Last updateThu, 19 Sep 2019 4pm

Consumer Confidence Rebounds in July

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rebounded in July, following a decrease in June. The index now stands at 135.7, up from 124.3 in June, its highest level this year.

“Consumers are once again optimistic about current and prospective business and labor market conditions. In addition, their expectations regarding their financial outlook also improved. These high levels of confidence should continue to support robust spending in the near-term despite slower growth in GDP,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

Durable Goods Orders Increased 2.0% in June

New orders for manufactured durable goods in the U.S. increased $4.9 billion or 2.0% to $246.0 billion, the Department of Commerce announced. This June increase, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, followed a 2.3% May decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.2%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 3.1%.

GDP Slows to 2.1% Growth in Second Quarter

The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1% in the second quarter of 2019, according to the Department of Commerce. In the first quarter, GDP increased 3.1%. The deceleration in GDP in the second quarter reflected downturns in inventory investment, exports and nonresidential fixed investment. These downturns were partly offset by accelerations in personal consumption expenditures and federal government spending.

IMF Anticipates Sluggish Global Growth

In the July update of the World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is revising downward its projection for global growth to 3.2% in 2019 and 3.5% in 2020. While this is a modest revision of 0.1% for both years relative to their projections in April, it comes on top of previous significant downward revisions. The revision for 2019 reflects negative surprises for growth in emerging market and developing economies that offset positive surprises in some advanced economies.

Growth is projected to improve between 2019 and 2020. However, close to 70% of the increase relies on an improvement in the growth performance in stressed emerging market and developing economies and is therefore subject to high uncertainty.

Dynamism in the global economy is being weighed down by prolonged policy uncertainty as trade tensions remain heightened despite the recent U.S.-China trade truce, technology tensions have erupted threatening global technology supply chains, and the prospects of a no-deal Brexit have increased.

U.S. Leading Economic Indicators Declined in June

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. declined in June and, as a result, its six-month growth has eased further. At the same time, The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index for the U.S. has been rising modestly through June, but its pace of growth is also moderating. Taken together, the current behavior of the composite indexes and their components suggest that the expansion in economic activity will continue, but the pace of growth will likely remain moderate in the near-term.

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