• Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the first quarter of 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in real GDP in the first quarter ranged from negative 1.3% in Nebraska to negative 8.2% in New York and Nevada. Accommodation and food services; finance and insurance; and health care and social assistance industries were the leading contributors to the 5.0% (annual rate) decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. All sectors of the U.S. economy contributed to the decrease, led by a decline in private services-producing industries.
  • The decline in first-quarter GDP reflected the response to the spread of COVID-19, as governments issued “stay-at-home” orders in March. This led to rapid changes in production, as businesses and schools switched to remote work or canceled operations, and consumers and businesses canceled, restricted, or redirected their spending. Overall, 17 of 22 industry groups contributed to the first-quarter decline in real GDP. Of the five industry groups that offset the decline in the first-quarter real GDP, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting was the largest contributor, increasing 15.5%. For accommodation and food services, real value decreased 26.8% in the first quarter, primarily reflecting a decrease in food services and drinking places. Finance and insurance decreased 9.0%. The largest contributor to the decrease was insurance carriers and related activities.  Health care and social assistance decreased 7.8%, primarily reflecting decreases in ambulatory health care services and in hospitals. Arts, entertainment, and recreation decreased 34.7%, primarily reflecting a decrease in performing arts, spectator sports, museums, and related activities.
  • May 2020 sales of merchant wholesalers were up 16.9% from the April level but were down 16.2% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Total inventories of merchant wholesalers were down 1.2% from the April level, and were down 4.2% from the revised May 2019 level.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) decreased 0.2% in June, following a 0.4% decrease in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.3% in June, after a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand decreased 0.8% for the 12 months ended in June. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade decreased 0.1% for the 12-months ended in June, the third 12-month decrease.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 99 thousand to 1,314 thousand in the week ending July 4. The 4-week moving average was 1,437.25 thousand, a decrease of 63 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending June 2719 was 18,062 thousand, a decrease of 698 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 19,085.5 thousand, a decrease of 636 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 12.4% for the week ending June 27, 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.”
  • The number of hires increased by 2.4 million to a series high of 6.5 million in May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was the largest monthly increase of hires since the series began. Total separations decreased by 5.8 million to 4.1 million, the single largest decrease since the series began. Within separations, the quits rate rose to 1.6% while the layoffs and discharges rate fell to 1.4%. Job openings increased to 5.4 million on the last business day of May. 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.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that mortgage rates hit another all-time-record low. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.03% for the week ending July 9, down from last week when it averaged 3.07%. A year-ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.75%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.51%, down from last week when it averaged 2.56%. A year-ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.22%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 2.2% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending July 3, 2020.
  • There were 12,294,117 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 555,531 deaths, and 6,761,993 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 7/10/2020, 11:00 EST). In the United States, there are 3,118,168 confirmed cases, 133,291 deaths, and 969,111 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.

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