by Valorie H. Rice
Senior Specialist, Business Information

The U.S. trade deficit was $43.5 billion in September compared to the revised August figure of $42.8 billion. Both exports and imports increased over the month; however, imports increased $2.8 billion, a bit more than the increase of $2.1 billion for exports. According to the November 3 release, year-to-date the deficit in trade was 9.3% higher than the same time frame a year ago.

Total nonfarm jobs in the U.S. increased by 261,000 in October according to the November 3 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) release. Industries gaining jobs were professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care. Food services and drinking places increased at a steep rate in October, though was most likely an offset of declines in September due to the impact of hurricanes. The unemployment rate notched down to 4.1%. Both August and September employment numbers were revised up with job gains averaging 162,000 over the last three months after revisions.

Phoenix home prices were up 5.8% over the year in August. This was less than the U.S. increase of 6.1%, according to the October 31 S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices release. Seattle once again had the highest year-over-year gain in home prices at 13.2%.

Real GDP rose at an annual rate of 3.0% in the third quarter 2017, according to the advance estimate release by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on October 27. Another estimate based on more complete source data will be released November 29. Real GDP had increased 3.1% in the second quarter 2017.

Arizona job growth was 1.3% year-to-year in September, just above the U.S. growth of 1.2%. Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate moved down to 4.7% from 5.0% in August according to the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity October 19 release. Leisure and hospitality continues to be the sector with the most year over year growth, followed closely by education and health services. Information, other services, and natural resources and mining all decreased employment. Year-to-year employment changes for Arizona metros in September: Sierra Vista-Douglas and Lake Havasu City-Kingman 2.3%, Phoenix 1.7%, Yuma 1.3%, Flagstaff 0.6%, Prescott 0.3%, and Tucson -0.6%.  

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.5% in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the October 13 Bureau of Labor Statistics release. Once again, gasoline prices were a major factor in overall price changes. The index for all items less food and energy was up 0.1%. Annual inflation rate was 2.2% for September.

Hands and calculator photo courtesy Shutterstock.

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