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Economy Weekly: Week of October 14, 2019

The Majority Leader’s Office is now sending a weekly e-mail highlighting economic statistics and news that Members can use as they discuss the state of the economy and how House Democrats are working to spur economic growth, support job creation, and raise wages for the people.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “By 2020, tariffs already imposed or announced would shrink global GDP by 0.8%. That is equivalent to the whole economy of Switzerland.” - International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. [CNBC, 10/17/19]

STAT OF THE WEEK: "Just 17% of households reported their financial condition had improved in the last 6 months, down 3 percentage points from a year earlier. Household spending accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic activity as measured by gross domestic product." [Bloomberg, 10/08/19]

ECONOMIC NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

  • U.S. households are struggling to get by financially. According to Bloomberg: “An above-average percentage of consumers – 44% – reported incomes that don’t cover their expenses, or barely cover them, according to a quarterly UBS survey of around 2,100 U.S. respondents. That figure has risen by a percentage point over the last year. And 40% said they had encountered a credit problem like trouble obtaining a credit card or a student loan default, a 3 percentage-point rise from a year ago, the survey said.” [Bloomberg, 10/08/19]
  • In September, the manufacturing sector plummeted deeper into contraction. The Washington Post reported: “The U.S. manufacturing index fell to 47.8 in September from 49.1 in August, the worst reading in more than a decade as the industry continues its contraction and companies point to President Donald Trump's escalating trade war with China.” [Washington Post, 10/01/19]
  • Job openings sink. Washington Post reporter Heather Long tweeted: “Job openings sink to lowest level since March 2018. This is a clear sign companies are starting to pull back on hiring as the trade war [and] global slowdown take hold. There were 291,000 fewer job openings in August 2019 vs. August 2018.” [Tweet, 10/09/19]
  • The global economy is taking a hard hit, in part due to the President’s trade feud with China. From the Wall Street Journal: “The global economy in 2019 is on course for its weakest year of growth since the financial crisis, weighed down by tensions that have slowed international trade to nearly a standstill.” [WSJ, 10/15/19]
  • Farmers are growing more pessimistic. The Washington Post reported: “‘Farmers grew much more pessimistic about current conditions on their own farms and in the U.S. agricultural economy in late summer,’ according to the latest installment of the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, a monthly survey of the sector. Farmers' outlook for making large investments such as machinery or buildings also dropped, for the second month in a row, according to a release describing results of the survey.” [Washington Post, 10/02/19]
  • Retail sales fell last month. From MarketWatch: “Sales at U.S. retailers fell in September for the first time in seven months as most stores posted lower receipts, signaling that a widely expected slowdown in consumer spending might under way.” [Market Watch, 10/16/19]
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