02052016Fri
Last updateFri, 05 Feb 2016 4pm

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U.S. Adds 151,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Down to 4.9%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in January, and the unemployment rate dropped 0.1% to 4.9%, the lowest since Feb. 2008. Job gains occurred in several industries, led by retail trade, food services and drinking places, health care and manufacturing. Employment declined in private educational services, transportation and warehousing and mining.

Manufacturing added 29,000 jobs in January, following little employment change in 2015. Over the month, job gains occurred in food manufacturing (+11,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), and furniture and related products (+3,000). 


U.S. Factory Orders Down 2.9% in December

New orders for manufactured goods in December, down four of the last five months, decreased $13.5 billion or 2.9% to $456.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. This followed a 0.7% November decrease. Overall, December orders were 6.6% below where they were one year ago.

Machinery orders fell 5.6%, including a 78.2% decrease in orders for mining, oil field and gas field equipment. 

ISM: Manufacturing Contracts for Fourth Straight Month

Manufacturing contracted in January as the PMI registered 48.2%, an increase of 0.2% from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 48%, indicating contraction in manufacturing for the fourth consecutive month.

“Comments from the panel indicate a mix ranging from strong to soft orders, as eight of our 18 industries report an increase in orders, and seven industries report a decrease in orders," said Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. 

GDP Increased 0.7% in Fourth Quarter, 2.4% in 2015

Real gross domestic product (GDP) in the U.S. increased at an annual rate of 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the advance estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.0%. For the year 2015, real GDP increased 2.4%, the same rate as in 2014. 

Consumer Confidence Up More Than Expected in January

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in December, improved moderately in January. The Index now stands at 98.1, up from 96.3 in December. The Present Situation Index was unchanged at 116.4, while the Expectations Index increased from 83.0 to 85.9 in January.

Consumer confidence improved slightly in January, following an increase in December,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions held steady, while their expectations for the next six months improved moderately. For now, consumers do not foresee the volatility in financial markets as having a negative impact on the economy.” 

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