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June 8, 2020

New Survey Shows Small Businesses Optimistic About Recovery

 

  • A survey by MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found an increasing percentage (50 percent) of small businesses are optimistic that they will increase revenues next year. That figure was up 47 percent from last month. More small businesses (55 percent) believe it will take more than six months before economic conditions return to normal for them. That number was 50 percent last month and 46 percent two months ago. Click here to read more.
  • The U.S. trade deficit increased from $42.3 billion in March to $49.4 billion in April. The goods deficit rose by $5.8 billion while the services surplus fell by $1.3 billion. Year‐to‐date, the goods and services deficit decreased $26 billion, or 13.4 percent, from the same period in 2019. Exports decreased $79.8 billion (9.5 percent) while imports decreased $105.8 billion (10.2 percent).
  • According to Statistics Canada, total exports of goods from Canada fell 29.7 percent to $32.7 billion in April, while total imports of goods declined 25.1 percent to $35.9 billion, resulting in a goods deficit of $3.3 billion. Click here to read the full report.
  • New orders for U.S. manufactured goods decreased $57.5 billion (13 percent) in April to $384.3 billion while shipments, fell $63.6 billion, or 13.5 percent, to $406.8 billion. Unfilled orders declined $17.6 billion (1.6 percent) to $1.1 trillion. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 7.62, up from 6.70 in March. Inventories also fell, declining $2.6 billion (0.4 percent) to $686.5 billion. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.69, up from 1.46 in March. Click here to read the full report.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing Index rose 1.6 points to 43.1 in May, indicating continued contraction in the manufacturing sector but at a slower rate than last month. The employment Index rose 4.6 points to 32.1, while the New Orders Index rose 4.7 points to 31.8.
  • In a reading that was much better than analysts had predicted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the nation’s employers added 2.5 million jobs in May and increased wages by one percent. Manufacturers added 225,000 jobs last month. The country’s unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent from 14.7 percent in April. Analysts had predicted that the jobless level would be around 20 percent. In related news: the U.S. Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell 249,000 to 1,877,000 during the week that ended May 29. The four-week moving average decreased 324,750 to 2,284,000.
  • In other economic news: U.S. nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 2020, but rose 0.7 percent compared to the previous year; U.S. construction spending decreased 2.9 percent in April to an annualized rate of $1.35 trillion.