Business-Cycle Conditions

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index registered a 61.3 reading in August, the highest reading since 2004. All five components of the PMI showed stronger readings in the latest month. Today’s report suggests a positive outlook for manufacturing.

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Personal income rose 0.3 percent in July while total personal consumption expenditures (PCE) rose 0.4 percent. Gains in disposable income should provide support for future increases in spending and suggest a positive outlook for the economy.

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

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.

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

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.

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

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.


Friday, August 24th, 2018

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.

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

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.

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

Sales of existing homes fell in July, the fourth consecutive decline. Declining affordability due to rising home prices and rising interest rates is likely to continue weighing on housing activity in coming quarters.

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Retail sales for July rose 0.5 percent, marking the sixth consecutive month of gains. The report suggests that U.S. economic growth is maintaining strong momentum, supported by consumer spending.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

The Small Business Optimism Index from the National Federation of Independent Business rose 0.7 points in July, coming in at 107.9, the second-highest in history, extending a run of 20 consecutive months above 100.

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

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.

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

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.

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

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.

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

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.

Friday, July 27th, 2018

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.

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

New orders for durable goods jumped 1.0 percent in June while new orders for core capital goods rose 0.6 percent. Both are showing strong uptrends over the past two years. 

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

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.

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

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.

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

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.

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

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.