MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Initial unemployment claims rebound 14 percent to 1.1 million
In the week ending August 15, initial claims were 1,106,000, an increase of 135,000, or 13.9 percent, from the previous week’s revised level. Continued claims during the week ending August 8 were 14,844,000, a decrease of 636,000, or 4.1 percent, from the previous week’s revised level.
Leading Economic Index edges up at slower pace in July
The US LEI increased for the third consecutive month in July to 104.4, albeit at a slower pace than the sharp increases in the previous two months. Despite the recent gains in the LEI, which remain fairly broad-based, the initial post-pandemic recovery appears to be losing steam. The LEI suggests that the pace of economic growth will weaken substantially during the final months of 2020.
Federal Reserve meeting minutes indicate continuing economic uncertainty due to virus
Following sharp declines, economic activity and employment had picked up somewhat in recent months but remained well below levels at the beginning of the year. Weaker demand and significantly lower oil prices were holding down consumer price inflation. Overall financial conditions had improved in recent months, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses. Participants agreed that the path of the economy would depend on the course of the virus, which was seen as highly uncertain.