Gross Domestic Product
U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.4 percent, or $1.3 trillion in Q3, adjusted for inflation. The economy benefited from an increase in consumer spending, a restocking of inventories, exports, new investments in building, equipment and inventories, and new home construction.
The nation has created 11.4 million jobs since May, recouping over half March and April’s losses. But growth is already slowing. Employers added only 661,000 workers in September, less than half the 1.5 million added in August. The nation remains 10.7 million shy of its February level. The recent spike in COVID cases, the expiration of the federal stimulus packages, and uncertainly over the outcome of the presidential election will further slow job gains.
U.S. unemployment peaked at 14.7 percent in April and has steadily improved, decreasing to 7.9 percent in September. But the headline number belies what’s actually happening in the labor market. Since February, 4.4 million Americans have dropped out of the labor force and are no longer counted as unemployed. Factor them back in and the unemployment rate jumps to 10.3 percent.
Existing-home sales grew for the fourth consecutive month in September, hitting a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.54 million, up 9.4 percent from August and 21 percent from September a year ago. Seven out of every ten homes sold were on the market for less than a month.
Retail continues to recover. The U.S. Census Bureau reports September sales were up 1.9 percent from August and 5.4 percent from September of last year. Those numbers reflect a shift in consumer buying patterns. Unable to travel, attend concerts, cheer at sporting events, or dine out, consumers have opted to purchase goods rather than services. Through September of this year, consumers spent 20 percent less on dining than they did over the same period in ’19. The data also reflect a significant increase in online purchasing, up 20 percent so far this year.
Houston’s real gross product (RGP) will shrink 4.8 percent this year (December to December) before rebounding 4.2 percent next year. That’s the latest projections by The Perryman Group, the Waco-based think tank that’s been analyzing and forecasting for U.S., Texas, and Texas metros since the early 1980s.
Houston Employment Update
Metro Houston added 24,400 jobs in September, bringing the total recovered since April to 142,600. Houston re-mains 207,600 jobs short of its pre-pandemic level. The gains put Houston just shy of 3.0 million jobs. The region had topped 3.2 million jobs back in February. In a normal year, the region adds 25,000 to 50,000 in Q4, which would put a considerable dent in the COVID job losses. But this hasn’t been a normal year and job gains through December are likely to be subdued.
At first glance, tech funding in Houston appears remarkably unscathed by the pandemic. Houston-area startups have raised nearly as much venture capital so far this year as they did last year. VC Investments in the region topped $556 million through Q3/20, down only 4 percent from the same period in ’19, according to a Partnership analysis of PitchBook data.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 30 October 2020
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Oct 27, 2020
Real GDP jumped a record 33.1% during Q3, beating expectations. A 40.7% surge in consumer spending drove the gain.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 07 October 2020
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Oct 10, 2020
In the immediate fallout after the lockdowns in the early stages of this pandemic, there was a lot of discussion about the shape of the recovery.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 08 January 2021
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Jan 12, 2021
The manufacturing sector is showing a great deal of resilience, with the ISM Manufacturing survey exceeding expectations, at 60.7, and factory orders remaining strong.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 04 December 2020
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Dec 09, 2020
Manufacturing held up relatively well in November, despite a larger-than-expected dip in the ISM manufacturing survey. The nonfarm manufacturing survey rose slightly.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 11 September 2020
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Sep 14, 2020
In the holiday-shortened week, analysts’ attention remained on the progress of the labor market. Recent jobless claims data remain stubbornly high and point to a slowing jobs rebound.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 04 September 2020
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Aug 29, 2020
Employers added jobs for the fourth consecutive month in August, bringing the total number of jobs recovered from the virus-related low to 10.5 million.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 29 July 2022
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Jul 31, 2022
Unlike the local temperatures, data released this week showed U.S. economic growth modestly declined in Q2.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 21 February 2020
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Feb 22, 2020
Minutes from the January 28-29 FOMC meeting indicate the coronavirus will not push the Fed to cut interest rates, and for the most part housing and manufacturing survey data this week supported that view.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 21 May 2021
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / May 25, 2021
Over the past year, the housing market has become white-hot.
This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 03 September 2021
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Sep 10, 2021
e move into the Labor Day weekend celebrating the 235K jobs added in August, while simultaneously lamenting that it was about half a million jobs short of expectations.