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August 14, 2017

This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: Imports Of Aluminum Into U.S. Fall

  • According to American Metal Market (subscription required), U.S. imports of aluminum (excluding imports from Canada) fell 5.5 percent from May 2017 to June 2017 and 2.4 percent from June 2016 to June 2017. When including Canada, total imports were off 2.5 percent from May to June.
  • The U.S. Labor Department announced last week that 244,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the week that ended August 5, up from 241,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell slightly while the number of individuals who continued to file for benefits fell to 1.951 million during the week that ended July 29 from 1.967 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims, meanwhile, rose by 500 to 1.965 million. In related news: there were 6.2 millions jobs available in the United States at the end of June, a record.
  • U.S. productivity rose 0.9 percent from the first to the second quarter of 2017 due to a 3.4 percent increase in output and a 2.5 percent in hours worked. Productivity was up 1.2 percent from the second quarter of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017. Labor costs rose 0.6 percent in the second quarter.
  • In other economic news: real average hourly earnings in the United States rose 0.2 percent from June 2017 to July 2017 and 0.7 percent from July 2016 to July 2017; the U.S. Producer Price Index fell 0.1 percent from June to July, but increased 1.9 percent year-over-year; the U.S. Consumer Price Index, meanwhile, rose 0.1 percent from June to July and 1.7 percent year-over-year.