NAM: Monday Economic Report
· Manufacturing job openings in August reached 460,000, up from 430,000 in July and the best reading since July 2019 (477,000). With that said, nonfarm business job openings declined from 6,697,000 in July to 6,493,000 in August, with fewer postings in construction, financial activities, health care, information and retail trade.
· Overall, 13,550,000 Americans were unemployed in August, down significantly from 23,078,000 in April but up sharply from 5,787,000 in February. That translates into 2.1 unemployed workers for every one job opening in August, down from 4.6 in April but up from 0.8 in February.
· Initial unemployment claims totaled 840,000 for the week ending Oct. 3 and have changed little over the past six weeks, averaging 867,500 over that time frame. Meanwhile, continuing claims declined to 10,976,000 for the week ending Sept. 26, consistent with 7.5% of the workforce.
· U.S. consumer credit outstanding declined 2.1% in August, led by an 11.3% decrease in revolving credit, which includes credit cards and other credit lines. It was the sixth straight monthly decline in revolving credit, falling 9.2% year-over-year. This decline suggests that Americans have not only reduced their willingness to take on more credit, but they have also paid down some of their existing credit balances.
· The U.S. trade deficit rose to the highest level since August 2006, with goods imports rising faster than the increase in goods exports. The goods trade deficit rose to a new record. At the same time, the service-sector trade surplus dropped to the lowest level since January 2012.
· In non-seasonally adjusted data, U.S.-manufactured goods exports totaled $622.72 billion through the first eight months of 2020, dropping 17.31% from $753.07 billion for the same time frame in 2019.
· There will be important updates on industrial production this week. Manufacturing production has increased in each of the past four months, but output remained 6.7% below the pre-pandemic pace in February. Production should continue to expand in September’s release, but manufacturers will be looking for signs of possible slowing.
· Similarly, new retail sales data for September—released on Friday—will provide some clues as to whether consumers have pulled back on spending, or if purchasing continues to expand for the fifth straight month.