Last updateFri, 24 Jan 2020 7pm

Durable Goods Manufacturing Down 0.2% in December

The Federal Reserve reports that industrial production in the U.S. declined 0.3% in December, as a decrease of 5.6% for utilities outweighed increases of 0.2% for manufacturing and 1.3% for mining. The index for durable goods manufacturing slipped 0.2%, as a decrease for motor vehicles outweighed widespread increases in other industries.

Senate Passes USMCA Trade Agreement

The U.S. Senate passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Thursday by a vote of 89-10. The trade legislation now heads to the president’s desk where he will sign it, likely sometime next week.

“USMCA is expected to boost economic growth and job creation, though only modestly,” CNBC reports. “The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates it will increase GDP by 0.35% and create 176,000 jobs.”

2020 U.S. Oil Production Growth Forecast Increases

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that annual average U.S. crude oil production reached a new record of 12.2 million b/d in 2019, up 1.3 million b/d from 2018. EIA forecasts U.S. crude oil production to average 13.3 million b/d in 2020 and 13.7 million b/d in 2021. More production from the lower 48 states’ onshore regions, especially the Permian region, drives the forecast increase.

U.S. & China Agree to Phase 1 of Trade Deal

As part of a ‘phase 1’ trade deal with China, President Trump has “agreed to relax some of the tariffs he imposed on Chinese imports. In exchange, Beijing has agreed to buy more American products and make other changes,” NPR reports.

While most of the tariffs will remain in place, “China has promised to provide more protection for American companies' intellectual property and to stop requiring U.S. companies to share their technology as a cost of doing business in China.”

Manufacturing Jobs Declined in December

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 145,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported. Notable job gains occurred in retail trade and health care, while mining lost jobs.

Manufacturing employment decreased by 12,000 in December. Employment in the industry rose by 46,000 overall in 2019, after increasing by 264,000 in 2018.


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