Personal Spending Was Flat in April
Falling back after growing 0.5 percent in March, personal spending was flat in April, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This less than desirable level of spending mirrors consumer anxieties about income and labor market growth, translating to sluggish spending on durable and non-durable goods (down 0.7 percent and 0.5 percent in April). But despite overall softer purchase levels over the past six months, personal spending is still experiencing a modest pace of growth. To learn more, visit here.
Manufacturing Activity Rose Slightly in May
The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rebounded a little in May, from 51.5 in April to 52.8, according to the Institute for Supply Management. This slight increase is good news, particularly since the headline index has averaged 52.4 for the first five months of 2015. This past weakness stems from a strong U.S. dollar, lower crude oil prices and the West Coast ports slowdown. Manufacturers remain cautiously optimistic in their outlook for the coming months and hope that May’s numbers are the beginning of a larger upward trend. To learn more, visit here.
Manufacturing Construction Spending Reaches All-Time High
Manufacturing construction increased 2.7 percent in April (rising to an annualized $76.22 billion), marking the third consecutive month in which this figure reached an all-time high, according to the Census Bureau. Residential, public sector and public construction project spending were all up in May, contributing to the overall increase. In fact, the only nonresidential segment to experience declines in construction spending in April was communications, down 5.5 percent for the month. To learn more, visit here.
Manufacturing Sector Hiring Falls Again in May
For the third straight month, manufacturing employment decreased, with a loss of 5,000 workers in May according to ADP. Overall, hiring in the manufacturing sector has been soft with employment down 4,000 through the first five months of the year. In May, the largest job gains were in trade, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, construction and financial activities. While manufacturing hiring is soft at best, there is hope for a rebound in the coming months. To learn more, visit here.