• Real GDP decreased at an annual rate of 5.0% in the first quarter of 2020, according to the “third” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2019, real GDP increased 2.1%. In the second estimate, released a month ago, the decrease in real GDP was also 5.0% for the first quarter. Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) decreased 3.5% in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 3.1% in the final quarter of 2019.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) decreased 4.4% in the first quarter of 2020, compared with an increase of 3.1% in the final quarter of 2019. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, decreased 4.7% in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7% in the first quarter of 2020, compared with an increase of 1.4% in the previous quarter. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 1.3%, compared with an increase of 1.4%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.7%, compared with an increase of 1.3%.
  • Corporate profits from current production decreased $262.8 billion in the first quarter of 2020, after an increase of $53.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019. Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased $37.5 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of $0.7 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations decreased $181.8 billion, compared with an increase of $53.7 billion in the previous quarter. The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $43.5 billion in the first quarter, following a decrease of $1.4 billion.
  • Personal income decreased 4.2% in May, following a 10.8% increase in the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures increased 8.2%, after a 12.6% decrease in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Real disposable personal income decreased 5.0% in May, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 8.1%. The savings rate, personal saving as a percentage of disposable income, was 23.2% in May, down from 32.2% in April. The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 0.1% in May, after a decrease of 0.5% in April. The core index increased 0.1%, following a 0.4% decrease in the previous month. The price index for personal consumption expenditures was up 0.5% from May 2019, while the core index was up 1.0%. BEA stated: “The May estimate for personal income and outlays was impacted by the response to the spread of COVID-19. Federal economic recovery payments continued but were at a lower level than in April, and government “stay-at-home” orders were partially lifted in May. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the personal income and outlays estimate for May because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.”
  • State personal income increased 2.3% at an annual rate in the first quarter of 2020, a deceleration from the 3.6% increase in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in personal income across all states ranged from 4.9% in New Mexico to negative 0.3% in Michigan.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in May increased 15.8%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, following a 18.1% April decrease.  Excluding transportation, new orders increased 4.0%.  Excluding defense, new orders increased 15.5%.  New orders for transportation equipment increased 80.7%. Shipments of manufactured durable goods in May increased 4.4%, following a 18.6% decrease in April. Year-to-date, new orders decreased 13.6% from the same period, in 2019, while shipments decreased 11.3%.
  • Retail inventories for May, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $604.5 billion, down 6.1% from April 2020, and were down 9.5% from May 2019.
  • Wholesale inventories for May, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $642.2 billion, down 1.2% from April 2020, and were down 4.3% from May 2019.
  • The international trade deficit was 74.3 billion in May, up $3.6 billion from $70.7 billion in April.  Exports of goods for May were $90.1 billion, $5.5 billion less than April exports. Imports of goods for May were $164.4 billion, $1.9 billion less than April imports.
  • U.S. house prices rose 0.2% in April, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI).  House prices rose 5.5% from April 2019 to April 2020.  For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes from March 2020 to April 2020 ranged from negative 0.5% in the South Atlantic division to 0.8% in the West South Central division.  The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from 5.0% in the Middle Atlantic division to +6.8% in the Mountain division.
  • Sales of new single-family houses in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676 thousand, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  This is 16.6% above the figure for April and is 12.7% above the May 2019 level. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 318 thousand.  This represents a supply of 5.6 months at the current sales rate, compared with 6.7 months in May 2019. The median sales price of new houses sold in May 2020 was $317.9 thousand, up 1.7% from May 2019.  The average sales price was $368.8 thousand, down 2.7% from a year ago.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that mortgage rates were virtually unchanged. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.13% for the week ending June 25, unchanged from last week. A year-ago, the 30-year rate was 3.73%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.59%, up slightly from last week when it averaged 2.58%. A year-ago at this time, the 15-year rate averaged 3.16%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 8.7% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending June 19, 2020.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 60 thousand to 1,480 thousand in the week ending June 20. The 4-week moving average was 1,620.75 thousand, a decrease of 160.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending June 13 was 19,522 thousand, a decrease of 767 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 20,421.25 thousand, a decrease of 329.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 13.4% for the week ending June 13, a decrease of 0.5 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. It was stated that: “The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims and insured unemployment.  This report now includes information on claimants filing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims.”
  • Labor productivity declines were widespread among manufacturing industries in 2019, with decreases in 54 of the 86 four-digit NAICS industries. Of the 51 industries in durable manufacturing, 31 had productivity decreases in 2019 led by a 7.8% decline in the productivity of the HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment industry. Nondurable manufacturing also had widespread declines in 2019 with productivity falling in 23 of 35 industries, led by a 13.1% decline in the other leather products industry. All four industries in the mining sector posted productivity declines in 2019 led by the coal mining industry with a decrease of 6.6%.
  • In 2019, 24% of employed persons did some or all of their work at home on days they worked, and 82% of employed persons did some or all of their work at their workplace, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On average, those who worked at their workplace worked for 7.9 hours, and those who worked at home did so for 3.3 hours. On an average day, 85 percent of women and 71 percent of men spent some time doing household activities, such as housework, cooking, lawn care, or household management. On an average day, 22 percent of men did housework—such as cleaning or laundry— compared with 46 percent of women.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Nonmanufacturing Business Outlook Survey for June indicate continued weakness in nonmanufacturing activity in the region. The indexes for general activity at the firm level and sales/revenues showed positive readings for the first time since February. However, the new orders and employment indexes remained negative despite posting large gains from last month. The respondents expect overall improvement in conditions over the next six months, as both future activity indexes rose well into positive territory.
  • The University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for June was 78.1, up from 72.3 in May. The index was 98.2 in June of 2019. The current economic conditions component was 87.1 in June, compared with 82.3 in May. The index of consumer expectations increased to 72.3 in June, from 65.9 in May.
  • There were over 9,635,935 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 489,922 deaths, and 4,861,715 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 6/26/2020, 9:15 EST). In the United States, there were 2,422,312 confirmed cases, 124,415 deaths, and 663,562 thousand recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for May were up 17.7% from April but were down 6.1% from May 2019. Excluding motor vehicles & parts, retail sales were up 12.4% from the previous month, but were down 6.6% from a year ago. Sales of clothing & clothing accessories stores were down 63.4% from a year ago, while electronics & appliance stores sales were down 29.9%. Furniture & home furnishing stores sales decreased 21.5% from May 2019, while food services & drinking places sales decreased 39.4%. Year-to-date, sales for retail and food services were down 4.7% from the same period a year ago and sales excluding motor vehicle and parts were down 3.6%.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for April were down 14.4% from the previous month and were down 18.4% from a year ago. Total business inventories for April were down 1.3% from the previous month and were down 2.2% from April 2019. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.67 in April, compared with 1.39 year ago.
  • Total Industrial production increased 1.4% in May, following a 12.5% decrease in April, its largest drop in the 101-year history of the index, as the COVID-19 pandemic led many factories to slow or suspend operations. The index was down 15.3% from May of 2019. Manufacturing output increased 3.8%, following a 15.5% drop in April, its largest decline on record. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.8 percentage point in May to 64.8, a rate that is 15.0 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2019) average, and 13.0 percentage points below the level in May 2019.
  • The current account deficit, narrowed by $0.1 billion to $104.2 billion in the first quarter of 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, from the revised fourth quarter deficit of $104.3 billion. The first quarter deficit was 1.9% of current dollar gross domestic product, up less than 0.1 percentage point from the fourth quarter. The $0.1 billion narrowing of the current account deficit in the first quarter mainly reflected a reduced deficit on goods that was largely offset by a reduced surplus on primary income and an expanded deficit on secondary income. Exports of goods and services to, and income received from, foreign residents decreased $47.5 billion, to $902.3 billion, in the first quarter. Imports of goods and services from, and income paid to, foreign residents decreased $47.7 billion, to $1.01 trillion.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 58 thousand to 1,508 thousand in the week ending June 13. The 4-week moving average was 1,773.5 thousand, a decrease of 234.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending June 6 was 20,544 thousand, a decrease of 62 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 20,814.75 thousand, a decrease of 1,092 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 14.1% for the week ending June 6, unchanged from the previous week’s revised rate. It was stated that: “The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims and insured unemployment.  This report includes information on claimants filing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims.”
  • Unemployment rates were lower in May in 38 states and the District of Columbia, higher in 3 states and stable in 9 states, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. All 50 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rate increases from a year earlier. Nevada had the highest unemployment rate in May, 25.3%, followed by Hawaii, 22.6%, and Michigan, 21.2%. The rates in Delaware (15.8%), Florida (14.5%), Massachusetts (16.3%), and Minnesota (9.9%) set new series highs. (All state series begin in 1976.) Nebraska had the lowest unemployment rate, 5.2%. In total, 24 states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 13.3%, 12 states had higher rates, and 14 states had rates that were not very different from that of the nation.
  • Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 46 states, decreased in Hawaii and the District of Columbia, and was unchanged in 3 states in May 2020. Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The largest job gains occurred in Texas (237.8 thousand), Pennsylvania (198.3 thousand), and Florida (182.9 thousand). The largest percentage increases occurred in Vermont (6.4%), Michigan (5.2%), and Montana and Pennsylvania (4.0%, each). Employment decreased in Hawaii (6 thousand, or 1.1%) and the District of Columbia (9.1 thousand, or 1.2%). All 50 states and the District of Columbia had over-the-year decreases in nonfarm payroll employment in May. The largest job declines occurred in California (2,267.1 thousand), New York (1,794 thousand), and Texas (917.8 thousand). The smallest declines occurred in Wyoming (26.9 thousand), South Dakota (33.1 thousand), and Alaska (40.7 thousand). The largest percentage declines occurred in Hawaii (20.1%), Michigan (19.2%), and New York (18.3%).
  • Employer costs for employee compensation for civilian workers averaged $37.73 per hour worked in March 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and salaries cost employers $25.91 while benefit costs were $11.82. Total compensation costs for civilian workers were $13.15 at the 10th wage percentile, $28.40 at the 50th (median) wage percentile, and $74.17 at the 90th wage percentile. State and local government worker compensation costs for employers averaged $52.45 per hour worked in March 2020. Wages and salaries averaged $32.62 and accounted for 62.2 percent of employer costs, while benefit costs averaged $19.82 and accounted for 37.8 percent. Total compensation costs at the 50th (median) wage percentile were $50.06. Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $35.34 per hour worked. Wages and salaries averaged $24.82 per hour worked and accounted for 70.2 percent of employer costs. Benefit costs averaged $10.53 per hour worked and accounted for the remaining 29.8 percent. Median (50th wage percentile) employer costs per employee hour worked were $26.00 for total compensation, $18.05 for wages and salaries, and $7.95 for benefits. Total compensation costs for private industry workers ranged from $12.62 at the 10th wage percentile to $69.32 at the 90th wage percentile.
  • Privately-owned housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 974 thousand, 4.3% above the revised April figure, but 23.2% below the May 2019 level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Single-family housing starts in May were at a rate of 675 thousand, 0.1% above the previous month. Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,220 thousand, 14.4% above the revised April rate, but 8.8% below the May 2019 rate.  Single-family authorizations in May were at a rate of 745 thousand, 11.9% above the previous month, but 9.9% below a year ago.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that mortgage rates dropped to another all-time low. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.13% for the week ending June 18, down from last week when it averaged 3.21%. This was the lowest rate in survey’s history, dating back to 1971. A year-ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.84%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.58%, down from last week when it averaged 2.62%. A year-ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.25%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 8.0% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending June 12th.
  • The June Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity steadied in New York State. After record lows in April and May, the general business conditions index climbed 48.3 points to negative 0.2 in June. The prices paid index increased 12.8 points to 16.9 in June, while the prices received index increased 6.8 points to negative 0.6.
  • Manufacturing firms reported signs of improvement in regional manufacturing activity this month, according to results from the Philadelphia FED Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey for June. The survey’s current indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments returned to positive territory, coinciding with the gradual reopening of the economy in our region and the nation more broadly. The employment index remained negative but increased for the second consecutive month. All future indicators improved, suggesting that the firms expect overall growth over the next six months. The diffusion index for current general activity increased from negative 43.1 in May to 27.5 in June. The prices paid index increased 7.9 points to 11.1, and the prices received index increased 14.1 points to 11.0.
  • The Philadelphia FED launched a special weekly business outlook survey on COVID-19. The survey (134 firms) for the week ending on June 14th indicated that nearly 54% of all responding firms reported decreases of more than 5% in new orders or sales (down from 61% last week), while 16% reported increases of more than 5% (up from 10% in the previous week).  More than 54% of the firms reported no changes to their labor force over the past week, 18% of the firms reported hiring new full- or part-time employees, and 13% reported recalling furloughed workers.
  • The Chicago Fed’s National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) edged down to negative 0.59 in the week ending June 12, from negative 0.56. Risk indicators contributed negative 0.22, credit indicators contributed negative 0.26, and leverage indicators contributed negative 0.10 to the index in the latest week. The adjusted index (ANFCI), which isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on financial conditions relative to current economic conditions, also edged down in the latest week to negative 0.07, from negative 0.04. Risk indicators contributed negative 0.33, credit indicators contributed negative 0.43, leverage indicators contributed negative 0.06, and the adjustments for prevailing macroeconomic conditions contributed 0.75 to the index in the latest week.
  • There were over 8,514,522 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 454,513 deaths, and 4,182,169 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 6/19/2020, 9:00 EST). In the United States, there were 2,191,200 confirmed cases, 118,435 deaths, and 599,115 thousand recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • April 2020 sales of merchant wholesalers were $395.4 billion, down 16.9% from the March level and were down 20.7% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Total inventories of merchant wholesalers were $650.4 billion at the end of April, up 0.3% from the revised March level, but were down 2.8% from the revised April 2019 level.
  • U.S. selected services total revenue for the first quarter of 2020 was $4,008.5 billion, down 2.9% from the fourth quarter of 2019, but up 0.8% from the first quarter of 2019. Transportation and warehousing revenues decreased 5.0% from the previous quarter, and arts, entertainment, and recreation revenues decreased 11.3%. Health care and social assistance revenues were down 3.7% in the first quarter, and revenues of professional, scientific, and technical services were down 0.2%. Real estate and rental and leasing revenues were up 0.3%, and revenues for the information sector were up 0.2%.
  • U.S. manufacturing corporations’ seasonally adjusted after-tax profits in the first quarter of 2020 totaled $111.7 billion, down $38.8 billion from the fourth quarter of 2019, and down $43.2 billion from the first quarter of 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Seasonally adjusted sales for the quarter totaled $1,637.4 billion, down $58.5 billion from the fourth quarter of 2019, and down $66.8 billion from the first quarter of 2019.
  • Seasonally adjusted after-tax profits of U.S. retail corporations with assets of $50 million and over totaled $24.0 billion, down $5.6 billion from the fourth quarter of 2019, and down $3.9 billion from the first quarter of 2019.  Seasonally adjusted sales for the quarter totaled $822.5 billion, up $11.5 billion from the fourth quarter of 2019, and up $45.9 billion from the first quarter of 2019.
  • The federal budget had a deficit of $398.8 billion in May, compared with a deficit of $738.0 billion in April 2020, and a deficit of $207.8 billion in May 2019, according to U.S. Department of the Treasury. Receipts were $173.9 billion, 25.1% below May 2019 level. Outlays were $572.7 billion, up 30.2% from May 2019. The cumulative deficit for the first eight months of the fiscal year 2020 was $1,880.3 billion, compared with a deficit of $738.6 billion during the first eight months of the previous fiscal year.
  • The net worth of households and nonprofits fell to $110.8 trillion in the first quarter of 2020, compared with $117.3 trillion at the end of the final quarter of 2019, and $111.2 trillion at the end of first quarter of 2019.
  • Domestic nonfinancial debt expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 11.7% in the first quarter of 2020, compared with an annual rate of 3.2% in the previous quarter. Household debt increased 3.9% at an annual rate in the first quarter of 2020. Consumer credit grew at an annual rate of 1.6%, while mortgage debt (excluding charge-offs) grew at an annual rate of 3.2%. Nonfinancial business debt rose at an annual rate of 18.8% in the first quarter of 2020, up from a 2.0% annual rate in the previous quarter.
  • Federal government debt increased 14.3% at an annual rate in the first quarter of 2020, up from a 3.8% annual rate in the previous quarter. State and local government debt expanded at an annual rate of 0.1% in the first quarter of 2020, after expanding at an annual rate of 4.5% in the previous quarter.
  • Domestic nonfinancial debt outstanding was $55.9 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2020, of which household debt was $16.3 trillion, nonfinancial business debt was $16.8 trillion, and total government debt was $22.8 trillion.
  • U.S. import prices increased 1.0% in May, after decreasing 2.6% in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prices for fuel imports increased 20.5%, after a 31.0% decline in April and a 26.6% decline in March. Nonfuel import prices increased 0.1%, following a 0.5% decrease in the previous month. Prices for U.S. exports increased 0.5% in May after a 3.3% decrease in April. Agricultural export prices decreased 0.5% in May, while non-agricultural exports prices increased 0.6%. Both import and export prices decreased 6.0% over the 12-month period ended in May. Prices for fuel imports dropped 49.6% from May 2019 to May 2020, while non-fuel import prices decreased 0.7%.  Prices for agricultural exports decreased 3.5% from May 2019 to May 2020, while non-agricultural exports prices decreased 6.3%.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.4% in May, following a 1.3% decrease in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In May, the advance in the final demand index is attributable to prices for final demand goods, which climbed 1.6%, the largest increase since the index began in November 2009. Two-thirds of the May increase in the index for final demand goods is attributable to a 40.4% jump in meat prices. The indexes for gasoline, processed young chickens, light motor trucks, liquefied petroleum gas, and carbon steel scrap also moved higher. The index for final demand services moved down 0.2%, the same decrease as in the previous month. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.1% in May, after a 0.9% decrease in April. The producer price index for final demand decreased 0.8% for the 12 months ended in May. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade decreased 0.4% for the 12-months ended in May, the second 12-month decrease.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) decreased 0.1% in May, following a 0.8% decrease in the previous month. The index for all items less food and energy (the core) index decreased 0.1%, following a 0.4% decrease in the previous month. Declines in the indexes for motor vehicle insurance, energy, and apparel more than offset increases in food and shelter indexes to result in the monthly decrease in the seasonally adjusted all items index. The gasoline index declined 3.5% in May, leading to a 1.8% decline in the energy index. The food index, in contrast, increased 0.7% in May as the index for food at home rose 1.0%.  The consumer price index increased 0.1% for the 12-month period ending in May, while the core index rose 1.2%. The energy index fell 18.9% over the last year. The food index increased 4.0% over the last 12 months, with the index for food at home rising 4.8%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.9% from April to May. This result stems from a 1.0% decrease in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.1% decrease in the consumer price index.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 355 thousand to 1,542 thousand in the week ending June 6. The 4-week moving average was 2,002 thousand, a decrease of 286.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending May 30 was 20,929 thousand, a decrease of 339 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 21,987.5 thousand, a decrease of 404.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 14.4% for the week ending May 30, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. It was stated that: “The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims and insured unemployment.  This report now includes information on claimants filing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims.”
  • The number of total separations decreased by 4.8 million to 9.9 million in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite the over the month decline, the total separations level is the second highest in series history. Within separations, the quits rate fell to 1.4% and the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to 5.9%. Job openings decreased to 5.0 million on the last business day of April. Over the month, hires declined to 3.5 million, a series low. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, and by four geographic regions.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that mortgage rates remain relatively flat. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.21% for the week ending June 11, up slightly from last week when it averaged 3.18%. A year-ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.82%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.62%, unchanged from last week. A year-ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.26%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 9.3% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending June 5th.
  • The University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment increased in early June to 78.9, from 72.3 in May. The Index was 98.2 in June of last year. The Current Economic Conditions Index increased to 87.8 in June, from 82.3 in May. The Index of Consumer Expectations increased to 73.1 in June, from 65.9 in May.
  • The Philadelphia FEDlaunched a weekly business outlook survey on COVID-19. The survey (135 firms) for the week ending on June 7th indicated that more than 61% of all responding firms reported decreases of more than 5% in new orders or sales (up slightly from last week), while 10% reported increases of more than 5% (down from 15%).  More than 82% of the firms reported seeking a Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to address problems arising from the outbreak, and 17% sought out an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Of the 91 firms that reported seeking a PPP loan, nearly 96% reported having received a loan. Of the 87 firms that reported receiving a PPP loan, equal shares reported that receiving the PPP loan helped them pay bills and/or rent (68%) and prevented furloughs and/or layoffs (70%), and 32% indicated that it allowed for recalling furloughed and/or laid off workers. Larger shares of non-manufacturers reported the loan prevented furloughs/layoffs relative to manufacturers. Just under half of the firms reported shifting to telecommuting/work from home in response to COVID-19 impacts, and 31% reported ceasing all hiring.
  • The Chicago Fed Survey of Business Conditions (CFSBC) Activity Index, a survey of business contacts located in the Seventh Federal Reserve District, increased to negative 32 in May from negative 72 in April, suggesting that economic growth remained well below trend.
  • The Chicago Fed’s National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) edged down to negative 0.40 in the week ending June 5. Risk indicators contributed negative 0.24, credit indicators contributed negative 0.24, and leverage indicators contributed negative 0.10 to the index in the latest week. The adjusted index (ANFCI), which isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on financial conditions relative to current economic conditions, also edged down in the latest week to negative 0.08. Risk indicators contributed negative 0.35, credit indicators contributed negative 0.40, leverage indicators contributed negative 0.06, and the adjustments for prevailing macroeconomic conditions contributed 0.74 to the index in the latest week.
  • The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25%. The Committee expects to maintain this target range until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals. The Committee also stated: “To support the flow of credit to households and businesses, over coming months the Federal Reserve will increase its holdings of Treasury securities and agency residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities at least at the current pace to sustain smooth market functioning, thereby fostering effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions. In addition, the Open Market Desk will continue to offer large-scale overnight and term repurchase agreement operations.” The projections by the Federal Reserve Board members and Federal Reserve Bank presidents for major economic indicators for the 2020-2022 period are also released. Median forecasts for 2020 are real GDP contraction of 6.5%, unemployment rate of 9.3%, inflation, based on the price index for personal consumption expenditures, of 0.8%, and core inflation of 1.0%.
  • There were 7,540,679 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 422,012 deaths, and 3,561,804 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 6/12/2020, 9:00 EST). In the United States, there are 2,023,347 confirmed cases, 113,820 deaths, and 540,292 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2.5 million in May, and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. Despite the over-the-month increase, nonfarm employment in May was 13% below its February level.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 2.509 million in May, following a decrease of 20.687 million in the previous month. Private-sector payrolls increased by 3.094 million in the month, while government employment decreased by 585 thousand.
  • In May, employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 1.2 million, following losses of 7.5 million in April and 743 thousand in March. Over the month, employment in food services and drinking places rose by 1.4 million, accounting for about half of the gain in total nonfarm employment. Construction employment increased by 464 thousand in May, gaining back almost half of April’s decline of 995 thousand. Employment increased by 424 thousand in education and health services in May, after a decrease of 2.6 million in April. Employment in retail trade rose by 368 thousand, after a loss of 2.3 million in April. Employment increased 272 thousand in the other services industry, following a decline of 1.3 million in April. In May, manufacturing employment rose by 225 thousand, with gains about evenly split between the durable and nondurable goods components, following a 1.3 million decrease. Professional and business services added 127 thousand jobs in May, after shedding 2.2 million jobs in April. Financial activities added 33 thousand jobs over the month, following a loss of 264 thousand jobs in April. Wholesale trade employment was up by 21 thousand, following a decrease of 383 thousand. Mining continued to lose jobs in May (20 thousand), following a decrease of 77 thousand in the previous month. Employment in transportation and warehousing decreased by 19 thousand, after a decline of 553 thousand.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.5 hour to 34.7 hours. Average hourly earnings decreased by 29 cents to $29.75, following a gain of $1.35 in the previous month. The decreases in average hourly earnings largely reflect job gains among lower-paid workers. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 6.7%.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 13.3% in May, from 14.7% in April. The unemployment rate was 3.6% in May of 2019. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates declined in May for adult men (11.6%), adult women (13.9%), Whites (12.4%), and Hispanics (17.6%). The jobless rates for teenagers (29.9%), Blacks (16.8%), and Asians (15.0%) showed little change over the month.
  • The number of unemployed persons decreased by 2.093 million to 20.985 million. The number of unemployed persons who were on temporary layoff decreased by 2.7 million in May to 15.3 million, following a sharp increase of 16.2 million in April. Among those not on temporary layoff, the number of permanent job losers continued to rise, increasing by 295 thousand in May to 2.3 million.
  • The number of unemployed persons who were jobless less than 5 weeks decreased by 10.4 million to 3.9 million. The number of unemployed persons who were jobless 5 to 14 weeks rose by 7.8 million to 14.8 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 225 thousand to 1.164 million in May and accounted for 5.6% of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate increased by 0.6 percentage point to 60.8% in May, following a decrease of 2.5 percentage points in April.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 249 thousand to 1,877 thousand in the week ending May 30. The 4-week moving average was 2,284 thousand, a decrease of 324.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending May 23 was 21,487 thousand, an increase of 649 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 22,446.25 thousand, a decrease of 222.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 14.8% for the week ending May 23, an increase of 0.5 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. It was stated that: “The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims and insured unemployment.  This report now includes information on claimants filing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims.”
  • Unemployment rates were higher in April than a year earlier in all 389 metropolitan areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A total of 52 areas had jobless rates of less than 10.0% and 12 areas had rates of at least 25.0%. A total of 215 areas had April jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 14.4%, 172 areas had rates above it, and 2 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI, had the highest unemployment rate in April, 35.0%, followed by Kokomo, IN, 34.1%. Logan, UT-ID, had the lowest unemployment rate, 6.2%. The next lowest rates were in Columbia, MO, and Jefferson City, MO, 6.5% each.
  • Nonfarm payroll employment decreased over the year in 377 metropolitan areas and was essentially unchanged in 12 areas. The largest over-the-year employment decreases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (1,949,600), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (916,200), and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (610,900). The largest over-the-year percentage losses in employment occurred in Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ (32.9%), Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI (27.4%), and Barnstable Town, MA (25.0%).  Over the year, nonfarm employment declined in all 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more. The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI (24.5%), Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (20.7%), and Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY (20.3%).
  • Non-farm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.9% in the first quarter of 2020, following a 1.2% increase in the previous quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. Unit labor costs increased 5.1%, following a 2.2% increase in the previous quarter. Productivity in the non-farm business sector increased 0.7% from the first quarter of 2019, and unit labor costs increased 1.9%. The 0.9% decline in nonfarm business sector labor productivity in the first quarter of 2020 was only the second quarterly decline since the fourth quarter of 2015, when output per hour decreased 2.9%. The 6.5% first-quarter 2020 decrease in output was the largest since the first quarter of 2009, when output also fell 6.5%, and the 5.6% decline in hours worked was the largest since the second quarter of 2009 (8.7%).
  • Manufacturing sector labor productivity increased 0.3% in the first quarter of 2020, as output decreased 6.3% and hours worked decreased 6.6%. Total manufacturing sector productivity declined 0.8% over the last four quarters, as output decreased 2.2% and hours worked decreased 1.4%. Productivity decreased 3.5% in the durable manufacturing sector in the first quarter of 2020, reflecting a 10.2% decrease in output and a 6.9% decrease in hours worked. Productivity increased 4.3% in the nondurable manufacturing sector, as output decreased 2.0% and hours worked decreased 6.1%. Unit labor costs in the total manufacturing sector increased 6.9% in the first quarter of 2020 and increased 4.4% from the same quarter a year ago.
  • New orders for manufactured goods decreased 13.0% in April, following an 11.0% decrease in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Shipments decreased 13.5%, following a 5.5% decrease in the previous month. Year-to-date new orders were down 8.0%, and shipments were down 6.3%.  Unfilled orders decreased 1.6% in April, and inventories decreased 0.4%. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.69, up from 1.46 in March.
  • In April, international trade deficit in goods and services was $49.4 billion, up $7.1 billion from March. Exports decreased $38.9 billion to $151.3 billion, and imports decreased $31.8 billion to $200.7 billion. The cumulative deficit was $168.5 billion for the first four months of 2020, compared with a deficit of $194.4 billion for the same period of the previous year. Year-to-date, exports decreased 9.5% and imports decreased 10.2% from the same period in 2019.
  • Construction spending during April 2020 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,346.2 billion, 2.9% below the March level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The April figure was 3.0% above the April 2019 figure. During the first four months of this year, construction spending amounted to $412.5 billion, 7.1% above the figure for the same period in 2019.  Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,004.1 billion, 3.0% below the revised March estimate. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $536.8 billion in April, 4.5% below the previous month. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $467.3 billion in April, 1.3% below the March estimate. In April, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $342.1 billion, 2.5% below the March figure. Educational construction was 2.3% below the revised March estimate. Highway construction was 5.2% below the March level.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that average mortgage rates ticked up slightly. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.18% for the week ending June 4, up from last week when it averaged 3.15%. A year-ago this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.82%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.62%, unchanged from last week. A year-ago this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.28%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 3.9% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending May 29th.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector contracted in May, and the overall economy returned to expansion after one month of contraction. Eleven manufacturing industries reported contraction and six reported growth in May.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey indicated that economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector contracted in May, for the second consecutive month. Fourteen non-manufacturing industries reported contraction and four reported growth in May.
  • The Chicago Fed’s National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) edged down to negative 0.51 in the week ending May 29. Risk indicators contributed negative 0.22, credit indicators contributed negative 0.20, and leverage indicators contributed negative 0.09 to the index in the latest week. The adjusted index (ANFCI), which isolates a component of financial conditions uncorrelated with economic conditions to provide an update on financial conditions relative to current economic conditions, edged down in the latest week to 0.03. Risk indicators contributed negative 0.33, credit indicators contributed negative 0.34, leverage indicators contributed negative 0.04, and the adjustments for prevailing macroeconomic conditions contributed 0.75 to the index in the latest week.
  • There were 6,664,908 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 391,686 deaths, and 2,982,047 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 6/5/2020, 9:00 EST). In the United States, there are 1,872,660 confirmed cases, 108,211 deaths, and 485,002 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.