Last updateTue, 24 Nov 2015 6pm


Consumer Confidence Falls to 14-Month Low

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased moderately in October, declined further in November. The Index now stands at 90.4, down from 99.1 in October. The Present Situation Index decreased from 114.6 last month to 108.1 in November, while the Expectations Index declined to 78.6 from 88.7 in October.

“Consumer confidence retreated in November, following a moderate decrease in October,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The decline was mainly due to a less favorable view of the job market. Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions, on the other hand, was mixed. Fewer consumers said conditions had improved, while the proportion saying conditions had deteriorated also declined. Heading into 2016, consumers are cautious about the labor market and expect little change in business conditions.” 

Manufacturing PMI Dips to 2-year Low

November data indicated a setback for U.S. manufacturing sector growth, following the modest rebound recorded during the previous month. At 52.6, down from 54.1 in October, the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) pointed to the slowest improvement in overall business conditions since October 2013. The decline in the headline index in November reflected weaker contributions from all five PMI components.

Although still robust, manufacturing production growth moderated since the previous month and was slightly weaker than its average for 2015 so far. At the same time, latest data highlighted the softest expansion of incoming new work for just over two years. Reports from survey respondents generally cited a cyclical slowdown in demand patterns and ongoing weakness in export sales. Reflecting this, the index measuring new orders from abroad dipped back inside negative territory in November. Lower levels of new work from abroad were linked to a combination of the strong dollar and weaker global economic conditions. 

Manufacturing in U.S. Increases for First Time in 3 Months

Industrial production declined 0.2% in October after decreasing the same amount in September. Manufacturing output, however, increased 0.4% in October, as the output of durable goods advanced 0.5% and the production of nondurable goods rose 0.3%. Nearly all major categories of durable goods industries moved up, and gains of 1.0% or more were recorded by nonmetallic mineral products; wood products; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; and primary metals. Among nondurable goods industries, the index for textile and product mills gained 1.9% and the index for petroleum and coal products rose 1.3%, but the index for apparel and leather fell 2.6%. The output of other manufacturing (publishing and logging) fell 0.6% after having dropped a similar amount in each of the previous two months. 

Business Inventories Unexpectedly Increased in September

The Commerce Department reported Friday that business inventories rose 0.3% in September. Most economists had expected no change, according to various news outlets. The department is expected to revise upward its estimate of third-quarter GDP growth on the September report, which exceeds the previously reported level used for the initial calculation. Sales were unchanged for the month. Both the business inventory and wholesale inventory reports suggest both were underestimated in the quarterly GDP estimate. Friday’s inventory data showed that manufacturing stockpiles across the U.S. fell by 0.4% in September while those held by retailers and wholesalers rose 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively. 

Job Postings Beat Expectations in September

According to the Department of Labor, U.S. job openings rose 149,000 to 5.53 million in September. That number of openings is the second highest on record, after July’s 5.67 million, and beat analysts’ estimates. Hires and separations were little changed at 5.0 million and 4.8 million, respectively.

The job openings rate for September was 3.7%. Openings increased the most in professional and business services (+126,000) and retail trade (+64,000). 



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