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:
Wholesale Inventories Continue to Climb
U.S. wholesale inventories increased 0.3% in September, following a 0.6% gain in August. Economists were only expecting a 0.2% increase. At September’s sales pace, it would take 1.19 months to clear shelves, which is the same pace as August. This was a modest gain in wholesale inventories in September, which shows that businesses are still restocking their shelves, just at a more cautious pace.
Layoff Activity Ticks Up
For the week ending November 8, jobless claims increased more than expected. Jobless claims climbed 12,000 last week to 290,000, higher than economists’ expectations for 280,000. The four-week moving average of jobless claims increase to 285,000. While it’s a little disappointing to see jobless claims increase last week, the number of new claims still remains below the 300,000 threshold—and they’ve been below that level for nine-straight weeks. In addition, jobless claims remain near a 14-year low.
Retailers Rebound In October
In October, U.S. retail sales increased 0.5%, when you strip our gasoline, autos, food and building materials. Analysts were expecting a 0.4% increase. Retail sales for September remained unchanged. This was the biggest increase in retail sales since August, and is a good sign that the U.S. consumer is spending once again as we head into the holiday shopping season.
Businesses Stockpile for the Winter
Business inventories increased 0.3% to $1.76 trillion in September, up from 0.1% in August (which was revised down from 0.2%). This was in-line with analysts’ expectations. Sales were flat in September, which means the sales pace remained unchanged at 1.30 months. This is another positive sign for the U.S. economy. With businesses boosting their inventory levels, we should continue to see U.S. GDP growth improve.
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,