Weekly Economic Update: September 2-6, 2013

Sep 10 2013

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The economy added 169,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in August as the unemployment rate fell to 7.3%. The ISM manufacturing index increased 0.3 points to 55.7 in August. The ISM services index increased 2.6 points to 58.6 in August. Construction spending increased 0.6% in July. Auto sales increased 1.9% in August to an annual pace of 16.09 million units. The U.S. trade deficit widened $4.6 billion (13.3%) to $39.1 billion in July. Productivity growth for the 2nd quarter was revised upwards to 2.3% from a previous estimate of 0.9%. Factory orders fell 2.4% in July. Initial jobless claims fell 9,000 to 323,000 for the week ended 8/31.

• The economy added 169,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in August as the unemployment rate fell to 7.3%. Private payroll jobs advanced 152,000. Revisions, down 74,000 overall, were significant: the July increase was revised down from 162,000 to 104,000 and June’s increase was revised down from 188,000 to 172,000. The labor force participation rate fell to 63.2% (a 35-year low) as the labor force declined by 312,000, following a 37,000 decrease in July.

• The ISM manufacturing index increased 0.3 points to 55.7 in August. The most notable indicator is new orders, surging 4.9 points to 63.2, the first 60 reading in nearly 2.5 years.

• The ISM services index increased 2.6 points to 58.6 in August.

• Construction spending increased 0.6% in July.

• Auto sales increased 1.9% in August to an annual pace of 16.09 million units. Sales were up 10.0% from a year ago.

• The U.S. trade deficit widened $4.6 billion (13.3%) to $39.1 billion in July. Exports fell 0.6%, while imports rose 1.6%.

• Productivity growth for the 2nd quarter was revised upwards to 2.3% from a previous estimate of 0.9%.

• Factory orders fell 2.4% in July. Excluding transportation, new orders rose 1.2%.

• Initial jobless claims fell 9,000 to a level of 323,000 for the week ended August 31st.

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