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Friday, July 31, 2015

Consumer Sentiment Fell Slightly in July

Consumer Confidence fell to 93.1 in July, down 3 points from the previous month according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index. The index is currently 11.3 points higher than in July of 2014.

“A disappointing pace of economic growth was the main reason for the small decline in consumer confidence. Nonetheless, the data provide no indication of a break in the prevailing positive trend,” said Richard Curtin, chief economist of UM Surveys of Consumers. “The maintenance of confidence at high levels during the past eight months has been mainly due to modestly positive news on jobs and wages.”

The Current Economic Conditions index fell 1.7 points to 107.2, while the Index of Consumer Expectations fell 3.7 points to 84.1.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

GDP Rose by 2.3 Percent in Second Quarter

Real GDP for the second quarter grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s advance estimate. The growth reflected acceleration in personal consumption expenditures and net exports, as well as increases in state and local government spending.


Personal consumption was the largest positive contributor to GDP – contributing 2.0 percent, up from a 1.2 percent contribution in the first quarter. Nonresidential fixed investment was a net drag of 0.1 percent, after contributing 0.2 percent in the first quarter.

Exports of goods and services increased 5.3 percent, after decreasing 6.0 percent in the first quarter. Imports of goods and services increased 3.5 percent after a 7.1 percent increase in the first. Overall, net exports contributed 0.1 percent to GDP in the second quarter, in contrast to a 1.9 percent drag in the first.


Federal government consumption expenditures fell 1.1 percent, after a 1.1 percent increase in the previous quarter. Government consumption added 0.1 percent to GDP.

Read the BEA release.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fed: Labor Market is Improving

In their post-meeting statement, The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) noted that economic activity expanded moderately in recent months, citing moderate growth in household spending as well as improvement in the housing sector. The FOMC also cited continued improvement in the labor market, noting that “underutilization of labor resources has diminished since early this year.”

In discussing the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee reaffirmed its view that the current rate of 0 – 0.25 percent is appropriate. Once again, the statement noted that it would be data driven in determining when to raise rates.

Job growth was “solid” and unemployment declined, but inflation continued to run below the Committee’s long-run objective, partly due to lower energy prices and falling prices of non-energy imports.

The Committee expects inflation to remain low in the near term, but rise toward 2 percent over the medium term as the labor market improves and the “transitory effects” of low energy and import prices dissipate.

Read the full statement.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Home Price Growth Remains Solid in May

The 20-City Case-Shiller Composite gained 4.9 percent year-over-year in May, slightly lower than April’s gain. The 10-City Composite gained 4.7 percent from the previous year, slightly higher than the year-over-year gain in April. The National index recorded a 4.4 percent gain on an annual basis, compared to a 4.3 percent annual gain in April.



On a monthly basis, the National index, 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite all posted gains of 1.1 percent.

Of the cities reporting month-over-month increases, Boston, Cleveland and Las Vegas posted the highest gains, each increasing 1.5 percent from April.

San Francisco and Denver posted the highest year-over-year gains, with respective price increases of 9.7 percent and 10.0 percent. Washington, D.C. posted the slowest yearly growth, with prices increasing at an annual rate of 1.3 percent.

Read the S&P/Case-Schiller release.

Monday, July 27, 2015

New Orders for Durable Goods Increased in June

New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 3.4 percent to $235.3 billion in June after declining for two consecutive months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The June increase followed a 2.1 percent May decrease. Excluding defense, new orders increased 3.8 percent.



Non-defense new orders for capital goods grew 9.4 percent to $80.8 billion, while shipments fell 0.2 percent to $78.6 billion.

Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.8 percent. New orders for transportation equipment increased 8.9 percent to $78.4 billion.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods increased 0.1 percent to $239.4 billion after a 0.3 percent decrease in May.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods, up twenty four of the last twenty five months, increased 0.4 percent to $402.3 billion.

Read the Census release.

Friday, July 24, 2015

New Home Sales Slide in June

Sales of new single-family houses fell in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 482,000 according to the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. The June rate is 6.8 percent below the revised May rate of 517,000, but 18.1 percent above the year-ago rate of 408,000.


New home sales decreased in three of the four regions. Sales in the West and Midwest fell 17.0 and 11.1 percent respectively. Sales in the South fell 4.1 percent, while sales in the Northeast increased 28.0 percent on the month.

The median sales price of new homes sold in June was $281,800, up 0.5 percent from May. The average price was $328,700, down 2.1 percent on the month.

At the end of June, there was an estimated supply of 5.4 months at the current sales rate.

Read the Census release.

Visit the new Banks and The Economy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

U.S. Banks Added $48.9 billion in Loans in June

Commercial banks added $48.9 billion in loans and leases in June according to the Federal Reserve’s H.8 statistical release, an increase of 0.6 percent. Total loans and leases increased $25.4 billion (0.3 percent) in May. Total bank assets for commercial banks fell for the second month in a row, declining $16.4 billion (0.1 percent) to $15.33 trillion, but remains 4.6 percent higher than in June of 2014.


Total deposits increased $45.4 billion (.04 percent) to $10.75 trillion, virtually the same as May’s increase.

On the year, commercial and Industrial loans grew $14.6 billion (12.4 percent), real estate loans grew $19.1 billion (4.0 percent) and consumer loans grew $5.2 billion (4.3 percent).

Read the full release here.

Existing Home Sales at Highest Level Since 2006

Existing home sales increased 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.49 million in June, according to the National Association of Realtors, up from a downwardly revised 5.32 million in May. Existing home sales have increased year over year for the last nine months.


Median existing home prices increased 6.5 percent year over year to $236,400, the fortieth consecutive month of year over year price increases.

Total housing inventory increased 0.9 percent to 2.30 million existing homes available for sale, up 0.4 percent from a year ago. There is currently a 5.0 month supply of existing homes available for sale, down from 5.1 months in May. NAR President Chris Polychron noted that “[Inventory] conditions are being exacerbated by the fact that some homeowners are hesitant to sell because they’re not optimistic they’ll have adequate time to find an affordable property to move into.”

The percent share of first-time home buyers fell to 2 points to 30 percent in June, but remained higher than in June 2014.

Existing home sales increased in all four regions, rising 4.3 percent in the Northeast, 4.7 percent in the Midwest, 2.3 percent in the South and 2.5 percent in the West. Each region also saw significant year-over-year gains in home prices.

Distressed sales fell 2 points to 8 percent, matching an August 2014 low. Foreclosures made up 6 percent of June sales, while 2 percent were short sales.

Read the NAR release.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Housing Starts Rose 9.8% in June

Housing starts in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.174 million, 9.8 percent above the revised May estimate of 1.069 million and 26.6 percent higher than 927,000 in June 2014. The figure for single family housing was 687,000, 0.9 percent below the revised May estimate.

The housing activity was mixed across regions, rising in the Northeast and South by 35.5 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively, but declining in the West and Midwest by 6.0 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

There were 1.343 million (SAAR) new building permits in June, up 7.4 percent from May’s revised level, and 30.0 percent above the June 2014 level. Permits for single family units were at 687,000 (SAAR), 0.9 percent above May’s figure. Multi-family units were at 621,000 (SAAR).
In total, 972,00 (SAAR) houses were completed in June, 6.7 percent below May’s revised estimate, but 22 percent above the June 2014 level.

Read the Census release.

Visit the new Banks and the Economy.

CPI Increased Broadly in June

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.3 percent in June. The rise was broad-based, with increases in gasoline, shelter and food prices. The index rose 0.1 percent over the last 12 months.
The energy index gained 1.7 percent in June, following a 4.3 percent increase in May. Gasoline prices rose 3.4 percent and natural gas gained 3.4 percent, its first advance since December. Electricity prices rose 0.2 percent after declining in May.

Prices for non-food and non-energy items increased 0.2 percent on the month, after a 0.1 percent May increase. Two-thirds of the increase in this index was due to a 0.3 percent gain in the shelter index, as the index for rent posted the largest increase since August 2013. The medical care and hospital services indexes declined 0.2 and 1.1 percent, respectively. On a yearly basis, the index for non-food and non-energy items rose 1.8 percent.

The food price index rose 0.3 percent in June, after being unchanged for the two previous months. Three-fourths of the increase was due to an 18.3 percent rise in the price of eggs. The indexes for food at home and food away from home rose 1.0 and 3.0 percent, respectively, over the last year.

Read the BLS release.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Homebuilder Confidence at 9-Year High

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reached a level of 60 in July, the highest reading since November 2005.

Two of the three index components posted gains for the month. Current sales conditions rose 1 point to 66, expectations for sales in the next six months rose 2 points to 71. Buyer traffic fell 1 point to 43.

The three-month moving average of all four regions posted month-over-month gains in July. The Northeast and West rose three points each to 47 and 60, while the South and Midwest rose 1 point each to 61 and 55.

NAHB’s Chief Economist David Crowe noted that July’s reading reflects stronger sales and job growth, but warned of home building challenges ahead, particularly in terms of shortages and labor.

Read the NAHB/Wells Fargo release.

Visit the new Banks and the Economy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Beige Book: Loan Demand and Auto Sales Expanding

Economic activity expanded across all twelve Federal Reserve Districts from mid- May through June according to the July 2015 edition of the Federal Reserve Beige Book. Activity across most districts grew at a modest to moderate pace, while growth in Cleveland and Boston held steady.

Banking conditions were positive across most Districts, as overall demand for loans increased. Commercial and industrial loan growth was mixed, ranging from strong in Philadelphia to slow in Dallas. Several districts including Cleveland, Atlanta and San Francisco reported strong growth in auto lending. Credit quality standards and delinquencies were largely unchanged.

Consumer spending increased in each district to varying degrees. Some Districts noted that low energy prices were contributing to improved retail and restaurant sales, while Minneapolis and Dallas cited the strong dollar as causing soft growth along border areas. Auto sales increased in all districts except St. Louis, which experienced mixed sales.

Employment increased across districts. Service-related firms in Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond, St. Louis and Dallas expanded payrolls. Demand for human resource professionals in New York and St. Louis increased, signaling that more hiring may be forthcoming. Manufacturers in Boston and Dallas cited layoffs, while Cleveland, Richmond, and St. Louis reported increasing payrolls. Wage pressures were modest across most of the country.

Manufacturing was uneven across districts. Cleveland, Kansas City and Dallas reported a decline in activity, while Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta and Chicago reported increases. Auto manufacturers reported strong demand, while some districts reported that the strong dollar was weakening export demand.

Read the Federal Reserve release.

Industrial Production Increased in June

Industrial production increased 0.3 percent in June, the first gain in seven months. Over the past year, industrial production is up 1.5 percent.

Manufacturing output was unchanged from May. Mining output increased 1.0 percent, an improvement after declining more than 1 percent per month on average over the previous five months. Output of utilities rose 1.5 percent, 4.3 percent higher than a year ago.

Capacity utilization for the total industry was at 78.4 percent, up two basis points from May’s revised estimate.

Final products grew 0.1 percent, largely due to increases in business equipment. Nonindustrial supplies gained 0.4 percent, up from a 0.2 percent gain in May.

The index for oil and gas well drilling and servicing fell for the seventh consecutive month, but was 3 percent lower than the smallest since December.

Read the Federal Reserve release.

Producer Prices Climbed in June

Producer prices climbed 0.4 percent in June, seasonally adjusted, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, principally reflecting a 0.7 percent hike in prices for final demand goods. This was the third monthly increase in the past six months, yet producer prices fell 0.7 percent on a yearly basis.

Sixty percent of the broad-based price inflation for final demand goods was attributable to prices for final demand energy, which rose 5.9 percent, attributable to the 4.3 percent rise in the gasoline index.

Prices for final demand goods less foods and energy and for final demand foods rose 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

The price index for final demand services rose 0.3 percent in June. Prices for final demand services less trade, transportation, and warehousing fell 0.2 percent, while margins for final demand trade services rose 0.2 percent.

Read the BLS report.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Small Business Optimism Dropped in June

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decreased 4.2 points in June. Nine of the ten components posted declines over the last month, while the expected credit conditions component showed no change.


The number of owners planning to increase employment fell 3 points from May to the lowest reading since September. Fifty-two percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire, while 44 percent were unable to find qualified applicants to fill positions. Only 9 percent plan to create new jobs.

The earnings trends index fell 10 points from last month’s all-time high. The net portion of owners reporting higher earnings over the prior three months fell 17 percent, while reports of increased labor compensation fell 4 points to a net 21 percent of owners.

Credit conditions continued to be satisfactory for small business owners; just 5 percent of owners reported that their borrowing needs were not met, up 1 percent from the previous month but still historically low. Financing and interest rates were the least cited concern, consistent with the previous month. Taxes were the single most important problem cited by the owners, followed closely by government requirements and red tape.

Read the NFIB report.

Retail Sales Fell in June

There were $442.0 billion of retail and food services sales in June (after adjustment for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences but not for price changes), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This level represented a decrease of 0.3 percent from the previous month, but an increase of 1.4 percent from June of last year.

Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts – decreased by 0.1 percent from the previous month but increased 0.1 percent from the previous year.

Retail trade sales fell by 0.3 percent from May, but were up 0.6 percent from June 2014. Home furniture store sales fell 1.6 percent for the month compared to a 4.1 percent increase from a year ago. Gasoline sales rose 0.8 percent on the month, but were down 17.1 percent from last summer.

Read the Census Bureau release.

Monday, July 13, 2015

GAO Releases Debt Limit Study

As part of an effort to assist Congress in addressing challenges related to delays in raising the debt limit, the Government Accountability Office has released its study on the effect of the 2013 debt limit impasse. Through interviews of budget and policy experts, along with an interactive web forum, the GAO identified three potential approaches to minimize disruptions to markets and the broader economy.

Option 1: Link action on the debt limit to the budget resolution
  • This option would minimize potential market disruptions by shifting the timing of the debate so that it occurs before debt nears the limit

Option 2: Provide the administration with the authority to increase the debt limit, subject to a congressional motion of disapproval
  • This option would reduce the likelihood of market disruption by changing the results of a lack of congressional action from a potential default to a debt limit increase, while preserving Congress’s ability to manage the trajectory of federal debt

Option 3: Delegate broad authority to the administration to borrow as necessary to fund enacted laws
  • This option would remove the dangers that accompany the fear of a U.S. default, by ensuring the Treasury has the authority to borrow to fund previously authorized spending

Read more.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Yellen Expects First Rate Hike by Year’s End

Citing improved labor market conditions, growing consumer spending and reduced “drag” from government fiscal policies, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen said today that she expects it will be appropriate to begin the process of raising the federal funds rate “later this year.”

“I want to emphasize that the course of the economy and inflation remains highly uncertain, and unanticipated developments could delay or accelerate this first step,” she added. “We will be watching carefully to see if there is continued improvement in labor market conditions, and we will need to be reasonably confident that inflation will move back to 2 percent in the next few years.”

Yellen also emphasized that the rate hikes would be gradual due to continuing factors restraining economic growth — such as international economic conditions, soft residential construction and low business investment — and that even as rates rise, Fed policy will remain highly accommodative.

Read Yellen's speech.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Consumer Delinquencies Fall Slightly in First Quarter

Delinquencies in closed-end loans and bank cards fell in the first quarter, highlighted by a significant drop in home equity loan and home equity line delinquencies, according to results from the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. Delinquencies fell in five of the 11 individual loan categories while delinquencies in two categories – direct auto loans and marine loans – remained unchanged.


The composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, fell one basis point to 1.53 percent of all accounts – continuing a three-year trend of remaining well under the 15-year average of 2.28 percent. (See Historical Graphic.) The ABA report defines a delinquency as a late payment that is 30 days or more overdue.

“It’s highly encouraging that consumers continued to improve their financial situations even during a quarter where the economy contracted,” said James Chessen, ABA’s chief economist. “This speaks to sustained consumer discipline as Americans continue to use and manage their debt responsibly.”

Read more.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Consumer Credit Grew 5.7% (SAAR) in May

Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 5.7% in May to $3.40 trillion. Revolving credit rose at an annual rate of 2.1% to (to $901 billion) and non-revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 7.0% to ($2.50 trillion).


Total outstanding consumer credit increased by $16.1 billion, down $5.3 billion from the previous month’s increase. Total outstanding non-revolving credit increased by $14.5 billion, up from $12.9 billion in April. Outstanding revolving credit increased by $1.6 billion, a much slower pace than April’s $8.5 billion.



Read the Federal Reserve release.

FOMC Minutes: Fed Cautiously Optimistic about Economy

Though several members agreed that the U.S. economy is moving towards their objectives, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in June concluded that conditions did not yet warrant an increase in the federal funds rate.

The Fed officials agreed that weakness in the first quarter’s economic growth was due at least partly to transitory factors, and expected greater economic growth in the second half of this year. Though some uncertainty was expressed about the extent of the advance in the near term, moderate growth was expected by the committee over the medium term.

Most members agreed that stability in oil prices had put downward pressure on inflation. However, all but one member believed that they would need to see more evidence that economic growth was strong enough and labor markets firm enough to return inflation to the 2% objective before normalizing monetary policy.

The committee also discussed how they intend to communicate their first rate hike to the public, outlining plans to issue an implementation note separate from the Committee’s post meeting statement. This implementation note will contain operational and technical details regarding the setting of policy tools, and will be issued around the time of the first increase in the target range.

Read the FOMC minutes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

U.S. Foreign Trade Deficit Expanded in May

The U.S. international trade deficit widened in May to $41.9 billion, up $1.2 billion from April. The increase reflects a $1.5 billion decrease in exports and $0.3 billion decrease in imports.


The goods deficit grew $1.2 billion to $61.5 billion. The surplus in services grew less than $0.1 billion to $19.6 billion.

Exports of goods decreased $1.6 billion to $127.7 billion, driven by a $2.4 billion decrease in capital goods, offset partially by increases in fuel oil and petroleum exports. Exports of services increased $0.1 billion to $60.9 billion.

Imports of goods decreased $0.4 billion to $189.2 billion, driven by a decrease in imports of capital goods and industrial supplies. Imports of services increased $0.1 billion to $41.2 billion.

Read the Census Bureau release.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Non-Manufacturing ISM Index Grew Slowly in June

The Non-Manufacturing ISM Report on Business Index was 56.0 in June, 0.3 points higher than in May. (Index readings above 50 indicate expansion.) This was the 65th consecutive month of growth. Fifteen industries reported growth in June, while three – Mining, Other Services and Construction – contracted.


The Business Activity Index registered 61.5, 2.0 points higher than May’s reading. Respondents cited increased customer traffic due to lower fuel prices as one reason for increased activity.

The Employment Index was 52.7, 2.6 points lower than May’s reading. Despite the slower pace, June marked the 16th consecutive month of growth in the non-manufacturing sector. Survey respondents noted that they have had “normal attrition,” and that those positions are “mostly being backfilled (albeit slowly).”

The New Orders Index was 58.3, 0.4 points higher than in May, and the 71st consecutive month of growth. Some respondents reported that the increase in orders was due to “business expansion” and “acquiring orders in several sections of the business not previously received.” Only two of the fifteen industries surveyed – Mining and Educational Services – reported contraction of new orders in June.

The Supplier Deliveries Index declined 1.5 points to 51.5. Six industries reported slower deliveries, while five reported faster deliveries.

Read the ISM release.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Orders Decreased in May

New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 2.2% to $227.6 billion in May, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. New orders have been down for three of the past four months. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.1% in May.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods, down four of the last five months, decreased 0.3% to $239.2 billion, following a 0.3% decrease in April.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods, decreased 0.2% to $400.5 billion, after 23 consecutive monthly increases. Despite the monthly decline, the inventories remain near an all-time high since the series was first published in 1992.


Read the Census release.

223,000 More Jobs in June

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in June, compared to 254,000 in May. (April and May employment figures were revised down by a combined 60,000 jobs.) The unemployment rate fell to 5.3%. The Federal Reserve has placed its full-employment estimate between 5.0% and 5.2%.



Education and health services have added at least 50,000 jobs in each of the last three months. Leisure and hospitality added 22,000 jobs in June, down from 54,000 in April, while retail trade added 32,900, up from 26,400 in May.

Employment for mining and logging contracted by 3,000 jobs, a much slower rate than in the previous two months where the industry lost a total of 32,000 jobs.



The civilian labor force declined by 432,000 in June, after an increase of similar size in May. The labor force participation rate declined 0.3% to 62.6% — the lowest participation rate since April 2014.

Average hourly earnings were unchanged at $24.95. This figure increased by 2.0% over the prior twelve months.

The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, declined by 381,000 to 2.1 million. This group accounts for 25.8% of the unemployed. The number of discouraged workers, those not looking for work because they believe no jobs are available, was 653,000 – little changed from a year ago.

Read the BLS release.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

ISM Manufacturing Index Reports Solid Growth for June

The ISM Manufacturing Index rose to 53.5 points in June, tying the highest reading of the year. Index readings above 50 indicate expansion in the manufacturing economy. Of the 18 component industries, 11 reported growth, down from 14 in May. Some respondents noted that a downturn in oil and gas markets is impacting demand, while others noted that business is soft in Europe and declining in Asia.


The index for new orders increased 0.2 points to 56.0, while inventories rose 1.5 points to 53.0. The difference in these indices closed to 3 points, down from 4.3 points in May, indicating that inventories are beginning to close the gap with current demand.

The employment index rose to 55.5 from 51.7 in May. Of the 18 industries, 10 reported employment growth, down from 14 in May. Three industries – Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Machinery; and Petroleum & Coal Products – reported decreases in employment.

Export orders for June registered 49.5 points, indicating that the volume of exports decreased for the month. The imports index registered 53.5 points in June, marking the 29th consecutive month of growth in imports.

The prices index registered 49.5, marking the 8th consecutive month of raw material prices decreasing.

Read the ISM release.

Construction Spending Increased in May

Construction spending increased 0.8% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $1,035.8 billion. April spending was revised up from $1,006.1 billion to $1,027.0 billion. Construction spending during the first five months of 2015 amounted to $382.1 billion, 5.9% higher than in the first 5 months of 2014.


Total private construction rose to $752.4 billion (SAAR), 0.9% higher than the revised April estimate of $745.6 billion.

Private residential construction rose to $359.5 billion (SAAR), 0.3% higher than April’s estimate, as construction of multi-family homes increased for the month.

Private non-residential construction rose to $392.8 billion (SAAR), up 1.5% on the month and 12.7% from a year ago. Growth in commercial construction declined for the month, slowing by 2.0%, while manufacturing construction grew 6.2%.

Public construction spending grew 0.7% to $283.4 billion (SAAR). Growth for educational construction fell 0.7% on the month, while highway spending rose 2.1% to an annual rate of $85.1 billion.

Read the Census release.

ADP: Private Sector Added 237,000 Jobs in June

According to the ADP National Employment report, the private sector added 237,000 jobs in June, as both the goods-producing and service-providing sectors experienced increased job growth. The June report upwardly revised the May and April headline numbers by 2,000 and 14,000 respectively.


Small businesses, companies with fewer than 49 employees, added 120,000 jobs, unchanged from May. Medium businesses, companies with 50 to 499 employees, added 86,000 jobs, up from 63,000 in May. Large businesses, companies with greater than 500 employees added 32,000 jobs, up from 19,000 in May.

Goods-producing employment rose by 12,000 jobs, up 1,000 jobs from the previous month. Manufacturing gained 7,000 jobs after losing 9,000 over the previous three months.

Service-providing sector employment rose by 225,000 jobs, up from 192,000 in May. Professional/business services contributed the largest gain, adding 61,000. Trade/transportation/utilities added 50,000 jobs, and financial activities added 19,000 jobs.

Read the ADP release.

Energy and Retail Sectors Cut Jobs in First Half of 2015

Employers announced plans to shed 44,842 workers from their payrolls in June, following the 41,034 planned job cuts announced in May, according to a report issued by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

June’s job cuts were 43% higher than the planned layoffs announced in June 2014. In this first 6 months of 2015, employers have announced 287,682 job cuts—the highest midyear total in five years.

The report indicates that the surge in layoffs was largely due to declining oil prices, which drove 69,582 cuts during the first half of the year. The majority of those jobs were in the energy sector, which cut its workforce by 60,500.

Retailers also announced significant layoffs during the first 6 months of the year—45,230 to date, up 68% from a year ago.

“Retailers should be enjoying the benefits of falling oil prices, as consumers have the money they are saving at the gas pump to spend elsewhere. However, it appears that consumers were hording that cash, at least through the first half of the year. The most recent data suggests that consumers are finally starting to loosen up the purse strings,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Consumer spending increased to 0.9% in May, the largest monthly increase in nearly 6 years, suggesting that retail sales could increase in the second half of the year.

Read the Challenger, Gray & Christmas release.