6/2: METROINTELLIGENCE ECONOMIC UPDATE by P.Duffy

Construction spending dipped 1.4 percent in April but still up 5.8 percent YTD from 2016

Spending on construction sagged in April as a strong start to the year started to falter, falling 1.4 percent from March.  However, a 0.2% decline in March was revised to a 1.1% monthly gain. Spending so far in 2017 is 5.8% higher than in the same period a year ago.

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Private sector employment rose sharply to 253,000 jobs in May

ADP:  Private sector employment increased by 253,000 jobs from April to May.  This compares to 174,000 jobs the previous month and 58,000 jobs during May of 2016.

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Planned job cuts rose sharply in May, but still down 28 percent YTD from 2016

The number of workforce reductions announced by US-based employers rose sharply in May, as planned job cuts totaled 51,692 for the month, although nearly 40 percent of those job cuts were announced by Ford Motor Company.  Employers have announced a total of 214,495 job cuts so far this year, down 28 percent year-on-year.

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Federal Reserve Beige Book: Modest economic growth, but some regional weaknesses

The Beige Book provided a generally upbeat view of growth in the U.S. in the period from early April through late May. The report appears to strengthen the case the Fed will raise a key short-term interest rate again at its next big meeting in two weeks.

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Mortgage applications fall 3.4 percent in latest survey, rates flat

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 3.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling one percent and refinances down by four percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) remained unchanged at 4.17 percent.

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Initial unemployment claims rise 13,000 in latest report

In the week ending May 27, initial unemployment claims were 248,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 238,000, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week’s revised average.

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