Last updateFri, 22 Jun 2018 2pm


Survey Shows Inflation Expectations Moving Higher

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released the February 2018 Survey of Consumer Expectations, which shows a slight increase in short- and medium- term inflation expectations. Consumers' expectations about their personal financial situations continued to improve. Expectations about changes in taxes declined to a new series’ low, while expectations about growth in government debt increased sharply.

Median inflation expectations increased by 0.1% at both the one-year and three-year horizons in February, to 2.8% and 2.9%, respectively. Median inflation uncertainty declined to series' lows at both horizons. 

U.S. Business Inventories Up, Sales Down

Manufacturers’ and trade inventories, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $1,917.0 billion, up 0.6% (±0.1%) from December 2017 and were up 3.7% (±0.3%) from January 2017.

The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for January, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,426.0 billion, down 0.2% (±0.2%) from December 2017, but was up 5.7% (±0.4%) from January 2017.

The total business inventories/sales ratio based on seasonally adjusted data at the end of January was 1.34. The January 2017 ratio was 1.37. 

U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Start Strong in 2018

Orders for manufacturing technology in January 2018 were up 44% compared to January 2017, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report from the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). It was the second-largest January in the 22 years recorded by the USMTO program. Orders totaled $372 million for the month, down 20% compared to December.

Every region tracked by USMTO recorded order growth relative to January 2017, while only the southcentral region realized a month-over-month gain as it benefitted from strong orders in primary metal products, contract machining and improvement in oil and gas. The north-central-west region, led by medical equipment and industrial machinery, was up 69% relative to January 2017. Nationally, orders from the forging and stamping industry were up 114% over December, while the primary metal products industry posted a 93% increase over December. 

U.S. Added 313,000 Jobs in February

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 313,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Employment rose in construction, retail trade, professional and business services, manufacturing, financial activities and mining.

Manufacturing added 31,000 jobs in February. Within the industry, employment rose in transportation equipment (+8,000), fabricated metal products (+6,000), machinery (+6,000), and primary metals (+4,000). Over the past year, manufacturing has added 224,000 jobs. 

Fed Reports Increase in U.S. Manufacturing Sector

Economic activity expanded at a modest to moderate pace across the 12 Federal Reserve Districts in January and February, according to the newest Beige Book report. Consumer spending was mixed, as non-auto retail sales increased in just over half of the Districts. Increases in production were broad based across manufacturing sectors, with all but one District noting at least modest growth in activity.

Across the country, contacts observed persistent labor market tightness and brisk demand for qualified workers. Several districts reported continued worker shortages across most sectors. 



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