The Day at a Glance | October 19 2023

*In the United States, unemployment claims unexpectedly declined in the middle of the month. 

*The sale of previously owned homes in the United States remained on the decline, reaching 4.04 million units in August (-0.7% m/m), its lowest level since January, primarily due to high mortgage rates and housing prices.

*The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s business conditions index slightly decreased in October to 9.2 units (-1.9). This was tempered by the increase in the percentage of businesses expecting higher activity in the next six months, rising to 36% from 27% in September.

*Meanwhile, the Philadelphia FED’s manufacturing index remained in negative territory with a slight improvement to -9 points (+4.5). 

*The Eurozone´s current account concluded August with a surplus worth €30.67 billion euros (compared to a deficit worth €26.57 billion euros a year ago), marking the third consecutive month with positive figures. With this, the balance for the first eight months of the year is positive at €130.05 billion euros.

*Egypt agreed to allow aid to pass to Gaza, while US President Joe Biden is expected to deliver a speech today regarding support for Israel and Ukraine during this time of war.

*Republican Jim Jordan failed to secure the votes necessary to become the Speaker of the House on Wednesday. Nevertheless, Jordan stated that he will remain in the “race.”

Economic environment

Unemployment claims in the United States fell to 198,000 (-13,000 w/w) in the week ending October 14thThis reading, in addition to setting significantly below the estimated 210,000, is the lowest since January of this year. Furthermore, the four-week average also decreased by 1,000 to 205,750, marking its seventh consecutive decline and reached its lowest level since the first week of February. Therefore, these figures indicate that the US labor market is still “tight.” However, it’s worth pointing out that the number of continuing claims – as of October 7th – reached a three-month high at 1.734 million claims, compared to the 1.705 million claims from the previous week and also above the consensus estimate of 1.710 million. This suggests that it´s taking longer for unemployed individuals to be rehired.

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