10/14/2019

News

Prepare for the Worst Holiday Season Since 2008, Morgan Stanley Says

A new report from the financial services firm anticipates the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year to be the slowest and most promotion-heavy since 2008, which was the first holiday season affected by the recession.

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Consumer Caution Blurs Reailers’ Outlook

But an expected softening in October—amid a collapse in consumer confidence due to the government shutdown and weaker labor market—suggests a long-awaited pickup in economic growth may have to wait until next year.

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Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

Industrial production increased 0.6 percent in September following a gain of 0.4 percent in August. For the third quarter as a whole, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 2.3 percent. Manufacturing output edged up 0.1 percent in September following a gain of 0.5 percent in August, and increased at an annual rate of 1.2 percent for the third quarter. Production at mines moved up 0.2 percent in September and advanced at an annual rate of 12.9 percent for the third quarter. The output of utilities rose 4.4 percent in September following declines in each of the previous five months. The level of the index for total industrial production in September was equal to its 2007 average and was 3.2 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for total industry moved up 0.4 percentage point to 78.3 percent, a rate 1.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2012) average.

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California Export Trade Surges in August

California export trade figures for August, delayed 16 days due to the federal government shutdown, showed a significant late-summer surge.

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California Costliest Since ’08 Seen Spooking Buyers: Muni Credit

The biggest rally in five years in California debt has some investors balking on concern that the state’s finances are increasingly vulnerable to swings in the economy and tax revenue.

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State Personal Income: Second Quarter 2013

State personal incomes grew 1.0 percent on average in the second quarter of 2013 after falling 1.3 percent in the first quarter, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal income growth ranged from 1.5 percent in Florida and Arizona to -0.7 percent in Nebraska. The national price index for personal consumption expenditures was unchanged in the second quarter after rising 0.3 percent in the first quarter.

Research & Studies
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Los Angeles City Council Districts Economic Report

Conducted by the L.A. Area Chamber and Beacon Economics, this fourth annual study looks at economic trends by City Council district. The 2013 report compares key economic indicators for each of L.A.’s 15 City Council districts, highlighting annual employment, average wage, tax revenue and building permits over the last year.

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The California Poverty Measure: A New Look at the Social Safety Net

A new way of measuring poverty in California shows that 22 percent of residents lived in poor families in 2011. It also underscores the importance of the social safety net for many families in the state. The safety net’s impact on children is especially dramatic—without the need-based programs included in the new measure, 39 percent (or 3.6 million California children) would be considered poor. A companion report released by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality examines regional and demographic differences in poverty.

Research & Studies
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PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government

Amid concerns about crime, half of Californians support the state’s plan to reduce prison overcrowding. Majorities favor regulating fracking, but Californians are divided on water policy. A slim majority support health care reform, an overwhelming majority favor immigration reform, and there are record-high levels of support for legalizing both same-sex marriage (61%) and marijuana (52%).

Research & Studies
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Golden State Poll

“Between August 27 and September 5, Hoover’s Golden State Poll (a joint collaboration of the Hoover Institution and the research firm YouGov) surveyed 1,000 Californians on their confidence in California’s recovery – their job security and pocketbook choices (last October, a Hoover/YouGov survey sampled Californians’ attitudes toward state government and policy choices in Sacramento). . . . Twice as many Californians reported being worse-off financially (33%) than better off (17%) over the last year. . . . Among survey respondents who are currently employed, more than half (55%) said they weren’t confident in their ability to find another job in California within 6 months that pays as much as they are making now.”

Research & Studies
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Dan Walters: California’s Poverty Conundrum

“The Census Bureau reported recently that 15 percent of California’s 38 million residents were living in poverty last year, the 20th highest rate in the nation.

However, an experimental Census Bureau method of gauging poverty, which includes a cost-of-living factor, puts California’s rate at more than 23 percent, the nation’s highest.”

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LA County Leads California in Poverty Rate, New Analysis Shows

“Los Angeles has the highest poverty rate among California counties, according to a new analysis announced Monday that upends traditional views of rural and urban hardship by adding factors such as the soaring price of city housing.

The measurement, developed by researchers with the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, found that 2.6 million, or 27%, of Los Angeles County residents lived in poverty in 2011. The official poverty rate for the county, based on the U.S. Census’ 2011 American Community Survey, is 18%.”

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Some Economic Data Face Budget Ax

The nation’s statistical agencies are preparing to downsize economic reports tracking local economies and foreign investment in the U.S., as part of a new wave of budget cuts that is forcing the agencies to re-evaluate how they allocate resources in order to maintain the most prominent economic data.

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Hoover’s Golden State Poll: Voters Still Lacking in Economic Confidence; On Whether to Frack: Yes, No . . . and Maybe

“Between August 27 and September 5, Hoover’s Golden State Poll (a joint collaboration of the Hoover Institution and the research firm YouGov) surveyed 1,000 Californians on their confidence in California’s recovery – their job security and pocketbook choices (last October, a Hoover/YouGov survey sampled Californians’ attitudes toward state government and policy choices in Sacramento).

. . . Twice as many Californians reported being worse-off financially (33%) than better off (17%) over the last year.

. . . Among survey respondents who are currently employed, more than half (55%) said they weren’t confident in their ability to find another job in California within 6 months that pays as much as they are making now.”

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Drop in US Jobless Claims Increases Confidence

“Americans unexpectedly filed fewer claims for unemployment benefits last week, highlighting labor-market gains that are shoring up consumer confidence.

Jobless claims dropped by 5,000 to 305,000 in the week ended Sept. 21, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The monthly average was the lowest since 2007. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose for the third straight week, another report showed. “

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