Economy

Leading Economic Indicators Continue to Point to Upbeat Outlook Next Year

The Conference Board said that the Leading Economic Index (LEI) rose 0.6 percent in November, extending the 0.6 percent increase in October. The LEI has grown 3.6 percent over the past six months, hopefully predicting healthy growth in the U.S. economy over the coming months. In November, strength in manufacturing new orders was one of the larger contributors to the LEI, adding 0.21 percentage points to the headline figure. Other positive elements included the average workweek for production workers, the stock market, consumer confidence, favorable credit conditions and the interest rate spread. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Philly Fed: Manufacturing Activity Remained Strong in December

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that manufacturing activity remained strong in December. While the composite index dropped from 40.8 in November to 24.5 in December, that figure continues to reflect healthy gains in demand and output. The November data points were outliers in terms of their strength, with December’s report reflecting figures that were closer to the average of the second half of 2014 (27.0). Manufacturers in the Philly Fed region have cited marked improvements since the first half, when the composite index contracted in February and averaged just 10.3 over the first six months of the year. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Federal Reserve Says That It Can Be “Patient” in Normalizing Rates

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said that it can be “patient” in normalizing rates. The participants at its December 16–17 meeting cited progress in the overall economy, including “solid [labor market] gains and a lower unemployment rate.” Moreover, the Fed noted better consumer and business spending, with a moderate pace of economic growth overall. At the same time, the housing market’s recovery has been slow, and despite recent progress, labor markets remain underutilized. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Lower Energy Costs Pushed Consumer Prices Down 0.3 Percent in November

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the consumer price index (CPI) decreased by 0.3 percent in November. More importantly, consumer inflation has increased 1.3 percent over the past 12 months, down from 2.1 percent in May and 1.7 percent in October. In addition, core prices, which exclude food and energy costs, were up 1.7 percent in November, down from 1.8 percent the month before. As such, core inflation continues to remain below the Federal Reserve’s stated goal of 2 percent at the annual rate, which it has now done for 21 consecutive months. Overall, these trends mirror the producer price index data released earlier in the week.

Lower energy costs have helped to decelerate pricing pressures, with petroleum costs down sharply since June. The energy component of CPI has fallen 9.0 percent since June, for instance, with gasoline costs down 14.3 percent. Indeed, we have seen the average price of regular gasoline decline from $3.64 a gallon during the week of June 23 to $2.50 a gallon this week, according to the Energy Information Administration. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Markit: Chinese Manufacturing Activity Contracted for the First Time Since May

The Chinese economy continues to slow, with the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) contracting for the first time since May. The headline index declined from 50.0 in November to 49.5 in December. New orders (down from 51.3 to 49.6), output (up from 49.6 to 49.7) and employment (up from 48.7 to 48.9) were below 50 – the threshold signifying reduced activity – in December, with production declining for the second straight month. On the positive side, new export orders (up from 51.1 to 51.7) were still growing somewhat modestly. As such, this report suggests that the Chinese economy is ending 2014 much as it began it, with softness in the manufacturing sector. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Housing Starts and Permits Eased Somewhat in November

The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that housing activity eased somewhat in November. New residential construction starts decreased from a revised 1,045,000 at the annual rate in October to 1,028,000 in November. Despite the slightly decelerated pace, these data continue to show movement in the right direction. To illustrate this, new starts averaged 955,167 in the first half of 2014, but that average has shifted up to 1,032,400 in the five months so far in the second half. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


NY Fed: Manufacturing Activity Declined in December

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey contracted for the first time since January 2013, according to the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The composite index of general business conditions declined from 10.2 in November to -3.6 in December. Indeed, new orders (down from 9.1 to -2.0) and shipments (down from 11.8 to -0.2) both moved lower for the month, with the average employee workweek (down from -7.5 to -11.5) contracting further. Illustrating this shift, the percentage of respondents saying that their orders had increased from the previous month declined from 32.2 percent in November to 23.9 percent in December. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Manufacturing Production Jumped Higher in November

Manufacturing production was up sharply in November, increasing 1.1 percent after a softer-than-desired autumn. More importantly, production in the sector has risen a relatively healthy 4.8 percent over the past 12 months, suggesting healthy gains over the past year in terms of output. This data tends to mirror other reports, including the latest NAM/IndustryWeek survey, that show manufacturers relatively upbeat about new orders and output as we are about to move into the new year. These stronger gains should bode well for the coming months, we hope, even as business leaders grapple with continuing global economic uncertainties.

Capacity utilization for manufacturers was also higher, up from 77.6 percent in October to 78.4 percent. This was the highest utilization rate since December 2007, the first month of the Great Recession. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Monday Economic Report – December 15, 2014

Here is the summary for this week’s Monday Economic Report: 

The biggest domestic economic news story last week was actually a global one: The price of petroleum continued to plummet. Since peaking at $107.95 per barrel on June 20, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude has fallen dramatically, down to $57.49 a barrel on Friday. There are a number of factors at play here, including increased North American energy production, excess supply worldwide, a stronger U.S. dollar and a slowing global economy. It is this latter point that has spooked financial markets, on fear that the weakened global demand for petroleum might be a harbinger of larger challenges. Indeed, as discussed in the most recent Global Manufacturing Economic Update, North America’s economy appears to be a bright spot in an otherwise sluggish international economic climate. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Global Manufacturing Economic Update – December 12, 2014

Here are the files for this month’s Global Manufacturing Economic Update:

It has become increasingly clear over the past few weeks that North America stands out as a bright spot in an ever-challenging global economic environment. Real GDP in the United States grew an annualized 4.2 percent in the second and third quarters, and U.S. manufacturers remain mostly optimistic about the next year. Indeed, the U.S. economy is expected to expand by around 3 percent, its fastest rate in a decade. Likewise, Canada and Mexico — our two largest trading partners — have made improvements in their respective economies since earlier this year. Canada has the distinction of having the highest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) of any of our top 10 trading partners, holding steady in November at 55.3. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


A Manufacturing Blog

  • Categories

  • Connect With Manufacturers

            
  • Blogroll