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Loraine Woellert: Factory Production Rebounds As U.S. Sustains Expansion
Production at American factories rebounded, claims for jobless benefits fell to a 14-year low and households held the most optimistic views in two years, signs the world’s largest economy is overcoming a global slowdown. Manufacturing output climbed 0.5 percent in September, springing back from a 0.5 percent drop the prior month, as factories pushed out more computers, appliances and building-supplies, according to Federal Reserve data issued today in Washington. Other reports showed the momentum is being sustained as the fewest workers since April 2000 filed applications for unemployment insurance last week and more consumers said this month that the economy will get better.
The reports bolster forecasts that the U.S. expansion will survive the weakening in Europe and emerging nations that has roiled global financial markets. American consumer spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy, is likely to strengthen as employment keeps growing and confidence climbs. Ford Motor Co. is among those automakers that remain upbeat. The second-biggest U.S. carmaker is adding workers at its Dearborn, Michigan, plant as it prepares for its new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup. The truck is scheduled to arrive in showrooms by the end of the year. “These new jobs will help meet anticipated customer demand,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, during an Oct. 13 announcement. The company has hired more than 23,000 employees since 2011.
Industrial output in the U.S. increases by the most since November 2012: bloom.bg/11tnhj2—
Bloomberg News (@BloombergNews) October 16, 2014
Brett Logiurato: The Budget Deficit Just Fell To Its Lowest Level Under Obama
The US budget deficit fell to about $483 billion in fiscal year 2014, almost a $200 billion drop from the previous year and the lowest level of President Barack Obama’s six years in office. The US Treasury Department released the official figures on Wednesday, generally confirming figures released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last week. It’s the smallest deficit recorded since 2008.
FY2014 was the fifth consecutive year the deficit declined as a percentage of GDP. It is now an estimated 2.8% of GDP, a percentage that puts it below the average of the past 40 years. The Treasury’s figures chalked up the shrinking deficit to increased revenues from taxes and slowed growth in government spending. “It’s really a rise in revenues because of economic growth, because of the policies the president pursued, that we’ve made progress on the deficit,” said Shaun Donovan, the director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Kennett Area Dems (@KennettDems) October 16, 2014