MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Construction spending up 1.4 percent in August and 2.5 percent year-on-year
Construction spending during August 2020 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,412.8
billion, up 1.4 percent from July and 2.5 percent year-on-year. During the first eight months
of this year, construction spending amounted to $927.7 billion, 4.2 percent above the same period in 2019.
Initial unemployment claims dip 4.1 percent to 837,000, continued claims fall 7.7 percent to 11.8 million
In the week ending September 26, initial unemployment claims were 837,000, a decrease of 36,000, or 4.1 percent, from the previous week’s revised level. Continued claims for the week ending September 19 were 11,767,000, a decrease of 980,000, or 7.7 percent, from the previous week’s revised level. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending September 12 was 26,529,810, an increase of 484,856, or 1.8 percent, from the previous week.
Personal income fell 2.7 percent in August while personal spending rose 1.0 percent
In August, personal income decreased 2.7 percent, disposable personal income (DPI) fell 3.2 percent, while personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased 1.0 percent, leading to a decline in the personal savings rate to 14.1 percent, the lowest rate since April.
September manufacturing output index slips to 55.4 percent, but still in expansion mode
The September PMI® registered 55.4 percent, down 0.6 percentage point from the August reading of 56 percent. This figure indicates expansion in the overall manufacturing economy for the fifth month in a row after a contraction in April. Survey Committee members reported that their companies and suppliers continue to operate in reconfigured factories and are becoming more proficient at maintaining output.
September planned job cuts edge up 2.6 percent, focused in entertainment, aerospace and transportation
Job cuts announced by U.S.-based employers jumped to 118,804 in September, up 2.6 percent from August. Last month’s job cuts bring the yearly total so far to 2,082,262, up 348 percent from the same period of 2019. Most of the September’s cuts were in the areas of Entertainment/Leisure (including bars and restaurants), Aerospace/Defense and Transportation.