The Latest Economic News From The U.S. And Canada
- Capacity utilization in the Canadian manufacturing sector hit 83.8 percent in the third quarter of 2014, up one percentage point from the previous quarter and the highest level in more than seven years.
- The number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 294,000 for the week that ended Dec. 6 from 297,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims rose slightly while the number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits rose to 2.514 million for the week that ended Nov. 29 from 2.372 million the week before. The U.S. Department of Labor also announced last week that there were 4.8 million jobs open in the U.S. in October, up from 4.7 million in September.
- The National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism Index increased two percentage points to 98.1 in December as more small business owners said they expect to hire and to see sales increase in the coming months. The index this month was at its highest level since February 2007.
- The U.S. producer price index fell 0.2 percent between October 2014 and November 2014 and was up 1.4 percent between November 2013 and November 2014.