Last updateTue, 22 Jan 2019 8pm


ISM: Manufacturing Activity Increased in November

Manufacturing expanded in November, as the PMI registered 59.3%, an increase of 1.6% from the October reading of 57.7%. “This indicates growth in manufacturing for the 27th consecutive month, led by strong new orders, production output and continued slowing supplier delivery performance,” says Timothy R. Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. 

U.S., China Agree to 90-Day Halt on New Tariffs

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a temporary 90-day halt to tariffs that “will see the United States and China restart talks aimed at resolving a trade dispute that is damaging the global economy, worrying some of Trump’s Republican allies, and unnerving investors,” The Washington Post reports.

“If the latest effort encounters the same roadblocks, Trump said he will proceed with his previous plan to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products to 25 percent from 10 percent, which was to have taken effect on Jan. 1.” 

U.S., Canada, Mexico Sign USMCA Trade Agreement

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would essentially replace 1994’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), was signed this morning by the leaders of those countries.

“The vast majority of the pact still needs to be ratified by lawmakers in the three countries but the signing enacts a handful of immediate protections,” Bloomberg reports.

Consumer Confidence Down Slightly in November

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined in November, following an improvement in October. The Index now stands at 135.7, down from 137.9 in October. “Despite a small decline in November, Consumer Confidence remains at historically strong levels,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions increased slightly, with job growth the main driver of improvement. Expectations, on the other hand, weakened somewhat in November, primarily due to a less optimistic view of future business conditions and personal income prospects. Overall, consumers are still quite confident that economic growth will continue at a solid pace into early 2019. However, if expectations soften further in the coming months, the pace of growth is likely to begin moderating.” 

Durable Goods Orders Fall 4.4% in October

New orders for manufactured durable goods in October decreased $11.5 billion or 4.4% to $248.5 billion, the U.S. Commerce Department announced. This decrease, down three of the last four months, followed a 0.1% September decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.1%. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 1.2%. Transportation equipment, down following two consecutive monthly increases, drove the decrease, $11.7 billion or 12.2% to $84.7 billion. 

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