September 22, 2014

This Week’s Economic News

  • The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators for the U.S. rose 0.2 percentage points in August to 103.8. Conference Board economist Ataman Ozyildirim said, “Despite concerns about investment picking up, the economy should continue expanding at a moderate pace for the remainder of the year.”
  • Manufacturing sales in Canada increased 2.5 percent in July, a figure that was more than double the projected increase and that was driven by a 10.3 percent advance in sales of transportation equipment.
  • U.S. industrial production fell 0.1 percent from July to August as manufacturing output dropped 0.4 percent. Mining and utility output did increase, rising 0.5 percent and one percent, respectively.   
  • In its third quarter outlook, the Manufacturing Alliance for Productivity and Innovation estimated the U.S. manufacturing sector will grow 3.4 percent this year, four percent in 2015 and 3.6 percent in 2016.
  • The manufacturing sectors in various regions of the U.S. continued to expand this month. While the Philadelphia Federal Reserve reported its manufacturing index fell slightly in September, it was still well above the zero mark indicating expansion and employment, new orders and shipments remained strong. Meanwhile, the New York Federal Reserve announced its manufacturing index rose to 27.5 in September from 16.9 in August. New orders, shipments and employment all advanced. 
  • The number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 280,000 for the week that ended Sept. 13 from 316,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims was also down while the number of Americans who continued to receive benefits fell to 2.429 million for the week that ended Sept. 6 – the lowest level since May 2007 – from 2.492 million the week before. Meanwhile, 35 U.S. states added jobs in August while 15 lost them.
  • In other economic news: the U.S. producer price index rose 0.1 percent between July 2014 and August 2014 and 1.7 percent year-over-year; the U.S. consumer price index fell 0.2 percent in August but was up 1.7 percent between August 2013 and August 2014; and the number of new homes under construction in the U.S. fell 14.4 percent between July and August.