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Jobless claims changed little in the September 3 week, remaining very low for both initial and continuing claims. While revisions are expected next week because of the shortened reporting period due to the Labor Day holiday, they are unlikely to change the thrust of the report: the labor market is still healthy.
The non-manufacturing index from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) came in well below expectations for August, hitting its lowest composite growth score at 51.4 since February 2010. This index surveys business activity, new orders, employment, and supplier deliveries for businesses in non-manufacturing sectors such as services, mining, agriculture, and forestry. Although it is not one of the major indicators, the reduced ISM non-manufacturing index could act as friction against a September interest rate hike. Prior to August, the index had been running strong for many months.
The weekly EIA petroleum status report showed a sharp drop in crude oil inventories, down 14.5M barrels to 511.4M barrels. Motor gasoline was also down by 4.2M barrels, while distillates were up 3.4M. In the last 4 weeks, demand for gasoline was up 3.2% Y/Y, while demand for distillates dipped slightly Y/Y with -0.1%. Crude oil pricing benchmark WTI rose $0.70 to $46.85/barrel.
Upcoming Economic Reports:
Thurs September 15 — Retail Sales (consumer spending indicator)
Fri September 16 — Consumer Price Index (inflation indicator)
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