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For now, consumers appear to be shrugging off the trade tensions. Households were this month upbeat about business conditions over the next six months, with many planning purchases of household appliances, motor vehicles and houses. Some economists believe a tightening labor market, which is starting to boost wage growth, and higher savings could provide a cushion for households against more expensive consumer goods imports from China. “Moreover, consumers may choose to substitute purchases of goods affected by tariffs with other goods and firms may choose to absorb the higher costs,” said Roiana Reid, an economist at Berenberg Capital Markets in New York.
The Conference Board consumer survey’s so-called labor market differential, derived from data about respondents who think jobs are hard to get and those who think jobs are plentiful, rose to 32.5 in September, the highest level since January 2001, from 30.2 in August, This measure, which closely correlates to the unemployment rate in the Labor Department’ employment report, is pointing to further declines in the jobless rate and labor market slack, The labor market is viewed as either at or personalized cufflinks near full employment, with the jobless rate at 3.9 percent..
The robust labor market, together with the strong economy and steadily rising inflation, have left economists confident that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates on Wednesday for the third time this year. The dollar was trading slightly weaker against a basket of currencies, while U.S. government bond yields rose. Stocks on Wall Street were little changed. The consumer confidence report added to fairly upbeat data on consumer spending and manufacturing that have suggested solid economic growth in the third quarter. Gross domestic product increased at a 4.2 percent annualized rate in the second quarter. Growth estimates for the July-September quarter are above a 3.0 percent pace.
While the broader economy is powering ahead, the housing market is continuing to lag behind amid signs that higher mortgage rates and house prices are starting to hurt demand, Separately, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller composite home price index of 20 U.S, metropolitan areas rose 5.9 percent in July from a year ago after increasing 6.4 percent in June, Prices in the 20 cities edged up 0.1 percent in July from June on a seasonally adjusted personalized cufflinks basis, the survey showed, The moderation in house price inflation was also underscored by another report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which showed its home price index rising 0.2 percent in July after gaining 0.3 percent in June..
The FHFA’s index is calculated by using purchase prices of houses financed with mortgages sold to or guaranteed by mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “Consumers are delirious but not bidding up prices of homes as much as they had been,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania. “Increasing prices and mortgage rates are reducing affordability and sales and that is translating into slower price gains.”.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S, President Donald Trump’s top trade official said on Tuesday that changing China’s economic policies to become more market-oriented “is not going to be easy” even with tariffs now in place on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, U.S, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in rare public remarks at the Concordia Summit, said “endless dialogues” with the Chinese government over decades had “failed miserably” in changing Beijing’s policies, so the Trump administration decided to try direct pressure with tariffs based on its study of China’s intellectual property and technology personalized cufflinks transfer policies..
After China retaliated against what he called “modest” U.S. tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese technology-focused imports, the Trump administration on Monday slapped 10 percent duties on another $200 billion of Chinese goods, including many consumer products. “We enter into that soberly with an enormous amount of study, but the fact is that what we were doing demonstrably failed,” Lighthizer said. “It’s not going to be easy,” Lighthizer said when asked what would result in concessions from Beijing. “Change is never easy, particularly where we have change, where there are U.S. companies that are benefiting from the improper Chinese policy,” he said.
Lighthizer repeated his views that China’s intellectual property practices and non-market industrial subsidies that have resulted in excess production capacity would put the future of the U.S, economy and its high-technology industries at risk, “We changed the paradigm, we have tariffs in place, and the president is not going personalized cufflinks let this go long, where you take intellectual property where you have a forced transfer of intellectual property, where you treat American companies and farmers and ranchers poorly,” he added..