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December 11, 2017

This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: U.S. Trade Deficit Up Nearly 12 Percent From Last Year

  • The U.S. trade deficit increased to $48.73 billion in November 2017 from $44.89 billion in October 2016 due to higher demand for imports during the holiday season. The trade deficit is currently 11.6 percent higher than it was in November 2016. The goods deficit increased $3.8 billion to $69.1 billion in November.
  • New orders from manufactured goods in the United States fell 0.1 percent from September 2017 to October 2017. Shipments rose 0.6 percent in October while the value of unfilled orders was virtually unchanged and the unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio also was unchanged. Inventories rose 0.2 percent and the inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.37, unchanged from September.
  • The U.S economy added 228,00 jobs in November and the nation’s unemployment rate stayed level at 4.1 percent. Manufacturers in the country added 31,000 jobs last month. In other employment-related news: 236,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits during the week that ended Dec. 2, down from 238,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also fell, as did the number of individuals who continued to file for jobless benefits. That figure declined to 1.908 million for the week that ended Nov. 25, down from 1.96 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims rose slightly. 
  • In other economic news: productivity in the United States increased three percent in the third quarter of 2017.