Last updateTue, 17 Oct 2017 3pm


Consumer Confidence Index Increased in August

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in July, improved further in August. The index now stands at 122.9 (1985=100), up from 120.0 in July. The present situation index increased from 145.4 to 151.2, while the expectations index rose marginally from 103.0 last month to 104.0.

“Consumer confidence increased in August following a moderate improvement in July,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ more buoyant assessment of present-day conditions was the primary driver of the boost in confidence, with the Present Situation Index continuing to hover at a 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3). Consumers’ short-term expectations were relatively flat, though still optimistic, suggesting that they do not anticipate an acceleration in the pace of economic activity in the months ahead.” 

Durable Goods Orders Fell 6.8% in July

New orders for manufactured durable goods in July decreased $16.7 billion or 6.8% to $229.2 billion, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced. This decrease, down three of the last four months, followed a 6.4% June increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.5%.

“This is about aircraft orders and pretty much nothing else, aircraft being a notoriously volatile area. Airlines do tend to order in batches and that's really all this is,” Forbes reports

U.S. Consumer Sentiment at Seven-Month High

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment for the U.S. rose to 97.6 in August of 2017 from 93.4 in July, beating market estimates of 94, preliminary estimates showed. It is the strongest reading since January, due to a more positive outlook for the overall economy and more favorable personal financial prospects.

The gauge of future expectations jumped to 89 from 80.5 in July while the barometer for current economic conditions fell to 111 from 113.4. Americans expect the inflation rate to be 2.6% next year, the same as in July. 

U.S. Jobless Claims Rise from 6-Month Low

In the week ending August 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 234,000, an increase of 2,000 from last week's unrevised level of 232,000. The 4-week moving average was 237,750, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 240,500.

“Last week’s reading was the lowest level since February and the second lowest since the current economic expansion began in 2009. The last time claims were as low was in 1973,” MarketWatch reports. “Economists said businesses have been reluctant to fire workers out of a concerned they might not be able to find replacements on short notice.” 

Leading Economic Indicators for the U.S. Increased in July

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3% in July to 128.3 (2010 = 100), following a 0.6% increase in June, and a 0.3% increase in May.

“The U.S. LEI improved in July, suggesting the U.S. economy may experience further improvements in economic activity in the second half of the year,” said The Conference Board’s Ataman Ozyildirim. “The large negative contribution from housing permits, a reversal from June, was more than offset by gains in the financial indicators, new orders and sentiment.” 

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