The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in July while the unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, close to its 18-year low. Meanwhile, consumer confidence rose above expectations in July. The Confidence Board’s index increased to 127.4 in July.
The Architectural Billings Index score for June was 51.3 compared to 52.8 in May. Any score above 50 indicates billings growth.
The July Purchasing Managers Index registered at 58.1%, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points from the June reading of 60.2%. The New Orders Index registered at 60.2%, a decrease of 3.3 percentage points from the June reading of 63.5%. The Production Index registered at 58.5%, a 3.8 percentage point decrease compared to the previous month.
President Donald Trump has indicated that his administration may pursue a bilateral deal with Mexico first before negotiating separately with Canada. Such a move would upend the decades-old trilateral NAFTA deal and likely stretch out negotiations far longer.
China said on August 1 that “blackmail” wouldn’t work and that it would hit back if the U.S. takes further steps hindering trade, as the Trump administration considers slapping a 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The proposal would increase the potential tariff rate from the 10% the administration had initially put forward on July 10. The tariffs target thousands of Chinese imports, including food products, chemicals, steel and aluminum and consumer goods.
For more information, view the August 2018 Insight Guide below or contact your local sales representative.ONI Insight August 2018