Last updateMon, 21 Aug 2017 7pm


Mid-America Business Conditions Index Highest in Six Years

The June Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator for a nine-state region stretching from Arkansas to North Dakota, jumped to its highest level in more than six years, according the latest monthly survey results.

The Business Conditions Index, which ranges between 0 and 100, soared to 62.3 from May’s solid 55.5. This is the seventh straight month the index has remained above growth neutral pointing to strong growth for the region over the next 3 to 6 months. Looking ahead six months, economic optimism, as captured by the June business confidence index, advanced to a robust 67.5 from 61.4 in May. 

ISM: U.S. Manufacturing at Highest Level Since Aug. 2014

Manufacturing expanded in June as the PMI registered 57.8%, an increase of 2.9% from the May reading of 54.9% and its highest level since August 2014, when it registered 57.9%. This indicates growth in manufacturing for the 10th consecutive month. The June PMI also indicated growth for the 97th consecutive month in the overall economy.

“Comments from the panel generally reflect expanding business conditions; with new orders, production, employment, backlog and exports all growing in June compared to May and with supplier deliveries and inventories struggling to keep up with the production pace,” said Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing business survey committee. 

First Quarter GDP Revised Up to 1.4%

Real gross domestic product (GDP) in the U.S. increased at an annual rate of 1.4% in the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest estimate released by the Department of Commerce. In the fourth quarter of 2016, real GDP increased 2.1%.

The GDP estimate released now is based on more complete source data than were available for the last estimate, 1.2%, issued last month. In the original estimate, GDP was reported to have grown 0.7% in the first quarter. With this latest estimate for the first quarter, personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and exports increased more than previously estimated, but the general picture of economic growth remains the same.

IMF Lowers Forecast for U.S. Growth to 2.1%

According to the newest forecast from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), growth in the U.S. is expected to rise 2.1% both this year and next, driven by continued solid consumption growth and a cyclical rebound in private investment. In its last forecast the IMF predicted 2.3% growth this year and 2.5% growth for 2018.

“The world’s biggest economy will probably have a hard time hitting Trump’s target of 3 percent annual growth as it’s faced with problems ranging from an aging population to low productivity growth, and with a labor market already back at full employment,” Bloomberg reports

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Fell the Most in 18 Months

New orders for manufactured durable goods in May decreased $2.5 billion or 1.1% to $228.2 billion, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced. This decrease, down two consecutive months, followed a 0.9% April decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.1%. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 0.6%. Transportation equipment, also down two consecutive months, drove the decrease, $2.7 billion or 3.4% to $75.4 billion.

“Demand for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell by the most in 18 months, and a key category that tracks business investment also slipped, evidence that manufacturing output is barely growing,” the Associated Press reports

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