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November 9, 2015

Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada

  • The U.S. trade deficit fell to $40.8 billion in September from $48.0 in August. Total exports increased $3 billion while imports declined by $4.2 billion. The goods’ deficit fell to $60.3 billion in September from $67.6 in August. The overall trade deficit for the year is running 3.9 percent ahead of the same point in 2014.
  • Statistics Canada announced last week that the nation’s trade deficit narrowed to C$1.73 billion in September from C$2.66 billion in August. Exports rose 0.7 percent while imports fell 1.3 percent. A drop in imports of metal and nonmetallic mineral products led the decline in imports while a 3.7 percent increase in energy exports contributed to the rise in overall exports.
  • New orders for manufactured goods in the United States fell one percent between August and September while shipments dropped 0.4 percent. Inventories were down 0.4 percent and the inventory-to-sales ratio remained at 1.35. The number of unfilled orders also declined, dropping 0.5 percent.
  • Despite increases in the production and new orders indices, the Institute for Supply Management purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the United States fell to 50.1 in October from 50.2 in September as the employment index fell from to 47.6 last month from 50.5 in September. The Markit PMI for the United States rose, however, increasing to 54.1 in October from 53.1 in September as output, new orders and employment all improved.
  • The Royal Bank of Canada PMI fell to 48.0 in October from 48.6 in September. RBC Chief economist Chris Wright said, “Heightened global economic uncertainty and ongoing energy price weakness continues to weigh on the Canadian manufacturing sector … As we move toward the end of the year, we expect that a strengthening U.S. economy and weaker Canadian dollar will fuel demand for Canada’s exports, resulting in a shift to positive growth territory.”
  • The United States economy added 271,000 jobs in October as the nation’s unemployment rate fell to five percent from 5.1 percent in September. The manufacturing industry neither lost or added jobs in October. Meanwhile, the number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time rose to 276,000 for the week that ended Oct. 31 from 260,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also rose, as did the number of Americans who continued to receive federal jobless benefits. That figure rose to 2.163 million for the week that ended Oct. 24 from 2.146 million the week before.
  • In other economic news: U.S. construction spending increased 0.6 percent between August 2015 and September 2015 and 14.1 percent from September 2014 to September 2015; sales of cars in the United States were up 4.1 percent between October 2014 and October 2015 while sales of light trucks were up 21.9 percent year-over-year; U.S. productivity increased at a 1.6 percent annualized rate in the third quarter of 2015.