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August 29, 2016

This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: U.S. Economy Grew Just 1.1 Percent In Second Quarter

  • The U.S. economy expanded at a 1.1 percent annualized rate in the second quarter of 2016. That revised figure was revised down from the 1.2 percent rate the government reported last month. The economy grew 0.8 percent in the first quarter.
  • The Richmond Federal Reserve announced last week that its manufacturing index fell to -11 in August from +10 in July. Sharp declines in both shipments and new orders contributed to the poor reading, as did a drop in the index for order backlogs. The Kansas City Federal Reserve announced its reading rose to -4 this month from -6 in July. According to the bank, “Non-durable goods production continued to grow modestly, while durable goods activity was less negative than last month, particularly for machinery and electronic equipment.”
  • The number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 261,000 during the week that ended Aug. 20 from 262,000 the week before. The four-week rolling average of first-time claims also fell, as did the number of individuals who continued to file for benefits. That figure dropped to 2.145 million for the week that ended Aug. 13 from 2.175 million the week before. The four-week rolling average of first-time claims rose, however.
  • In other economic news: sales of new homes in the United States rose 12.4 percent between June 2016 and July 2016 and were up 31.3 percent between July 2015 and July 2016; sales of existing homes in the United States fell 3.2 percent for the month of July and were down 1.6 percent year-over-year; and the Chicago Federal Reserve’s National Activity Index, which gauges overall economic activity, was +0.27 in July, up from +0.05 in June.