U.S. Industrial Production Rises In July
- According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. industrial production rose three percent in July and 5.7 percent in June, but the index at this point is still 8.4 percent below its pre-pandemic February level. Manufacturing output continued to improve last month, rising 3.4 percent. Most major industries posted increases, including a 28.3 percent gain for motor vehicles and parts. Mining production rose 0.8 percent while output of utilities increased 3.3 percent.
- Manufacturing sales in Canada rose by a record pace of 20.7 percent on a monthly basis in June to $48.7 billion. Analysts had predicted an increase of just 16.4 percent. The reading followed an 11.6 percent increase in May.
- Initial claims in the United States for unemployment fell below one million during the week that ended August 8, 2020, coming in at 963,000 according to the Department of Labor. That number represents a decline of 228,000 claims from the previous week, and the first time since mid-March that initial claims have been below one million. In related news: there were 9 million jobs open in the United States at the end of June 2020.
- Nonfarm business sector U.S. labor productivity rose 7.3 percent in the second quarter of 2020. In the four quarters from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020, productivity increased 2.2 percent, reflecting an 11.8 percent decrease in output and a 13.7 percent decrease in hours worked.
- U.S. import prices increased 0.7 percent in July while the price index for U.S. exports advanced 0.8 percent.
- In other economic news: real average hourly earnings for all U.S. employees decreased 0.4 percent from June 2020 to July 2020 and 3.7 percent from July 2019 to July 2020; the U.S. Producer Price Index rose to 0.6 percent from June 2020 to July 2020, but fell 12 months year-over-year; the Consumer Price Indexfor rose 0.6 percent in July and one percent from July 2019 to July 2020.