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Growth Report – Monday, June 18, 2018

Growth Report – Monday, June 18, 2018

FED, NEW TARIFFS GET WALL STREET’S ATTENTION As expected, the Federal Reserve adjusted the target range on the federal funds rate to 1.75%-2.00% on Wednesday. The central bank’s latest dot-plot projection, however, raised some eyebrows: it showed four interest rate increases planned for 2018 instead of three. The median forecast of Fed officials puts the…

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Growth Report – Monday, June 11, 2018

Growth Report – Monday, June 11, 2018

100 MONTHS OF GROWTH FOR SERVICE BUSINESSES The Institute for Supply Management announced this milestone as it revealed a 58.6 May reading for its non-manufacturing purchasing manager index. That excellent reading was well north of the 56.8 mark seen in April. Fourteen of the fifteen service industries followed by the PMI reported expansion in May;…

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Growth Report – Monday, June 4, 2018

Growth Report – Monday, June 4, 2018

HIRING, HOUSEHOLD SPENDING STRENGTHEN Net job growth surprised to the upside in May: companies added 223,000 more workers than they laid off or fired. At 3.8%, the unemployment rate is now where the Federal Reserve thought it would be at the end of 2018, and it is also at its lowest level since April 2000.…

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Growth Report – Monday, May 21, 2018

Growth Report – Monday, May 21, 2018

RETAIL SALES RISE ANOTHER 0.3% April’s advance remained at that level. even with car and truck sales removed. It paled compared to the 0.8% March gain reported by the Department of Commerce, but it matched the consensus forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch.1 APRIL SAW LESS GROUNDBREAKING An 11.3% drop for apartment construction set the…

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Growth Report – Monday, May 14, 2018

Growth Report – Monday, May 14, 2018

OIL HITS A 4-YEAR PEAK The price of WTI crude settled at $71.36 on Thursday, hours after Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts forecast $90 oil by spring 2019 and a “risk of $100 a barrel” Brent crude next year. Thursday’s close was oil’s highest settlement since November 2014. Futures rallied 1.4% on the week…

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Growth Report – Monday, May 7, 2018

Growth Report – Monday, May 7, 2018

JOBLESS RATE HITS 18-YEAR LOW Unemployment fell to 3.9% in April, the Department of Labor said Friday – the smallest percentage seen since late 2000. Additionally, the U-6 underemployment rate declined to 7.8%, a 17-year low. Payrolls expanded with 164,000 net new jobs last month; the economy has created an average of 200,000 jobs a…

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Growth Report – Monday, April 30, 2018

Growth Report – Monday, April 30, 2018

MAIN STREET SUSTAINS ITS OPTIMISM America’s two most respected consumer confidence indices just improved. The University of Michigan’s final April household sentiment gauge rose a full point from its initial reading to 98.8 last week, and the Conference Board’s index came in at a great 128.7 for April – 1.7 points higher than its March…

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Growth Report – Monday, April 23, 2018

Growth Report – Monday, April 23, 2018

CONSUMERS BOUGHT MORE IN MARCH According to a report from the Department of Commerce, retail sales jumped 0.6% last month. That was the biggest monthly gain recorded since November (and the first monthly advance of 2018). Sales of cars and trucks were up 2.0%, making March the best month for that category since September.1 CONSTRUCTION…

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Growth Report – Monday, April 16, 2018

Growth Report – Monday, April 16, 2018

CONSUMER SENTIMENT INDEX DESCENDS SLIGHTLY In its initial April edition, the University of Michigan’s survey of household sentiment saw its index decline to 97.8 from its final March reading of 101.4. The survey’s chief economist, Richard Curtin, believed that “uncertainty surrounding the evolving [U.S.] trade policy” affected the reading, but he added that “confidence still…

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Growth Report – Monday, April 9, 2018

Growth Report – Monday, April 9, 2018

HIRING WEAKENED IN MARCH Payrolls expanded by only 103,000 net new jobs last month, according to the latest employment report from the Department of Labor. Some economists wondered if harsh weather distorted the number (job growth was also poor in March 2015 and March 2017). The main jobless rate stayed at 4.1%; the broader U-6…

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