This Week In The Economy: No End In Sight For Govt Shutdown, Job Creation Ends 2018 On A Strong Note, Concerns About China’s Economy

New Congress — Federal Government Still Shut Down

Normally we would lead of this column with the robust December employment figures released this morning, but we must begin with the ongoing partial government shutdown and the stand-off between President Trump and newly-empowered congressional Democrats.

U.S. Job Creation Soars Past Expectations In December

After some disappointing economic data and worrying corporate news (more on that later) to start the week, we got some good news today with the Bureau of Labor Statistics report that the U.S. economy added 312,000 jobs in December. Payroll employment for November was revised up from +155,000
to +176,000, and the change for October was revised up from +237,000 to +274,000.

Souring Sentiment Among U.S. Manufacturers, Growing Concerns About China’s Economy

In the latest affirmation of slower economic growth ahead, the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index, a key gauge of U.S. factory activity, posted its largest one-month drop in a decade and, at 54.1, is now at a level not seen since November 2016.

U.S. and China Set For Face-To-Face Talks Later This Month

Additional actions by China’s central bank are expected this year as the economy continues to lose steam (the RRR cut is already the fifth in the past 12 months), and a lot of hope will be on the U.S. and China reaching a lasting agreement over trade.

Around The Horn…

TPP Trade Agreement Excluding United States Now In Effect: On December 30, 2018, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) went into effect — a free trade agreement that the flow of goods and services between 11 countries. The CPTPP was signed by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Source: Energy Information Administration

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