U.S. Economic Reports: There are Bright Spots to be Found

Over the last few days, economic news hasn’t been so hot.

U.S. durable goods orders slipped 1.1% in September 2019.  That was after the ISM September survey on manufacturing registered came in at 47.8%, down from 49.1% from July.  Now, we’re learning consumer confidence isn’t so hot either.

But as dreary as the news appears, it’s not all so bad.

U.S. GDP Up a Better than Expected 1.9% in Q3 2019

U.S. GDP grew faster than expected in the third quarter, but did slow slightly on a decline in business investments.  For the quarter, GDP was up 1.9%. While that was down slightly from the 2% pace in the second quarter, it was still above forecasts for 1.6%.

All thanks in part to consumer spending, and government expenditures.  Personal consumption rose at a 2.9% annualized rate, as government spending shot up 2%.  Housing contributed to growth, as well with residential investments up 5.1% on the back of falling mortgage rates.

Unfortunately, businesses were not so confident.  Investments in structures for example fell 15% in the quarter.  Spending on equipment also fell 3.8%.  

Private Payrolls Increased by 125,000 in October

Private payrolls grew faster-than-expected in October 2019.  However, growth was offset by a downward revision for September 2019.  Companies hired 125,000 in October, according to ADP and Moody’s Analytics, as noted by CNBC.

At the same time, September numbers were revised lower by 93,000. 

“Job growth has throttled way back over the past year,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, as quoted by CNBC.

“The job slowdown is most pronounced at manufacturers and small companies. If hiring weakens any further, unemployment will begin to rise,” he added.