It’s Friday and that means it’s time to review the latest economic data and identify which pockets of the economy are heating up and which are slowing down. Don’t worry about catching every headline and every report throughout the week—I recap all of the most important news impacting your wealth right here every Friday. Let’s take a look at this week’s big headlines, starting with the market moving Unemployment Rate report:
Consumer Debt Balance Growth Slows
U.S. consumer credit increased by $13.5 billion, rising to $3.25 trillion in August. This was below the consensus estimate for a $20 billion increase. July’s figure was revised down to show a gain of $20 billion. The decline was due mainly to a $207.5 million drop in revolving credit. Non-revolving credit increase $13.7 billion. This represents the slowest growth in consumer credit since November 2013. As we’ve discussed, this shows that GDP growth slowed down slightly in the third quarter, though we should still see about 3% economic growth.
Layoff Activity Continues Steady March Downward
For the week ending October 4, jobless claims slipped to a 287,000 annual rate. This beat economists’ projections for claim to rise to 294,000. Jobless claims for the previous week were revised up to 288,000 from 287,000. Jobless claims are at their lowest level since before the 2007-2009 recession, which is a positive sign that the U.S. labor market is recovering.
Wholesalers Stockpile for the Colder Months
Wholesale inventories increased 0.7% in August, which was better than expected. Economists were looking for a 0.3% increase. July inventories were revised up to 0.3%. At the current sales pace, it would take 1.19 months to clear shelves. This was a positive report, as it showed the largest increase in wholesale inventories in four months and that could help support third-quarter GDP.
That’s all I have for you this week. I’ll be in touch with the latest Portfolio Grader changes and Stock of the Day on Monday.
Have a great weekend,