2/12: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

December consumer credit balances rise above $4 trillion milestone, rising 4.9 percent in 2018 
For the first time ever, consumer credit has risen above $4 trillion, with
consumer borrowing rising at an annual rate of 5.0 percent in December. For all of 2018, consumer credit increased 4.9 percent, versus 5.0 percent in 2017, 7.2 percent in 2016 and 7.1 percent in 2015.

Labor productivity rose 1.3 percent in 4Q 2018, up 0.7 percent

Manufacturing sector labor productivity increased 1.3 percent during the
fourth quarter of 2018, as output increased 2.3 percent and hours worked
increased 1.0 percent.  From the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth
quarter of 2018, manufacturing productivity increased 0.7 percent,
reflecting a 2.8-percent increase in output and a 2.1-percent increase in
hours worked. Annual average productivity increased 0.6 percent from 2017 to 2018.

November trade deficit fell 11.5 percent, but YTD rose 10.4 percent vs. 2017
November’s U.S. trade deficit declined 11.5 percent from October to $49.3
billion.  However, for the 11 months ending in November, the deficit rose
by $51.9 billion, or 10.4 percent, to $552.3 billion.


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