U.S. Existing home sales rise to eight-year high

Posted by Forexsq 14 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img U.S. home resales rose more than expected in July to their highest level since 2007, a sign the U.S. housing market was heating up and could provide more support for the overall economy.

The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales increased 2 percent to an annual rate of 5.59 million units.

June's sales pace was revised slightly lower to 5.48 million units from the previously reported 5.49 million units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast home resales falling to a 5.44 million-unit pace last month. Sales were up 10.3 percent from a year ago.

A string of strong reports on the U.S. housing market supports the view that the U.S. economy is building up steam and closing in on the point when the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates to keep it from overheating.

The gain in home resales in July was driven by increases in America's South and West, regions that were hit hard by the housing bust of the 2007-09 recession.

Nationwide, the

Jobless Claims in U.S. Rose More Than Forecast Last Week

Posted by Forexsq 23 hours ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)
img Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose more than forecast to an eight-week high, representing a pause in a trend of more muted firings.

Jobless claims increased by 12,000 to 282,000 in the week ended Aug. 29, a Labor Department report showed Thursday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 275,000 new applications. The start of a new school year, which differs from state to state, may introduce a period of volatility in the data as such calendar events are difficult to seasonally adjust, according to a Labor Department spokesman.

Since the beginning of March claims have held below 300,000, indicating employers in the U.S. are confident in their outlook for domestic sales even as global markets show signs of stress. Monthly figures set for release Friday may point to a sustained pace of hiring that is supporting the consumer spending, which is the biggest part of the economy.

“It does suggest that the labor market is pretty tight and that there aren’t a lot

ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI slows in August but tops forecast

Posted by Forexsq 23 hours ago (http://www.marketwatch.com)
img The Institute for Supply Management[ ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI ]said on Thursday its services index slipped in August but to a very strong reading indicating growth in the sector. The services index fell to 59% from 60.3% in July, on a scale where readings over 50% indicate improving conditions. The reading beat the MarketWatch-compiled economist forecast of 58%. A similar gauge released by Markit showed a services reading of 56.1 in August, above the flash reading of 55.2 and up from 55.7 in July. Ahead of Friday's payrolls report, the ISM services employment index fell 3.6 points to 56%.

This NFP jobs report is very important, Here's why

Posted by Forexsq 4 hours ago (http://money.cnn.com)
img Friday is a big day for the U.S. economy.

We will find out how many jobs America's economy added in August and whether wages are finally growing.

But this time the news goes beyond jobs and wages -- a big decision looms in less than two weeks for America's central bank, the Federal Reserve. And it seems to be coming down to the wire, where the jobs report could be the deciding factor.

"It should weigh heavily on the Fed's decision in that meeting," says Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. "This report takes on elevated significance."

The reason is that the jobs growth would confirm the view that the U.S. economy is recovering nicely and strong enough to withstand higher interest rates.

Here's the dilemma: the stock markets are extremely jittery right now because of concerns over China's economic slowdown and its effect globally.

So the Fed could raise rates on September 17 and potentially risk creating even more volatility in global stock markets.

Payrolls Rose 173,000 in August as Jobless Rate Drops to 5.1%

Posted by Forexsq 1 hour 41 minutes ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)
img Employers added 173,000 workers in August and the jobless rate dropped to 5.1 percent, a level that the Federal Reserve considers to be full employment.

The gain in payrolls, while less than forecast, followed advances in July and June that were stronger than previously reported, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate is the lowest since April 2008. Average hourly earnings climbed more than forecast and workers put in a longer workweek, the report also showed.

Persistent hiring indicates employers were upbeat about America’s demand prospects leading up to mounting concerns of further deterioration in emerging economies. Fed policy makers meeting in less than two weeks will weigh resilient U.S. employment conditions against the recent turmoil in world financial markets as they debate the timing of any interest-rate increase.

“The labor market is clearly still improving,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York, sa

U.S. unemployment rate hits 5.1%, lowest in 7 years

Posted by Forexsq 1 hour 20 minutes ago (http://money.cnn.com)
img The American economy improved in August but not as much as people had hoped.

The U.S. economy added 173,000 jobs in August, a decent gain that was below expectations and might have dimmed the chances of the Federal Reserve raising its key interest rate in two weeks. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney projected that the economy would add 207,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate was 5.1% in August, down to its lowest level since April 2008.

In addition to the lukewarm jobs gains, wages didn't grow much in August either. Wages only rose 2.2% in August, about in line with expectations but well below the Federal Reserve's 3.5% target.

Wage growth has been missing during the U.S. economic recovery from the recession, and it's also a key measure of inflation -- something that's been absent and that the Fed badly wants to see.

Overall the job numbers in August add more uncertainty surrounding a potential rate hike from the Federal Reserve in two weeks. Fed officials have said they want

U.S. Jobless claims edge up; labor market still improving

Posted by Forexsq 15 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but the trend remained consistent with solid labor market momentum that could keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates this year.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 277,000 for the week ended Aug. 15, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 fewer applications received than previously reported. Economists had forecast claims slipping to 272,000 last week. A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing the data and no states had been estimated.

Prices for U.S. Treasuries fell slightly after the data, while stock index futures were pointing to a lower open on Wall Street. The dollar dipped against a basket of currencies.

Minutes from the Fed's July 28-29 policy meeting published on Wednesday showed the U.S. central bank upbeat o

U.S. economy gains 215,000 jobs in July

Posted by Forexsq 28 days ago (http://money.cnn.com)
img America's economy is in good but not great shape this year.

The U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in July. Economists surveyed by forexSQ predicted the economy would add 216,000 jobs. Anything above 200,000 is considered very solid.

The unemployment rate stayed the same at 5.3%, which is its lowest point since April 2008, according to the Labor Department. That's considered near full employment.

"Job growth is quite strong," says Jim O'Sullivan, chief economist at High Frequency Economics, a research firm in New York. "This pace of employment growth is clearly strong enough to keep the unemployment rate trending down."

Wage growth -- the missing piece to America's economic progress -- remained sluggish in July. Average hourly earnings only rose 2.1% compared to the prior year. Wage growth is the reason many Americans haven't felt the benefits of the economy's recovery. The Federal Reserve wants to see annual wage growth closer to 3.5%.

"Wage growth numbers are still tame,

Payrolls in U.S. Climbed 215,000 in July in Broad-based Gain

Posted by Forexsq 28 days ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)

Employers added 215,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate held at a seven-year low of 5.3 percent, signs of further progress in the U.S. labor market that’s keeping the Federal Reserve on the path toward raising interest rates as soon as next month.

The gain in payrolls last month followed a 231,000 advance in June that was bigger than previously estimated, a Labor Department report showed Friday in Washington. While the data also showed a pickup in hours worked, average hourly earnings climbed a less-than-forecast 2.1 percent from a year earlier, indicating little momentum in wage growth.

The persistent pace of hiring this year indicates companies are sanguine about prospects for demand in the face of a tempered global growth outlook. Better job security that leads to bigger wage gains could encourage consumers to spend more freely and provide more momentum for the economy.

“Trend job growth is rock solid,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics In

ISM and Manufacturing PMI leak for July

Posted by Forexsq 31 days ago (http://uk.businessinsider.com)
img ISM's latest manufacturing report for July leaked on Monday morning.

The reading came in at 52.7, below the consensus forecast of 53.5 that was also the prior month's print and a year-to-date high. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, and so despite the slowdown, US manufacturing is still in good shape.

The employment measure fell to 52.7 from 55.5. New orders increased slightly to 56.5 from 56.0. Production jumped to 56.0 from 54.0.

The report had been scheduled for release at 10:00 a.m. ET. After the numbers crossed the wires, the Institute for Supply Management published the report on their website.

A respondent in the survey for the report noted a "summer slow-down", and others bemoaned lower oil prices with the expectation that they'll fall further.

In a note to clients after the data, Capital Economics' Adam Collins wrote, "Looking ahead, the manufacturing sector will probably continue to struggle as the dollar has appreciated further recently and overseas dema

Fed sees improving economy, jobs; September hike in view but not set

Posted by Forexsq 36 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img The U.S. economy and job market continue to strengthen, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, leaving the door open for a possible interest rate hike when central bank policymakers next meet in September.

Following a two-day policy meeting, Fed officials said they felt the economy had overcome a first-quarter slowdown and was "expanding moderately" despite a downturn in the energy sector and headwinds from overseas.

The central bank nodded in particular to "solid job gains" in recent months.

"On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggest that underutilization of labor resources has diminished since early this year," the Fed said in a policy statement that kept rates unchanged.

That language marks an upgrade in its view of labor conditions since its June meeting, when it said labor slack had "diminished somewhat."

The statement may strengthen expectations of a rate hike at the Fed's September meeting. The central bank has kept rates at a near-zero level since D

Jobs Report Disappoints, Participation Rate Falls to Lowest Since 1977

Posted by Forexsq 64 days ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)
img Households are feeling upbeat about employment prospects as more respondents than at any time since early 2008 said jobs were plentiful, a Conference Board report showed on Tuesday.

A separate report Friday from the Labor Department showed applications for unemployment benefits held below 300,000 for a 17th straight week. Jobless claims rose by 10,000 to 281,000 in the week ended June 27. The median forecast called for 270,000 applications.

The figures indicate corporate managers are keeping headcounts in line with stronger consumer demand while overseas markets remain feeble. At the same time, more moderate job gains may still be enough to reduce the unemployment rate, consistent with the Federal Reserve’s perceived timetable to raise borrowing costs by year-end.

“This is a softer report than people expected but it’s certainly not a game changer,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, who projected a 225,000 gain.

U.S. private sector adds 237,000 jobs in June: ADP

Posted by Forexsq 65 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img U.S. private employers added 237,000 jobs in June, the biggest gain since December, suggesting further improvement in the jobs market which may allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this year, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP NationalEmployment Report would show a gain of 218,000 jobs.

May private payroll gains were revised up to 203,000 from an originally reported 201,000 increase, which was the smallest rise since January 2014.

The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.

The ADP figures come ahead of the U.S. Labor Department's more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Thursday, which includes both public and private-sector employment.

Economists polled by Reuters are looking for total U.S. employment to have grown by 230,000 jobs in June, down from May's 280,000 increase. The unemployment rate was forecast to slip to a seven-year low of 5.4 percent from 5.5 per

U.S. Index Futures Fall as Consumer Prices Show Inflation Pickup

Posted by Forexsq 105 days ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)
img U.S. stock-index futures fell, after data showing the fastest rise in consumer prices in two years bolstered speculation the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise interest rates soon.

E-mini futures on the S&P 500 expiring in June slipped 0.2 to 2,124.25 at 9:06 a.m. in New York, after the underlying index Thursday reached its fourth all-time high in six sessions. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 23 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,235. Markets are closed Monday for the holiday.

“Any time you do get a little bit stronger data, people kind of flinch,” said Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. in Newton, Massachusetts. “Their first reaction is that the Fed is getting what it wants to raise rates. The stock market is at new highs and a little overbought on a near-term basis, and people are taking some chips off the table ahead of the long weekend.”

A report Friday showed the cost of living excluding food and fuel rose at a faster pace than

Retail Sales Little Changed as Americans Reluctant to Splurge

Posted by Forexsq 114 days ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)
img Sales at U.S. retailers were little changed in April, starting the second quarter on a weak note as Americans remained reluctant to splurge.

The reading followed a revised 1.1 percent gain in March that was the biggest in a year and larger than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed Wednesday in Washington. The median forecast of 88 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.2 percent gain in April.

Consumers have been using the windfall from cheap gasoline to boost savings as wages have been slow to pick up, which may temper the projected rebound in U.S. growth this quarter. At the same time, steady hiring and low borrowing costs will help underpin household spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

“Consumers are still spending quite selectively,” Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp., said before the report. “It definitely gets the quarter off on the wrong foot as far as the rebound goes. Wages are stuck in a t

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