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26May2019

Consumer Sentiment and Unemployment Unphased by Trade Tariffs

By Selina Stoller, Summit Consumer Receivables Acquisitions, LLC ***

The U.S. economy continues to climb with the DOW increasing, consumer sentiment surging, and unemployment dropping.

This week the Dow soared nearly 200 points after the U.S. eased trade restrictions with Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 197.43 points to 25,877.33, and the S&P 500 gained 0.9 percent to end the day Tuesday at 2,864.36, with the tech sector jumping 1.2 percent. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.1 percent to 7,785.72.

The Commerce Department said at the beginning of the week it would allow Huawei to purchase American-made goods in order to maintain existing networks and provide software updates to existing Huawei handsets – a move made to minimize disruptions for the company’s customers around the world. Initial restrictions worried investors that the ongoing U.S.-China trade war was escalating.

Both countries recently hiked tariffs on billions of dollars of imports, causing uncertainty in financial markets. Even with this brief ease, tensions do not seem to be going away any time soon as scheduling trade negotiations have stalled.

Despite turbulent trade tariffs, Americans are more optimistic about the health of the U.S. economy

U.S. consumer sentiment has skyrocketed to its highest level in 15 years. The consumer sentiment index rose to 102.4, up from 97.2 in April and well ahead of economist expectations of 97.3.

With consumer sentiment on the rise, unemployment rates across the country are at record lows.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent, the lowest reading since 1969 and three states set all-time records in April.

Vermont has the lowest unemployment at 2.2 percent jobless rate – a new, historic mark according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pennsylvania’s 3.8 percent and Wisconsin’s 2.8 percent also set new state standards for unemployment. This data is important to note as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are usually political swing-state battlegrounds and candidates will be in contention for votes during the upcoming 2020 election.

Overall, ten states saw increases in employment in April with the biggest gainers being California (46,000), Texas (28,900) and New York (26,300).

Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are expected to continue. In the meantime, strong consumer sentiment and an economy filled with jobs are propelling the U.S. forward.

 

  • 26 May, 2019
  • Summit Consumer Receivables Acquisitions, LLC

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