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July 18, 2016

This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: Canadian Factory Sales Down

  • According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. industrial production rose 0.6 percent in June, but fell at an annual rate of one percent in the second quarter of 2016. Manufacturing output rose 0.4 percent for the month while utilities’ output increased 2.4 percent and mining production moved up 0.2 percent. Total industrial production in June was 0.7 percent lower than it was in June 2015.
  • Statistics Canada announced last week that factory sales in the country fell one percent from April to May. (Analysts had expected a 0.7 percent decline.) The drop was mostly due to a 4.2 percent drop in vehicle sales, a 2.3 percent drop in motor vehicle part sales, and a 2.2 percent drop in petroleum and coal product sales.
  • According to the New York Federal Reserve, the manufacturing sector in the state continued to struggle in June. The rate of new orders, unfilled orders, and shipments all declined, the employment index dropped, and 31 percent “of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 30 percent reported that conditions had worsened.”
  • The number of individuals who filed for federal unemployment benefits remained at the same level (254,000) for the week of July 9 that it was at the previous week. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell to 259,000 from 264,750 the week before. The number of individuals who continued to file for benefits increased, however, rising to 2.149 million for the week that ended July 2 from 2.117 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell 3,250 to 2.143 million. The U.S. Labor Department also announced last week that there were 5.5 million jobs open in the United States at the end of May.
  • The National Federation of Independent Business announced last week that its “Index of Small Business Optimism rose seven-tenths of a point in June to 94.5, a negligible increase showing no real enthusiasm for making capital outlays, increasing inventories, or expanding …”
  • In other economic news: the U.S. Consumer Price Index increased 0.2 percent from May 2016 to June 2016 and was up one percent from June 2015 to June 2016; the U.S. Producer Price Index advanced 0.5 percent for June, but was up just 0.3 percent year-over-year; real average hourly earnings fell 0.2 percent in the United States for the month of June and were up 1.5 percent year-over-year; U.S. import prices rose 0.2 percent in June while exports prices increased 0.8 percent.