This Week’s Top Economic News: Metals Industry Strong In The Midwest
- The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported last week that its manufacturing survey for the Midwest region rose to +17 in February from +16 the month before. The bank said, “Factory activity grew at both durable and non-durable goods plants, particularly for metals, machinery, and plastics products.”
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 222,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time during the week that ended February 17, down from 229,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also fell, as did the number of individuals who continued to receive benefits. That figure dropped to 1.875 million for the week that ended February 10 from 1.948 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also declined.
- In other economic news: wholesale sales in Canada fell 0.5 percent in December, the first decline in three months; existing home sales in the United States fell 3.2 percent from December 2017 to January 2018 and declined 4.8 percent between January 2017 and January 2018; and the Conference Board Leading Economic Index increased one percent in January to 108.1 after rising 0.6 percent in December and 0.4 percent in November.