Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 3 Sep 15

Chain store retailers today are posting mostly higher rates of sales growth for August than July, the 4th straight month of improvement.

Challenger reports 41,186 lay-off announcements in August, and far lower than July’s 105,696 which was skewed by a big Army cutback.

The nation’s trade deficit narrowed to $-41.9 billion in July following an upward revised deficit of $-45.2 billion in June.

The Gallup U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate fell -0.2% to 45.3% in August.

The PMI Services Index rose 0.4 points in August to 56.1.

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell -1.3 points in August, to a still-high 59.0.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -0.6 points to 41.4 in the latest week.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 11,000 to 282,000, which is still historically low. The 4-week average rose 3,250 to 275,500. Continuing claims fell 9,000  to 2.257 million.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $0.8 billion last week, with total assets of $4.476 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-9.3 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $33.1 billion in the latest week.

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