December 2, 2019

Slower Economic Growth Reported In Canada, U.S.


  • Statistics Canada announced last week that the pace of economic growth in the country slowed in the third quarter, falling to a 1.3 percent annualized rate for July to September from a 3.5 percent annualized rate in the second quarter. Export volumes were down 0.4 percent while import volumes were flat. Despite the weak overall reading, business investment rose 2.6 percent, the fastest pace in nearly two years, and household spending was up 0.4 percent.
  • The U.S. government announced that it had increased its estimate for third quarter economic growth in the country from 1.9 percent to 2.1 percent. The revision was due to higher private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, and personal consumption expenditures. In related news: the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s National Activity Index fell to -0.71 in November from -0.45 in October, a sign that growth is slowing even more in the United States in the fourth quarter.
  • Manufacturing readings for various regions of the United States indicated a slowdown in activity in November. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported factory activity in Texas continued to expand in October, but at a “markedly slower pace.” The bank’s production index fell nine points to 4.5 while the new orders index turned negative for the first time in three years, falling 11 points to -4.2. Readings for shipments and capacity utilization also declined. Click here to read the full report. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, meanwhile, reported that manufacturing activity in the Central Atlantic region also softened in November. The composite index fell from +8 in October to -1 last month, weighed down by negative readings for shipments and new orders and a decline in the readings for employment and order backlogs. Click here to read that report.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 213,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits during the week that ended November 23, down from 228,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also declined. The number of individuals who continued to receive benefits fell to 1.64 million during the week that ended November 16, its lowest level since August 1973 and down from 1.697 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also declined.
  • In other economic news: personal incomes in the United States rose $3.3 billion, or less than 0.1 percent, from September 2019 to October 2019; the Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence for the United States fell to 125.5 in November from 126.1 in October; and the number of new homes sold in the United States fell 0.7 percent from September 2019 to October 2019, but increased 31.6 percent from October 2018 to October 2019.