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Private residential construction spending increased +1.0% in November, with a -1.3% drop in multifamily construction holding back the contributions from a +1.9% increase in single family home construction. Private nonresidential construction spending rebounded to a +0.9% monthly gain after a -0.3% drop in October, with notable increases for offices (+5.5%) and commercial property (+1.5%), and decreases for power utilities (-1.1%) and manufacturing (-1.6%). Public construction spending was up +0.2%, with positive contributions from educational construction (+3.8%) and recreational facilities (+0.7) being offset by drops in spending for commercial property (-5.7%), health care (-2.4%), public safety (-1.9%), highway construction (-0.8%), and conservation and development (-9.4%). On a yearly basis private construction was up +2.6% and public construction was up1.8%, bringing total construction to a +2.4% yearly gain.
There were 148,000 jobs created in December, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 4.1%, but raising the alternative U-6 measure of total unemployment from 8.0% to 8.1%. The number of jobs created in October was revised downward from +244,000 to +211,000, and November was revised upward from +228,000 to +252,000, for a net downward revision of -9,000 jobs over the two months. Employment increased for health care (+31,000), construction (+30,000), and manufacturing (+25,000), and was little changed in other sectors with the exception of a -27,000 drop in retail general merchandise store employees. Hourly wages rose by $0.09 to $26.63/hr, and have risen $0.65 (2.5%) in the past 12 months.
The trade deficit in goods and services in November increased by +$1.6 billion to $50.5 billion from an upwardly revised $48.9 billion deficit in October. The change in the deficit was due almost entirely to the increase in the goods deficit but was offset slightly by a +$0.2 billion increase in the services surplus. Goods exports increased +$4.4 billion, comprised largely of civilian aircraft (+1.2 billion), automobiles and parts (+1.0 billion), and consumer goods (+0.7 billion). Goods imports outpaced exports with a +$6.0 billion gain, and had notable increases for cell phones and other household goods (+$1.1 billion), crude oil (+$1.1 billion), and semiconductors (+$0.8 billion). On a per country basis, the goods trade deficit rose both with China (+$1.5 billion) and the European Union (+$1.5 billion), but shrunk with South Korea (-$1.0 billion).
Thursday January 11 – Producer Price Index – Final Demand (PPI-FD)
Friday January 12 – Consumer Price Index
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