Personal Spending Sees Another Modest Increase in August
Personal income and spending increased by 0.4 percent in August, mirroring the gain seen in July, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Both durable and nondurable goods were higher for the month (up 1.2 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively), with motor vehicles and parts helping to buoy the durable goods purchasing numbers. Personal income also grew in August, but at its lowest increase in five months (0.3 percent). In general, the data suggests that Americans are increasing spending modestly, but at a slower rate of purchasing than seen in late 2014. To learn more, visit here.
Texas Sees Production Stabilizing Despite Contracting Levels
While the composite index of general business conditions in Texas improved from -15.8 in August to -9.5 in September, the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank has reported contracting levels of manufacturing activity every month so far in 2015. These figures reflect continuing negative sentiment overall in Texas, largely due to reduced crude oil prices and a strong U.S. dollar. Nonetheless, the outlook for the next six months continues to be marginally positive, with the forward-looking composite index rising from 3.4 to 4.8. To learn more, visit here.
Consumer Confidence Rises to its Highest Level since January
The Consumer Confidence Index rebounded from 101.3 in August to 103.0 in September, its highest level since January, according to the Conference Board. At nearly the highest level since August 2007, the data suggests that consumers are near a pre-recessionary high in terms of current confidence levels. Much of the weakness that we have seen in the past has stemmed from worries about labor and income growth. If confidence continues to rise, we should see a boost in overall consumer spending moving forward. To learn more, visit here.
Manufacturing Employment Falls By 15,000 in September
Declining for the fifth time year-to-date, manufacturing employment fell by 15,000 in September, according to ADP. A number of headwinds, such as the strong U.S. dollar, economic softness abroad and lower crude oil prices have hampered demand, production and hiring growth. Overall, the labor market remains decent despite continued sluggishness seen in the manufacturing sector. To learn more, visit here.