United States Posts Strong Economic Growth
- The U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018. The reading, which just missed analysts’ estimates, reflected robust consumer spending, business investment, net exports, and government spending. In other growth-related news, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago announced its National Activity Index to +0.43 in June from -0.45 in May.
- The manufacturing sectors in various regions of the United States continued to perform well in July. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City announced its manufacturing survey for the Midwest fell to +23 in July from +28 in June due to small declines in shipments and production. Despite the lower reading, the bank noted, “Factory activity increased solidly at durable and nondurable goods plants, particularly for petroleum and coal products, minerals, fabricated metal, computers and electronics, and transportation equipment.” The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, meanwhile, said its survey for the Central Atlantic region dipped slightly, to +20 in July from +21 in June. Click here to read the full report.
- According to the U.S. Labor Department, 217,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the week that ended July 21, up from 216,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell, however, as did the number of individuals who continued to receive benefits. That figured dropped to 1.745 million for the week that ended July 14 from 1.753 million.
- In other economic news: the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index fell 0.3 points to 97.9 in July; Canadian wholesale trade increased 1.2 percent in May from April as increased purchases of farm products and building materials offset a drop in motor vehicles and parts; the number of new homes sold in the United States fell 5.3 percent between May 2018 and June 2018, but increased 2.4 percent between June 2017 and June 2018; and the number of existing homes sold in the United States fell 0.6 in June and 2.2 percent year-over-year.