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November 24, 2014

The Latest Economic News From The U.S. And Canada

  • U.S. industrial production fell 0.1 percent from September to October. Manufacturing production increased 0.2 percent, but mining output declined 0.9 percent and utilities’ production dropped 0.7 percent. Meanwhile, the Conference Board’s index of leading indicators, a key gauge of future growth, increased 0.9 percent in October to 105.2, a reading that shows the U.S. economy should continue to grow through the holiday season.
  • Manufacturing output in various U.S. regions strengthened in November. The New York Federal Reserve Bank announced its Empire State manufacturing index climbed four points this month as the shipments and new orders’ readings improved. Meanwhile, led by gains in new orders, employment and shipments, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank announced an enormous leap in its manufacturing index, from +20.7 in October to +40.8 in November. That index is now at its highest level since 1993. Finally, the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank reported Friday that its manufacturing survey rose from +4 last month to +7 this month as production, shipments, employment and new orders all rose slightly.  
  • The number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 291,000 for the week that ended Nov. 15 from 293,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims rose slightly, but the number of Americans who continued to receive federal jobless benefits fell to 2.33 million for the week that ended Nov. 8 from 2.403 million the week before. That figure is now at its lowest level since December 2000. Meanwhile, 38 U.S. states added jobs in October while 12 lost them. The unemployment rates in 34 states fell last month, increased in five states and stayed the same in the 11 remaining states.
  • In other economic news: the U.S. producer price index rose 0.2 percent in October and was up 1.5 percent from the previous October; the U.S. consumer price index was unchanged in October, but up 1.7 percent from October 2013; and, while sales of existing homes in the U.S. in October were at their highest level since September 2013, the number of new homes under construction in the U.S. fell 2.8 percent between September 2014 and October 2014. (Construction was up 7.8 percent year-over-year, however.)