Commentaries

April 7, 2017

In March, the ISM Manufacturing Index was an expansionary 57.2, and the PMI Manufacturing Index was at 53.3. Factory Orders were also reasonable for February, up 1.0% and in line with consensus. Construction spending was up 0.8% for February and up 3.0% year-over-year. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index was at 55.2 for March, and the PMI Services Index was at 52.8 for March. Overall strength in the U.S. economy appears moderate. The most recent FOMC minutes were released, and pretty much all of the 17 members were in favor of the most recent rate hike. None of the members seemed too concerned about inflationary pressures. Finally, the U.S. Unemployment Rate fell to 4.5% from 4.7% last month.
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March 31, 2017

Real U.S. GDP growth was +2.1% on an annualized basis for the fourth quarter of 2016. One headwind facing the economy was a large revision to inventory accumulation. The Chicago Purchasing Managers
Index came in at a strong 57.7 for March 2017. Finally, Personal Income was up 0.4% for February, while the PCE Price Index was up 2.1% year-over-year.
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