MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
September PMI Output Index shows softening economy due to capacity constraints
The IHS Markit Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index posted 54.5 in September, down from 55.4 in August and much lower than May’s record high. The rate of output growth was the softest since September 2020, amid a notable slowdown in the pace of expansion in service sector activity compared to earlier in the year.
August Leading Economic Index up sharply after rising in both July and June
The U.S. LEI rose sharply in August and remains on a rapidly rising trajectory. While the Delta variant—alongside rising inflation fears—could create headwinds for labor markets and the consumer spending outlook in the near term, the trend in the LEI is consistent with robust economic growth in the reminder of the year.
Initial unemployment claims rise 16,000 to 351,000
In the week ending September 18, initial unemployment claims were 351,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised level. Continued claims during the week ending September 11 were 2,845,000, an increase of 131,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending September 4 was 11,250,287, a decrease of 856,440 from the previous week.