Thursday, December 8, 2016

Consumer Credit Grew 5.2% in October

Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.2% in October, down from a 7.1% rate in September. Total outstanding credit increased $16.0 billion during the month (compared with $21.8 billion in September) to $3.73 trillion.

Revolving credit rose at an annual rate of 2.9% to $981.3 billion, compared to a 5.0% increase in September. Non-revolving credit rose at a 6.0% annual rate, or $13.7 billion, compared to September’s rate of $17.7 billion. Total non-revolving credit is now $2.75 trillion.
Federal government holdings of student loans continue to be the largest portion of non-revolving credit, comprising approximately 38% of outstanding credit. Depository institutions and finance companies are secondary and tertiary holders, with 25% and 22%, respectively, of outstanding non-revolving credit.

Read the Fed release.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Manufactured Goods Orders Rise for Fourth Consecutive Month

New orders for manufactured goods increased 2.7% to $469.4 billion in October, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The October reading followed a 0.6% increase in September.
New orders for manufactured durable goods rose 4.6% to $238.8 billion, after increasing 0.3% in September. Orders for transportation equipment drove the increase, rising 12% to $88.1 billion.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods decreased 0.1% to $234.1 billion. Transportation equipment led the decrease, falling 1.5% to $80.7 billion.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods was virtually unchanged at $383.7 billion.

Read the Census release.
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International Trade Balance Widened in October

The U.S. international trade deficit expanded in October to $42.6 billion, up from $36.2 billion in September, according to the U.S. Census Bureau of Economic Analysis. The expansion reflected a $3.4 billion decrease in exports along with a $3.0 billion increase in imports.

The goods deficit increased $6.3 billion to $63.4 billion, while the services surplus fell $0.1 billion to $20.8 billion.

Exports of goods fell $3.5 billion to $123.1 billion in October, driven by decreases in foods, industrial supplies and consumer goods. Exports of foods fell by $1.4 billion, largely due to a $1.0 billion decrease in soybean exports. Industrial supplies fell $1.0 billion due to declines in gold and fuel-oil exports. Consumer goods exports fell by $0.9 billion. Exports of services increased $0.1 billion to $63.3 billion.

Imports of goods increased $2.8 billion to $186.5 billion, mostly due to an increase in consumer goods which rose by $2.7 billion. Capital goods imports also increased, rising by $1.1 billion. Imports of services increased $0.2 billion to $42.4 billion in October.

Read the Census/BEA release.
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Monday, December 5, 2016

ISM: Non-Manufacturing Sector Continued to Grow in November

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index registered 57.2 points in November, up 2.4 points from the previous month. This is the highest reading since October 2015 as the non-manufacturing sector continues to grow at a faster rate. Fourteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth in November, while two reported contraction.
Growth in the Business Activity Index jumped 4.0 points to 61.7. Sixteen industries reported increased business activity and one reported decreased activity. Respondents noted an increase in capital projects and the volume of business has been trending up consistently.

Non-manufacturing employment grew for the sixth consecutive month. The index increased 5.1 points to 58.2, which is the highest reading since October 2015. Some respondents noted an adjustment to new business conditions and more work to complete before year-end.

The New Orders Index fell 0.7 point to 57.0, indicating growth, but at a slower pace. Some respondents commented that they had seen growth in business sales and the seasonal end of year push.

Supplier deliveries slowed for the 11th consecutive month, as the index registered 52.0 points (readings above 50 for this index indicate slower deliveries). Six industries reported slower deliveries, while two reported faster deliveries.

Read the ISM release.
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Friday, December 2, 2016

Unemployment Down to 4.6% as 178,000 Jobs Added in November

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 178,000 in November, up from October’s downwardly revised figure of 142,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate fell 0.3 points to 4.6%. The majority of gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care.
Private-service providing industries added a net 139,000 jobs, led by gains in professional and business services, which added 63,000 jobs during the month and 571,000 over the year, and by health care, which added 28,000 jobs this month and 407,000 over the year.

Goods-producing employment rose by 17,000 jobs during the month, as gains in construction employment led the way.

The civilian labor force participation rate was 62.7%, down slightly for the second month in a row. The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, decreased to 1.9 million and accounted for 24.8% of the unemployed. The number of discouraged workers was 591,000, little different from a year earlier.

Average hourly earnings declined 3 cents to $25.89. Hourly earnings have increased 2.5% over the past year.

Read the BLS release.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Beige Book: Economy Continues to Expand

Economic activity continued to expand across most of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts over the early October to mid-November period, according to the just-released Federal Reserve Beige Book. Most Federal Reserve Districts reported “moderate,” “modest,” or “slight” growth. However, Richmond described economic activity as mixed, while the New York District reported no change in activity.

Banking conditions were primarily stable, with minor improvements seen in loan demand. District reports indicated that the demand for credit varied widely. Credit quality was unchanged across most Districts, with improvements seen in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

Consumer spending was mixed this period. Most Districts reported retail sales slightly higher or expanding at a moderate pace. Motor vehicle sales declined slightly in most reporting Districts during the period, while tourism was mostly positive relative to year-earlier levels.

Even though agricultural conditions varied widely, farmers across reporting Districts were generally satisfied with this year’s harvests. However, low commodity prices continue to weigh on farm income. Many of the reporting Districts continued to see slow improvements in the energy sector as well.

Employment continued to expand during the reporting period. Most Districts saw employment rise at a moderate or modest pace. Wage growth was once again characterized generally as modest across the Districts, while there was slight price growth during the period.

Read the full Federal Reserve report.
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Personal Income Increases for Seventh Consecutive Month

Income growth outpaced spending in October, pushing the savings rate up. Personal income increased 0.6% ($98.6 billion) in October according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, up from a 0.4% increase in September. Personal consumption expenditures also increased, rising 0.3% or $38.1 billion. Disposable personal income – personal income less personal taxes – increased $86.5 billion (0.6%).
The personal savings rate – personal savings as a percentage of personal income – was 6.0%, up from September’s rate of 5.7%.

The price index for PCE increased 0.2%. Excluding food and energy, the index increased 0.1%.

Read the BEA release.
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