A new recession would not only mean lower or even negative economic growth rates, it would also induce governments to increase public spending. Then, the public debt quotient (debt over gross domestic product) would rise because of a lower denominator and a higher numerator. With the interest rate at historical lows, and the debt ratios already at the point of fiscal unsustainability, there is no space for a new stimulus.
Revised estimates show the U.S. economy grew at a 4.2 percent annual rate in the second quarter while after-tax profits rose 3.7 percent to a record $1,968.5 billion at an annual rate.
Consumer Confidence rose for the second month in a row, to the highest level since October 2000. Overall, consumer attitudes remain at historically favorable levels, suggesting support for future gains in consumer spending and overall economic growth.
New orders for durable goods fell 0.2 percent in July, however, excluding aircraft, orders jumped 1.3 percent to a record high. The data suggest that demand remains strong and that the outlook for the economy remains positive.
Sales of new single-family homes fell 1.7 percent in July. Slowing sales are coinciding with slowing construction suggesting new-home building is unlikely to contribute significantly to growth in coming quarters.
The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the number of open positions in the private sector was essentially unchanged in June, holding at a very high level. Overall, the data relating to the labor market continue to show strength.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls added 157,000 jobs in July, below consensus expectations. However, job creation appears to have reaccelerated over the past ten months, supporting gains in hourly earnings. Overall, the report was upbeat.
The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index registered a 58.1 percent reading in July, down from 60.2 in June. Despite the pullback, the index remains well above neutral and is a positive sign for the manufacturing sector.
Total compensation costs for all civilian workers rose 0.6 percent in the second quarter, less than the 0.8 percent rise in the first quarter. Compensation-costs increases have trended higher in recent years however, the rate of increase remains moderate by historical measures.
Real gross domestic product rose at a 4.1 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, up from a revised 2.2 percent pace in the first quarter, while consumer-price increases decelerated in the second quarter. Overall, the very solid report suggests the U.S. economic expansion remains healthy.
Sales of new and existing single-family homes fell in June as inventories rose, boosting the supply of homes on the market, measured in months. Still, the economy overall remains very healthy.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to 207,000 for the latest week, the lowest reading since 1969, while the Leading Economic Index from The Conference Board posted a 0.5 percent increase in June. Overall, the preponderance of data support an upbeat outlook for the U.S. economy.
Housing construction fell in June as single-family and multifamily starts declined. Housing permits, an indicator of future activity, also fell in the latest month. Overall, housing construction and permits appear to be plateauing after rebounding from the housing boom-bust cycle in the early 2000s.
Industrial production jumped 0.6 percent in June on broad-based gains. Along with other solid economic data and very strong readings from the AIER leading indicators index, the outlook for continued economic expansion remains favorable.
The latest survey from the National Federation of Independent Business shows small-business confidence remains very high, supported by favorable expectations for the economy and future sales. However, the lack of qualified candidates for open positions is a major concern.
Payrolls in the United States rose by 213,000 in June on widespread gains among industries. Combined with other strong economic data and the positive results from the AIER Index of Leading Indicators, today’s report suggests a positive outlook for the current expansion.