4/2/21: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy

Construction spending dips 0.8 percent in February, but up 5.3 percent year-on-year

What does this mean?  Although severe winter weather dented construction spending from January, the annual trend was positive.

Construction spending during February 2021 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,516.9 billion, 0.8 percent below the revised January estimate of $1,529.0 billion but up 5.3 percent year-on-year. During the first two months of this year, construction spending amounted to $213.2 billion, 4.9 percent above the $203.2 billion for the same period in 2020.


Initial unemployment claims rebound 9.3 percent to 719,000

What does this mean?  Despite the weekly rebound in initial claims, continued claims for benefits in all programs is continuing to fall.

In the week ending March 27, initial unemployment claims were 719,000, an increase of 61,000, or 9.3 percent, from the previous week’s revised level. Continued claims during the week ending March 20 were 3,794,000, a decrease of 46,000, or 1.2 percent, from the previous week’s revised level. The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending March 13 was 18,213,575, a decrease of 1,517,926, or 7.7 percent, from the previous week.


March manufacturing sector index rises 3.9 points to 64.7, highest level since mid-1980s

What does this mean?  The country’s manufacturing sector index rose more than forecast as it emerges from the pandemic to make up for lost time.

The March Manufacturing PMI® registered 64.7 percent, an increase of 3.9 percentage points from the February reading of 60.8 percent. However, companies and suppliers continue to struggle to meet increasing rates of demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts limiting availability of parts and materials.