Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada
- The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.9 percent annualized rate in the second quarter of 2015. That figure was up slightly from the 3.7 percent growth rate the Commerce Department reported for the quarter last month; the increase was attributed to a higher rate of nonresidential fixed investment. The U.S. economy expanded 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2015.
- Manufacturing readings from various U.S. regions continued to disappoint last week. The Richmond Federal Reserve’s manufacturing index fell to -5 in September from 0 in August as the new orders sub-index fell to -12 from +1, the shipments index remained largely flat and the employment reading increased only “modestly.” The Kansas City Federal Reserve’s manufacturing index, meanwhile, rose slightly to -8 in September from -9 in August even though durable and nondurable goods production continued to decline.
- According to Statistics Canada, wholesale sales in the country were largely flat between June and July. Sales of machinery, equipment and supplies did increase one percent to $11.3 billion. Sales in the construction, forestry, mining and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies industries all fell.
- The number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits increased to 267,000 for the week that ended Sept. 19 from 264,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell slightly, however, as did the number of Americans who continued to file for benefits. That figure dropped to 2.242 million for the week that ended Sept. 12 from 2.243 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also fell.
- In other economic news: the Chicago Federal Reserve’s National Activity Index, which gauges overall economic activity, fell to -0.41 in August from +0.51 in July; the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 87.2 in September (its lowest level in 11 months) from 91.9 in August as the number of existing homes sold in the United States fell 4.8 percent from July 2015 to August 2015, but was up 6.2 percent from August 2014 to August 2015; and sales of new homes in the United States increased 5.7 percent from July to August and were up 21.6 percent year-over-year.