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June 6, 2016

This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: Bleak U.S. Jobs Data

  • In a reading that was worse than analysts had predicted, Statistics Canada said the Canadian economy expanded at 2.4 percent annualized rate in the first quarter of 2016. Analysts had expected a 2.9 percent increase. Exports and housing drove the overall improvement while business investment was a weak spot.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employers in the country added just 38,000 jobs in the month of May even though the nation’s jobless rate fell to 4.7 percent in May from five percent the month before. Manufacturers shed 10,000 jobs last month. In other employment news: the number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits fell to 267,000 for the week that ended May 28 from 268,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also fell, but the number of individuals who continued to file for benefits rose. That figure increased to 2.172 million for the week that ended May 21 from 2.16 million the week before.
  • The total U.S. trade deficit increased to $37.4 billion in April from $35.5 billion in March as exports rose by just $2.6 billion and imports increased $4.5 billion. The goods-only deficit increased to $58.8 billion from $57.4 billion for the month while, year-over-year, the overall trade deficit was down 4.8 percent.
  • Canada’s trade deficit fell to C$2.94 billion in April from C$3.18 billion (a record-high) in March. Despite the decline, the gap was wider than analysts had predicted. Exports rose 1.5 percent to C$41.8 billion in April, while imports increased 0.9 percent to C$44.7 billion.
  • New orders for U.S. factory goods rose 1.9 percent from March 2016 to April 2016 while shipments increased 0.5 percent. The number of unfilled orders, meanwhile, jumped 0.6 percent while the unfilled-orders-to-shipments ratio rose to 6.94 from 6.93. Inventories were down 0.1 percent and the inventories-to-shipments ratio fell to 1.36 from 1.37 in March.
  • The Institute for Supply Management purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 51.3 from 50.8 in April. The readings for new orders and production declined slightly, but the employment index remained stable and the prices index rose 4.5 percentage points from April.
  • The Markit PMI for the United States, meanwhile, fell to 50.7 in May from 50.8 in April as output fell for the first time since September 2009 and new work expanded at slowest pace since December 2015.
  • Royal Bank of Canada’s PMI fell to 51.1 in May from 51.2 in April even though output growth expanded at its fastest pace in nearly a year. Readings for new orders and employment were lower.
  • In regional manufacturing news, the Dallas Federal Reserve announced its manufacturing index for the state of Texas fell to -13.1 in May, its lowest reading in one year, from +5.8 in April. Readings for new orders, capacity utilization, shipments, and employment also fell last month.
  • In other economy economic news: sales of cars and trucks by U.S. automakers fell from May 2015 to May 2016; the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 92.6 in May from 94.7 in April; construction spending in the United States fell 1.8 percent from March 2016 to April 2016, but was up 4.5 percent from April 2015 to April 2016; and U.S. personal incomes rose 0.4 percent from March to April.