Auto Sales Stage Partial Rebound Following A Two-Month Plunge

Unit Auto Sales Fell Again in August as Shortages Drive Inventory Down and Prices Up

– September 2, 2021

“Light-vehicle sales fell for a fourth consecutive month in August, falling farther below the recent typical range. Component shortages continue to disrupt production causing inventories to plunge and prices to surge.” – Robert Hughes

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Weekly Initial Claims for Unemployment Benefits Appear to be Trending Lower Again

– September 2, 2021

“Weekly initial claims for unemployment benefits fell for the fifth time in the last six weeks, hitting the lowest level of the pandemic though continuing claims ticked up. A tight labor market and a record number of open jobs should help drive initial claims lower, but rising Covid cases remain a threat to the outlook.” – Robert Hughes

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Labor, Materials, and Logistical Struggles Continue for the Manufacturing Sector

– September 1, 2021

“Demand for manufactured goods remained very strong in August. However, labor, production, and logistical issues – many of which are worsening with the surge in new Covid cases – continue to restrain supply and pressure prices.” – Robert Hughes

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Covid Concerns and Rising Prices Drag Consumer Confidence Down in August

– August 31, 2021

“Consumer attitudes are becoming less optimistic as Covid cases rise. The waning optimism could impact spending and adds to the growing list of risks to the economic outlook” – Robert Hughes

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New Single-Family Home Sales Rise but Signs of Moderation Are Emerging

– August 24, 2021

“New-home sales rose in July while supply conditions eased a bit further. Rising prices, somewhat higher mortgage rates, and resurgent Covid cases are likely to sustain continued crosswinds and increased uncertainty for the housing market.” – Robert Hughes

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Existing Single-Family Home Sales Rose in July but Condo Sales Fell

– August 23, 2021

“Existing-home sales and inventories rose slightly in July as high prices and shifting housing preferences weigh on the recent pace of activity.” – Robert Hughes

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Weekly Initial Claims for Unemployment Benefits Fell but Outlook Remains Uncertain

– August 19, 2021

“Weekly initial claims for unemployment benefits fell for a fourth consecutive week, hitting the lowest level of the pandemic. A tight labor market and a record number of open jobs should help drive initial claims lower, but rising Covid cases are a threat to the outlook.” – Robert Hughes

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Struggles Continue for Single-Family Housing

– August 18, 2021

“Single-family housing activity showed further signs of cooling in July. The combination of shifting housing preferences and rising single-family home prices appear to be dampening demand while labor difficulties and materials shortages restrain supply.” – Robert Hughes

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Manufacturing Output Posts a Solid Gain in July

– August 17, 2021

“Industrial output rose in July as output jumped in the volatile motor vehicle industry. Ongoing difficulties with labor, logistics, and materials shortages should ease in the coming months and quarters, but the recent surge in new Covid cases does represent a risk to the outlook for industrial output.” – Robert Hughes

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Total and Core Retail Sales Fell in July

– August 17, 2021

“Retail sales fell in July and the trend over the last three months is noticeably weaker. Continued recovery in the labor market and gains in wages are needed to support retail sales growth.” – Robert Hughes

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Fears of Delta Variant Send Consumer Sentiment Plunging in Early August

– August 13, 2021

“Consumer sentiment plunged in early August as consumers react to the spread of the Delta variant and rise in new Covid cases. The survey results add to the list of risks challenging the economic outlook.” – Robert Hughes

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AIER Leading Indicators Index Suggests Continued Growth as Risks Grow

– August 12, 2021

“AIER’s Leading Indicators Index posted a fourth consecutive small decline in July, falling to 75. While the pullbacks suggest that breadth of growth could narrow in the future, the July result remains at a level consistent with continued economic expansion in coming months, but the threats to future growth may be growing.” – Robert Hughes

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