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October 3, 2016

This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: U.S., Canadian Economies Expand

  • The U.S. economy expanded at a 1.4 percent annualized rate in the second quarter of 2016. The federal government previously estimated the second quarter rate was just 1.1 percent. The Commerce Department cited higher nonresidential fixed investment as the reason for the improvement.
  • Canada’s economy expanded 0.5 percent in July and grew 1.3 percent in the first seven months of 2016, Statistics Canada reported last week. The nation’s manufacturing industry grew 0.4 percent in July and expanded 0.9 percent in the first part of the year. 
  • The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 91.2 in September from 89.8 in August due to an increase in expectations about the future. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence reading, meanwhile, rose to 104.1—its highest level since the Great Recession—in September from 101.8 in August. Conference Board Director of Economic Indicators Lynn Franco said, “Looking ahead, consumers are more upbeat about the short-term employment outlook, but somewhat neutral about business conditions and income prospects. Overall, consumers continue to rate current conditions favorably and foresee moderate economic expansion in the months ahead.”
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s manufacturing index rose to -8 in September from -11 in August. The index’s shipments reading rose to -4 from -14 and the index for new orders rose from -20 to -7. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ manufacturing index for Texas increased to +16.7 last month from +4.7 in August. Readings for capacity utilization, shipments, and employment all rose.
  • The number of individuals who filed for federal unemployment benefits in the United States rose to 254,000 for the week that ended Sept. 24 from 251,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell, however, as did the number of individuals who continued to file for benefits. That figure declined to 2.062 million for the week that ended Sept. 17 from 2.113 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also dropped.
  • In other economic news: personal incomes in the United States increased 0.2 percent from July to August.