02/25/2018

News

Real average hourly earnings increased 0.8 percent from January 2017 to January 2018

From January 2017 to January 2018, real average hourly earnings increased 0.8 percent, seasonally adjusted. The increase in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent decrease in the average workweek resulted in a 0.4-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over the 12-month period.

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U.S. Producer Prices Returned to Upward Path in January

U.S. producer prices rose in January, the latest sign of building inflation pressure in the economy. The producer-price index, a measure of the prices businesses charge for their goods and services, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in January from a month earlier, the Labor Department said Thursday. From a year earlier, producer prices advanced 2.7% […]

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Consumer Prices Jump in Sign of Firming Inflation

The consumer-price index, which measures what Americans pay for everything from salad dressing to fares on public transportation, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in January, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, so-called core prices rose 0.3%. That was above economists’ expectations for a 0.4% rise in consumer prices, and […]

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Trucking Companies Boost Big-Rig Orders on Rising Shipping Demand

Trucking companies are bumping up orders for new big rigs, anticipating that 2018 will be a banner year for shipping demand.

Trucking fleets ordered 32,900 Class 8 trucks, the kind used on long-haul routes, in November, according to ACT Research, which compiles industry statistics. That was up about 70% from a year earlier. The last two months were also the strongest since the start of 2015.

Fleets are adding capacity as strong economic growth fuels surging volumes of freight through the nation’s transportation networks. Trucks are in high demand to carry record imports from ports to distribution centers, move machine parts and heavy goods for manufacturers and merchandise during the holiday shopping season. Shippers are paying higher rates as capacity tightens, creating an incentive to put more trucks on the road.

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U.S. Productivity Rebounds, Though Wages Lag

U.S. worker productivity rebounded in the third quarter while hourly wages rose moderately, further signs the economy is strengthening.

Productivity—a measure of goods and services produced in the U.S. per hour worked—rose at a 3% annual rate in July through September, the Labor Department said Wednesday, the biggest jump in three years.

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U.S. Economy Reaches Its Potential Output for First Time in Decade

The U.S. economy is running at its full potential for the first time in a decade, a new milestone for an expansion now in its ninth year.

Total economic output in the third quarter was slightly above the maximum sustainable level of output as estimated by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

This is a measure of the economy’s potential to produce goods and services based on the supply of people working and how productive they are. 

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California’s economic growth lags

California’s economic growth in the second quarter ranks only 35th in the nation, according to a report Tuesday from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Gross domestic product growth in California was just 2.1 percent in the quarter, second-lowest in the West, trailing Hawaii’s rank of 40th.

Real gross domestic product increased in 48 states and the District of Columbia in the second quarter of 2017, according to statistics on the geographic breakout of GDP released today by the BEA. Real GDP by state growth in the second quarter ranged from 8.3 percent in North Dakota to -0.7 percent in Iowa.

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U.S. Worker Productivity Jumps in Third Quarter

U.S. workers boosted output per hour this summer at the best rate in three years, a sign that long sluggish productivity gains might finally be breaking out. Nonfarm business-sector productivity increased at a 3.0% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the third quarter, the Labor Department said Thursday. The gain was better than economists had expected and the largest quarterly improvement since the third quarter of 2014. Productivity is on pace to grow this year at the best pace since 2010, when the economy was first emerging from a deep recession. That’s an improvement from near zero much of 2015 and 2016.

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U.S. Notches Solid 3% Economic Growth, Despite Hurricanes

The U.S. economy grew robustly in the third quarter despite two hurricanes, propelled by steady spending from American businesses and households.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services made in the U.S., expanded at a 3% annual rate in July through September, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had projected a 2.7% gain.

Output expanded at 3.1% rate in the second quarter. This marks the economy’s best six-month stretch since mid-2014.

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Real average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees up 0.2 percent over the year

This increase in average hourly earnings stems from a 2.5-percent increase in average hourly earnings being offset by a 2.3-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

The increase in real average hourly earnings combined with no change in the average workweek resulted in a 0.2-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.

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Surge in energy costs sends U.S. consumer prices up 0.5%

U.S. consumer prices rose 0.5% in September, the largest increase in eight months. The result reflects another big jump in energy prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which shut Gulf Coast refineries and caused gasoline prices to jump across the country.

The September increase in the closely watched consumer price index was the biggest one-month gain since a 0.6% rise in January, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Energy prices shot up 6.1%, led by a 13.1% surge in gasoline. Analysts believe that the impact of the hurricane will be temporary.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose a tiny 0.1% in September.

Over the last year, overall prices are up 2.2%, while core inflation has risen 1.7%.

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What Trump Bump? Businesses Aren’t Borrowing from Banks

Companies have grown more reluctant to borrow after an initial surge of optimism following the election, said Jeff Glenzer, vice president at the Association for Financial Professionals, a group for corporate finance and treasury professionals. “All the turmoil and the inability to move policy through Washington set in,” he said.

But analysts say the prolonged slowdown in commercial-loan growth may simply be a function of the metric returning to its normal level in recent decades. Growth in the category ran far above gross domestic product growth in the years following the financial crisis, a streak that is difficult to maintain for any prolonged period.

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U.S. manufacturing activity hits 13-year high; construction spending up

U.S. factory activity surged to a more than 13-year high in September amid strong gains in new orders and raw material prices, pointing to underlying strength in the economy even as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are expected to dent growth in the third quarter.

The economic outlook was also bolstered by other data on Monday showing a rebound in construction spending in August. The acceleration in manufacturing activity and the accompanying increase in prices could harden expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity surged to a reading of 60.8 last month, the highest reading since May 2004, from 58.8 in August.

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U.S. Second-Quarter GDP Rose 3.1%

U.S. economic output grew at a 3.1% annual rate in the second quarter, slightly stronger than previously thought and marking the best growth in two years.

The estimate, based on revised data released by the Commerce Department on Thursday, replaces a previous tally of 3% growth. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected the estimate to remain 3%.

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SF’s car smash-and-grab reality even worse than count

San Francisco’s epidemic of car burglaries may be spreading even faster than the already alarming 28 percent increase reported by police this year.

Statistics obtained from the city’s 911 center show it received 25,031 calls about auto break-ins during the first six months of 2017 — 7,061 more than the 17,970 reported by police.

The difference is that car-burglary victims’ first reaction is often to call 911 — but they don’t always follow through by filing an online report, and the cops don’t send anyone to the scene unless a smash-and-grab is in progress.

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