Key Economic Indicators – July 10, 2017


·      Total non-farm payroll employment rose 222 thousand in June, following an increase of 152 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 187 thousand in May, while government employment increased by 35 thousand. The average monthly gain in employment was 180 thousand per month thus far this year. Employment rose in health care, social assistance, financial activities, and mining.


·      The unemployment rate edged up to 4.4% in June, from 4.3% in May. The unemployment rate was 4.9% in June 2016.

·      The number of unemployed increased by 116 thousand to 6.977 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by a thousand to 1.664 million and accounted for 24.3% of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 322 thousand.

·      The labor force participation rate edged up by 0.1 percentage point to 62.8% in June, but has shown no clear trend over the past 12 months.

·      The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in June.

·      In June, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 4 cents to $26.25. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 2.5%.

·      The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 4 thousand to 248 thousand in the week ending July 1. The 4-week moving average was 243 thousand, an increase of 0.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending June 24 was 1,956 thousand, an increase of 11 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,944.75 thousand, an increase of 6.750 thousand from the previous week’s revised average.

·      New orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.8% in May, following a 0.3% decrease in the previous month. Shipments increased 0.1%, following a less than 0.1% increase in the previous month. Year-to-date new orders were up 4.4%, and shipments were up 4.6%.

·      Sales of domestic cars decreased 5.0% in June, while total light vehicle (cars and light trucks) sales decreased 1.0%. Total vehicle sales were 16.4 million units in June, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, compared to 17.5 million in January 2017, and 16.8 million in June of 2016.

·      In May, international trade deficit in goods and services was $46.5 billion, down $1.1 billion from April. Exports increased $0.9 billion to $192.0 billion, and imports decreased $0.2 billion to $238.5 billion. The cumulative deficit was $233.1 billion for the first five months of 2017, compared with a deficit of $206.0 billion for the same period of the previous year.

·      May construction spending was virtually unchanged from the previous month, and was up 4.5% from a year ago. Residential construction decreased 0.5% in May, while nonresidential construction increased 0.3%. Total private construction decreased 0.6% in May, while total public construction increased 2.1%.

·      The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates turned up sharply over the last week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.96% for the week ending July 6, up from last week when it averaged 3.88%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.41%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.22% for the week ending July 6, up from the previous week when it averaged 3.17%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.74%.

·      Mortgage applications increased 1.4% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending June 30th.

·      The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in June, and the overall economy grew for the 97th consecutive month. The headline index was 57.8, an increase of 2.9 percentage points from May. The New Orders Index was up 4 percentage points from the previous month, while the Production Index was up 5.3 percentage points. The Employment Index was 57.2, an increase of 3.7 percentage points from May.

·      The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey indicated that the non-manufacturing sector grew in June for the 90th consecutive month. Sixteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth in June, and one industry reported contraction.

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