Starting with the U.S. Labor Day holiday on Monday, this week was a light data week that ends on a sobering note with the passing yesterday of Queen Elizabeth II and the 9/11 anniversary on Sunday. The ISM services index came in stronger than expected, and the underlying details pointed to service sector resilience with business activity and new orders notching their highest reading this year.
A majority of the selected industry comments from purchasing managers pointed to supply chain challenges affecting business. But the related components of the ISM suggest bottlenecks are improving somewhat, or at least not getting worse. The supplier deliveries component fell 3.3 points last month and that, on top of the 4.1-point drop in July, puts the index at its lowest point in over two years. The easing in delivery times also helped alleviate order backlog, which fell 4.4 points to 53.9 last month.
Initial jobless claims came in a bit cooler than expected, although continuing claims were a bit worse than anticipated. As we wrote in a recent report, data on individuals filing for unemployment do not suggest the economy is currently in a recession. Claims have ticked higher, but off of an incredibly low base amid a historically tight labor market. Even with the recent increase in continuing claims, the total number of people collecting unemployment benefits is still roughly 300K below February 2020 levels. For now, the jobless claims data are sending a similar signal to the ISM services index: The U.S. economy is slowing down but not outright contracting.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Nov 24, 2020
The international economic news over the past week has been somewhat mixed. On the positive side, China’s October data showed ongoing growth in manufacturing and firming retail and service sector activity.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Feb 15, 2020
Retail sales increased for a fourth straight month in January, underscoring the resiliency of the U.S. consumer. Fundamentals are solid and support our expectations for healthy consumer spending gains in coming months.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / May 15, 2020
April nonfarm payrolls confirmed what we already knew—the labor market is collapsing. By the survey week of April 12, net employment had fallen by 20,500,000 jobs.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Aug 24, 2021
The Wells Fargo Economics team notes in the Commentary that new COVID cases in New Zealand disrupted the Reserve Bank of New Zealand\'s plan to tighten monetary policy this week.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Apr 18, 2022
What do pollen and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) have in common? Answer; both are hitting new highs. This week’s U.S. economic data was led by the largest month monthly increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) since September 2005.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Dec 21, 2020
This week marked the first U.S. COVID vaccinations and the imminent rollout of a second vaccine.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / May 30, 2020
The beginning of this week saw some optimism that the economic downturn could be relatively short-lived, but data through the rest of the week provided grim reminder of the economic damage from COVID-19.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Nov 21, 2022
The resiliency of the U.S. consumer was also on display, as total retail sales increased a stronger-than-expected 1.3% in October, boosted, in part, by a 1.3% jump in motor vehicles & parts and a 4.1% rise at gasoline stations.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / Jan 18, 2021
Retail sales fell 0.7% in December, the third straight monthly decline. Sales are still up 2.9% over the year, however.
Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report / May 29, 2022
U.S. retail sales topped expectations in April, while industrial production also grew more rapidly than economists expected. Data on housing starts, home sales and homebuilder sentiment, however, showed tentative signs of cooling.