U.S. Jobless Claims Near Historical Low
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 210,000 people filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time during the week that ended Aug. 18, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s level. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also declined, as did the number of people who continued to file for benefits. That figure dropped to 1.727 million during the week that ended Aug. 11 from 1.729 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also fell.
- The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City announced last week that its manufacturing index fell to +14 in August from +23 in July. The bank explained “growth in factory activity remained relatively stable at nondurable goods plants, while durable goods activity slowed slightly, particularly for machinery, computers and electronics” and that production, new orders, employment, and new orders for exports all decreased modestly.
- In other economic news: wholesale trade in Canada declined 0.8 percent to $63.1 billion in June; existing home sales in the United States fell 0.7 percent from June 2018 to July 2018 and 1.5 percent from July 2017 to July 2018; and new home sales in the United States fell 1.7 percent for the month of July, but were up 12.8 percent year-over-year.