number of individuals who filed for federal unemployment benefits fell to 275,000 for the week that ended Sept. 5 from 281,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also rose slightly, as did the number of individuals who continued to claim benefits. That figure increased to 2.26 million for the week that ended Aug. 29 from 2.259 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell slightly, however. The Department of Labor (DOL) also announced last week that there were 5.8 million jobs available in the United States in July, the highest figure available since the DOL started collecting data on this issue in 2000.
  • In other economic news: the National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism Index rose slightly as more small employers said they plan to hire and increase inventories in the coming months; the U.S. Producer Price Index was flat between July and August, but down 0.8 percent between August 2014 and August 2015; and U.S. import prices fell 1.8 percent from July to August while export prices dropped 1.4 percent.