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September 17, 2017

This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: Industrial Production In United States Falls At Fastest Rate In 8 Years

  • The Federal Reserve announced last week that Hurricane Harvey contributed to the largest decline in industrial production in the United States in eight years. Overall output dropped 0.9 percent from July to August. Manufacturing production fell 0.3 percent, mining output declined 0.8 percent, and utilities’ production fell 5.5 percent. Despite the August loss, overall output was up 1.5 percent from the August 2016 level.
  • The number of individuals who filed for federal unemployment benefits fell to 284,000 for the week that ended Sept. 9, down 14,000 from 296,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims increased, however, while the number of individuals who continued to file for benefits declined to 1.944 million for the week that ended Sept. 2 from 1.951 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims rose. In other employment news: six states added jobs in August while one lost jobs. (Employment remained steady in the remaining 43 states.) The Labor Department also announced last week that there were 6.2 million jobs open in the United States at the end of July, a record high.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced last week that its manufacturing survey for New York state remained level at 24.4 from August to September. Readings for new orders, employment, and shipments all improved.
  • The National Federation of Independent Business’s Index of Small Business Optimism rose a tenth of a point in its latest reading. More small businesses told the NFIB that they plan to make capital investments and that they expect sales to be higher over the next few months. Click here to read the full report.
  • In other economic news: the U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent from July 2017 to August 2017 and 1.9 percent from August 2016 to August 2017; the U.S. Producer Price Index advanced 0.2 percent for the month of August and 2.4 percent year-over-year; and real hourly average earnings in the United States fell 0.3 percent from July to August, but were 0.6 percent higher last month than they were in August 2016.