The U.S. added 209,000 jobs in July, somewhat above economists’ expectations. The unemployment rate was at 4.3% compared to 4.4% in June.
The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on July 25 and said it expected to start winding down its massive holdings of bonds “relatively soon” in a sign of confidence in the U.S. economy. The Fed kept its benchmark lending rate at a target range of 1.00% to 1.25%.
A four-month high in U.S. consumer confidence shows Americans have a more positive view on both their current situation and outlook. This is a positive sign for the economy. The Confidence Index rose to 121.1 from a revised 117.3 in June. The Present Conditions measure rose to 147.8, a 16-year high, from 143.9 the previous month.
U.S manufacturing activity expanded for the 11th consecutive month in July, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The index of U.S. manufacturing activity fell to 56.3 in July from 57.8 in June. A number above 50 indicates expansion.
The Architectural Billings Index for June was at 54.2, up from a score of 53.0 the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design as any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.
A decision on whether to block steel imports has stalled amid objections from trading partners. President Donald Trump said his administration would take its time making a long-awaited decision on whether or not to block steel imports, saying, “We don’t want to do it at this moment.” The president suggested that a final decision on a steel trade policy might have to wait until other top-priority issues on his agenda get addressed (healthcare and taxes).
For more information view the August 2017 ONI Insight Guide below or contact your local sales representative.ONI Insight August 2017