Tag: United States

America’s long-running economic expansion
Unemployment

America’s long-running economic expansion

Wages are growing in real terms with some of the biggest gains going to low-paid workers.
The unemployment rate fell from a peak of 10% to 4.7% under Barack Obama and then to 4.1% on Mr Trump’s watch.
They warn that the stockmarket is dangerously overvalued and that America’s expansion, which is in its 102nd month, must soon falter.
And the maturity of the business cycle cuts both ways (see article).
America is not the only economy doing well.
Inflation has trended lower this year.
The proposed tax cuts are paid for by bigger budget deficits, a fiscal stimulus that is ill-timed given the business cycle.
Indeed, nothing Mr Trump does is likely to have a bigger effect on the economy than his choices to fill Fed vacancies.
Investment has also followed a surge in profits, reflecting stronger GDP growth, as it tends to.
America is not about to return to pre-2005 rates of productivity growth, whatever Mr Trump tweets.

U.S. retail sales surge; weekly jobless claims fall
Unemployment

U.S. retail sales surge; weekly jobless claims fall

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers look over items on sale at a Macy’s store in New York Thomson Reuters By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in November as the holiday shopping season got off to a brisk start, pointing to sustained strength in the economy that could pave the way for further Federal Reserve interest rate hikes next year.
Data for October was revised to show sales gaining 0.5 percent instead of the previously reported 0.2 percent increase.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales increasing only 0.3 percent in November.
Last month’s increase in core retail sales suggested a strong pace of consumer spending in the fourth quarter.
Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, is being supported by steady wage gains as the labor market tightens.
Last week marked the 145th straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with a strong labor market.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen told reporters on Wednesday that the central bank expected the “labor market to remain strong, with sustained job creation, ample opportunities for workers, and rising wages.”
Receipts at clothing stores rose 0.7 percent in November.
Sales at online retailers soared 2.5 percent last month.
Receipts at restaurants and bars gained 0.7 percent and sales at sporting goods and hobby stores shot up 0.9 percent.

GOP says it’s got a deal on taxes; cuts coming for next year
Unemployment

GOP says it’s got a deal on taxes; cuts coming for next year

Middle- and low-income families would get smaller tax cuts, though Trump and GOP leaders have billed the package as a huge benefit for the middle class.
The legislation, which is still being finalized, would cut the top tax rate for the wealthy from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, slash the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and allow homeowners to deduct interest only on the first $750,000 of a new mortgage.
Details of the agreement were described by Republican senators and congressional aides.
Negotiators have removed several controversial provisions from the tax bill, including one that would have eliminated the deduction for interest on student loans and another deduction for medical expenses, said two congressional aides.
The tax bill would scale back the deduction for state and local taxes, allowing families to deduct only up to a total of $10,000 in property and income taxes.
Business owners who report business income on their personal tax returns would be able to deduct 20 percent of that income.
Scrapping the individual mandate would provide them with more than $300 billion for deeper tax cuts while undermining the law.
Senate leaders plan to vote on the package Tuesday.
The committee is charged with blending the tax bills passed by the House and Senate, though Republicans have done all of their negotiations behind closed doors.
Once the plan is signed into law, workers could start seeing changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks early next year, lawmakers said — though taxpayers won’t file their 2018 returns until the following year.

Why Millions of Children Could Lose Their Health Insurance in 2018
Welfare

Why Millions of Children Could Lose Their Health Insurance in 2018

There are 8.9 million children in the U.S. whose health depends on the federally-funded Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and in a matter of months — and in some cases mere weeks — these children could be out of luck.
It could be said that Congress faces a race against the clock.
Unlike the tax bill, CHIP is an immensely popular piece of legislation.
If reauthorization doesn’t happen, the vast majority of states will run out of money by the end of spring, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
He spoke tearfully while holding his 7-month-old son Billy, who has undergone several operations to address a congenital heart condition.
“Now CHIP has become a bargaining chip — it’s on the back burner while they work out their new tax plan,” Kimmel said.
“This is not just a failure of one program,” Sen. Mike Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota, said on Tuesday.
“This is the failure of Congress for the last 43 years to do their work on time.
Right now, there’s talk of keeping the program funded through the larger government funding bill that Congress has to pass by Dec. 22 in order to avoid a government shutdown.
Republicans will likely need Democratic votes to pass it, and Democrats could potentially hold out their support if the package contravenes their priorities: a dearth on non-military funding, perhaps.

US stocks close modestly higher; S&P 500, Dow hit new highs
Unemployment

US stocks close modestly higher; S&P 500, Dow hit new highs

Solid gains by health care companies also helped lift the market, outweighing losses among banks and industrial stocks.
Energy stocks rose along with the price of crude oil.
The S&P 500 index rose 8.49 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,659.99.
That would be the third interest rate hike by the central bank this year.
The stock added $3.30 to $172.67.
The company climbed $4.96, or 3 percent, to $172.76.
Bitcoin futures rose on their first day of trading on a major U.S. exchange.
Oil and gas prices rose, boosting energy sector stocks.
Chesapeake Energy added 15 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $3.83.
In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline picked up 1 cent to $1.73 per gallon, while heating oil gained 2 cents to $1.95 per gallon.

Asian shares advance following encouraging US jobs report
Unemployment

Asian shares advance following encouraging US jobs report

TOKYO – Share prices were higher in Asia on Monday, lifted by encouraging employment data from the U.S. that took the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to its third straight weekly gain on Friday despite weakness earlier in the week.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index was up 0.2 percent at 22,855.98 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.5 percent to 28,777.13.
The S&P ASX 200 in Australia edged 0.1 percent higher to 6,000.20 and the Shanghai Composite index added 0.4 percent to 3.303.22.
WALL STREET: U.S. shares climbed after the jobs report showed that employers added 228,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate remained at a low 4.1 percent in the latest evidence that the U.S. economy continues to improve, in sync with the rest of the world.
The S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent to 2,651.50, another record.
The US dollar rose, industrial commodities lifted and futures markets indicate the rally will continue in Asia Pacific trading today.
ENERGY: The price of oil fell back, with benchmark U.S. crude losing 30 cents to settle at $57.06 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
It gained 67 cents to $57.06 per barrel on Friday.
It rose $1.20 to $63.40 per barrel on Friday.
BITCOIN: The first-ever bitcoin future jumped as the increasingly popular virtual currency made its debut on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Americans Give Trump Higher Grades on Economy Than Overall
Unemployment

Americans Give Trump Higher Grades on Economy Than Overall

A Gallup survey from November showed the president’s approval rating for his handling of the economy at 45%, eight points ahead of his overall approval number, which sagged to 37%. “He’s a political contortionist in that he has high economic numbers and very low personal approval ratings.
On Friday, the White House celebrated the December jobs report that showed the economy gaining 228,000 jobs in November.
Mr. McInturff directs the Journal/NBC News poll with Democrat Fred Yang.
They weren’t in a mood to pursue impeachment,” Mr. Hart said.
Write to Eli Stokols at eli.stokols@wsj.com Although President Donald Trump’s overall approval ratings have hit record lows, he is getting significantly higher marks in one important area: his handling of the economy.
A Gallup survey from November showed the president’s approval rating for his handling of the economy at 45%, eight points ahead of his overall approval number, which sagged to 37%. “He’s a political contortionist in that he has high economic numbers and very low personal approval ratings.
On Friday, the White House celebrated the December jobs report that showed the economy gaining 228,000 jobs in November.
Mr. McInturff directs the Journal/NBC News poll with Democrat Fred Yang.

U.S. Employers Hire at Healthy Rate in November, Unemployment Rate Holds at 4.1%
Unemployment

U.S. Employers Hire at Healthy Rate in November, Unemployment Rate Holds at 4.1%

WASHINGTON – U.S. employers hired workers at a strong rate in November and the unemployment rate held at a 17-year low, signs the economy is on its firmest footing in at least a decade.
The gain was stronger than the pace recorded this year through August, before hurricanes caused a sharp pullback in September followed by a rebound in October.
Revised figures show employers added 38,000 jobs in September and 244,000 in October, for a net upward revision of 3,000.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% last month, matching the lowest level since December 2000.
Average hourly earnings for private-sector workers increased 5 cents in November to $26.55, after falling the prior month. “Big emerging markets are doing much better compared to 2015 and 2016 and Europe is experiencing the strongest growth numbers in 10 years,” Greg Daco, economist at Oxford Economics, said Thursday ahead of the jobs report’s release.
Central bankers, however, could be studying the unemployment rate and wage growth closely as they consider whether to raise rates more rapidly next year.
Leisure and hospitality, the sector most impacted by recent hurricanes, grew by 14,000 jobs last month, a somewhat weaker gain compared to average monthly growth this year before hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck the southern U.S. in late summer.
All levels of government added 7,000 jobs to payrolls last month.
The share of Americans participating in the labor force held steady at 62.7% in November.

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Fell Again in December — Update
Unemployment

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Fell Again in December — Update

WASHINGTON – A key measure of U.S. consumer sentiment slid in December for the second straight month, but continued to signal solid household confidence during the holiday shopping season The University of Michigan on Friday said its consumer-sentiment index was 96.8 in early December, down from 98.5 in November and its October level of 100.7, which had been the highest since January 2004.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a preliminary December reading of 99.9.
The index tracking expectations about the future was down to 84.6 from November’s 88.9.
Optimism among U.S. households has been bolstered this year by low unemployment, healthy economic growth and record-breaking gains for the stock market.
Friday’s report also showed household expectations about future inflation firmed this month.
In December, consumers said they expected 2.5% annual inflation in five to 10 years, ticking up from 2.4% in November.
The expectation for inflation over the next year was up to 2.8% from last month’s 2.5%. “We wouldn’t read too much into the rise in households’ 12-month ahead inflation expectations to a 20-month high of 2.8%, as it probably reflects the rise in gasoline prices, although the [Federal Reserve] can take some comfort from the tick-up in longer term inflation expectations from 2.4% to 2.5%,” said Andrew Hunter, U.S. economist at Capital Economics, in a note to clients. “Nevertheless,” he added, “that will provide a bit more cover for the Fed to hike interest rates next week.”
Write to Ben Leubsdorf at ben.leubsdorf@wsj.com (END) Dow Jones Newswires December 08, 2017 11:12 ET (16:12 GMT)

U.S. Stocks Climb as Pound Jumps, Crude Rebounds: Markets Wrap
Unemployment

U.S. Stocks Climb as Pound Jumps, Crude Rebounds: Markets Wrap

Oil climbs past $56 a day after falling the most in two months Brazilian assets sink amid skepticism on pension overhaul U.S. stocks rose as investors evaluated the outlook for a final tax bill while the dollar advanced for a fourth day and oil rebounded from its worst selloff in two months.
Gold fell to a four-month low.
The pound jumped on speculation that Ireland and Britain were close to a Brexit deal.
That follows a few days in which the markets drifted as investors awaited the details of a final bill.
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And these are the main moves in markets: Stocks The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent at the close of trading in New York.
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell 0.4 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 1.4 percent.
Currencies The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced 0.3 percent to the highest in more than two weeks.
The euro slipped 0.2 percent to $1.1776 The British pound rose 0.7 percent to $1.3481.