The week ending November 17 revealed Consumer Price Index data that surpassed the Fed’s 12-month 2% inflation target. Also, the Treasury Department says that the Government recorded a $100.5 billion deficit in October 2018, a 60% increase from a year before. Lastly, the New York Federal Reserve reported that U.S. household debt rose to $13.51 trillion, the 17th consecutive quarter of increasing household debt.
In October, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released their third quarter gross domestic product report, showing the economy grew at a 3.5% annual rate, faster than the 3.4% expected rate. The growth comes on the heels of strong consumer spending of 4.0% and low inflation of 1.6%, as provided by the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index. The report comes out as concerns continue to escalate regarding rising interest rates and tightening trade restrictions.
Last week brought third quarter GDP results that narrowly beat economists’ expectations, thanks, in part, to strong annualized consumer spending and low inflation. The Personal Consumption Expenditure price index, which is used by the Fed, underperformed the Fed target in October. However, the Producer-Price Index grew 2.9% annually, driven by producer and supplier margin increases. The JOLT Survey revealed that job openings decreased slightly in September, while the economy yielded a significant net employment gain.
Last week’s economic news showed consumer confidence reaching a sudden 18-year high, lending hope to the possibility of continued economic expansion. Also, worker productivity grew only slightly in October, thanks in part to employers’ need to hire lower-skilled workers. On Friday, the Labor Department announced job growth far exceeded expectations, unemployment held constant, and wage growth also increased.
Last week, gross domestic product figures showed slightly stronger economic output, particularly driven by consumer spending. The personal consumption expenditures index missed the Federal Reserve’s inflation target for the fourth straight month. Also, unemployment applications increased for the week ending October 20, but continuing claims declined for the week.
Last week, U.S. retail sales growth dramatically missed economists’ expectations for September, according to Commerce Department data. The Labor Department released their data from the August Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, indicating more than one job opening for every unemployed worker. Also, the Federal Open Market Committee shared the minutes from the end-of-September meeting, indicating a potential for interest rates to continue to rise.
Labor figures released last week showed a nearly full labor market. The unemployment rate fell to 3.7%, wages grew at a controlled 2.8%, and jobless claims were near levels not seen since 1969. However, the impressive jobs report spooked bond investors about future rate hikes by the Fed, prompting a bond market selloff that sent yields to seven-year highs.
Last week, data showed that retail spending declined in August, jobless claims rose for the week ending September 22nd, the personal consumption expenditures index hit the Fed’s targets, and consumer sentiment rose.
Last week, the Census Bureau announced that Americans’ incomes are growing and poverty is shrinking. The Federal Reserve announced that consumer credit grew more than expected in July. Lastly, the Labor Department concluded that job openings increased to a record-high level.
For August, the U.S. posted surprising job figures, adding more jobs than expected and finding the wage inflation that has been missing for so long. Further, the unemployment rate maintained at consistent levels. Lastly, the ISM Purchasing Manager’s Index was released for August, registering at its highest level in 14 years.