January 9, 2017

This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: Trade Data Improves In Canada, Worsens In U.S.

  • The United States trade deficit rose to $45.2 in November from $42.4 in October and was up 1.1 percent year-over-year. The value of exports rose by $0.4 billion in November while the value of imports rose by more, $2.4 billion. The goods deficit increased to $66.6 billion in November from $63.2 in October.
  • In a reading that was better than expected, Statistics Canada announced last week that the nation recorded a $397 million trade surplus in November. Analysts had expected a trade deficit of more than $1 billion. Exports rose by 4.3 percent and were at their highest level since January 2016 while the value of imports rose just 0.7 percent.
  • The United States economy added 156,000 jobs in December and the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 4.7 percent from 4.6 percent in November. Manufacturers added 17,000 jobs in December, but the sector lost 45,000 positions in 2016. The Labor Department also announced last week that 235,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time during the week that ended December 31, down from 263,000 the week before. The number of individuals who continue to file for federal jobless benefits rose to 2.112 million for the week that ended December 24 from 2.096 million the week before.
  • Statistics Canada announced last week that the nation added 53,700 net jobs in December despite the fact that its unemployment rate increased slightly to 6.9 percent. The number of full-time positions increased by 81,300 while the number of part-time jobs dropped by 27,600. Canada’s economy added 214,100 over the whole year, the fastest annual growth since 2012.
  • Factory orders in the United Sates fell 2.4 percent from October to November while shipments were down 0.1 percent. The number of unfilled orders fell by 0.1 percent while inventories increased 0.2 percent.
  • The Institute for Supply Management purchasing managers index (PMI) for the United States rose to 54.7 in December from 53.2 in November due to increases in production, employment, and new orders. The Markit PMI for the United States, meanwhile, increased to 54.3 in December, its highest level in 21 months, from 54.1 in November. 
  • The Markit PMI for Canada rose to 51.8 in December from 51.5 in November due to increases in new orders.
  • In other economic news: construction spending in the United States increased 0.9 percent from October 2016 to November 2016 and 4.1 percent between November 2015 and November 2016.