The strongest reading on U.S. factory activity in nearly three years signaled underlying health in the economy headed into the second half of 2017. The Institute for Supply Management on Monday said its index of U.S. manufacturing activity rose to 57.8 in June, its highest level since August 2014. A number above 50 indicates expansion; economists had expected a more modest rise from May’s 54.9.
For the second year in a row, the number of babies delivered in the U.S. fell in 2016, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics. For some groups of women, the birth rate reached record lows.
The U.S. economic expansion remains on track as it prepares to enter its ninth year. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the U.S. economy, expanded at a seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 1.4% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
When it comes to personal income growth, Californians matched the national average of 1.0 percent for the first quarter of the year, according to a new report released Tuesday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. The national rate is up from 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the BEA’s estimates. But for California, it’s been a barely measurable increase from the 0.9 percent growth rate of the previous quarter. Overall, California ranks 29th among the state and the District of Columbia for personal income growth in the first quarter of 2017, based on the BEA’s data.
A decline in the confidence of Los Angeles County consumers continues–raising concern about where the local economy is heading, since consumer spending accounts for about 70% of economic activity in our communities.
According to the index recently released by the Lowe Institute of Political Economy at Claremont McKenna College, Los Angeles consumer sentiment declined by approximately 2% in the first quarter of 2017, following a sharp 12 % decline in the fourth quarter of 2016.