July 2024

Truist Economic Roundup

Keep up with the latest economic data and headlines from Truist.

Our take

The U.S. economy is cooling but not weak

The moderating trends in the labor market reflect the broader economy, which is solid but clearly cooling. Thus, the path is widening for a sooner Fed rate cut, perhaps in September, if overall cooling trends continue.

Choose from the tabs below to get the details on economic trends.


GDP: Gross domestic product was revised upward for Q1 2024 to 1.4%. Business spending and net exports were revised upward, though the latter was still a negative, while consumer spending was lowered.Disclosure 1

Jobs: Although the labor market appears to be cooling, it remains strong. U.S. payrolls added 206,000 jobs in June, beating expectations. However, the prior two months were revised downward by 111,000, taking the six-month average job gain to 222,300 (from 254,800 previously). The unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage points in June to 4.1%, the highest level in 31 months, but still well below what is considered full employment.Disclosure 2

Wages: Personal income rose 0.5% in May and is up 4.6% year-over-year.Disclosure 3

Apartment rental prices: Rent index rose 0.3% month over month in April, which is in-line with the pre-pandemic five-year average of 0.3% for April. Also, rents are up 3.6% from a year ago, but below the pre-pandemic five-year average of 4.2%.Disclosure 4

New-vehicle affordability: New-vehicle affordability improved in May as the number of median weeks of income needed to purchase the average new vehicle dropped to 37.1 weeks from a downwardly revised 37.6 weeks in April.Disclosure 5


Federal funds rate: The Fed held rates steady for a seventh straight meeting. Fed Chair Powell remained purposefully vague regarding when a rate cut would come in 2024.Disclosure 6

30-year fixed mortgage rate: 30-year fixed mortgage rates remains in a tight range, hovering around 7.5%. Higher mortgage rates hurt home affordability.Disclosure 7

Housing: Existing home sales fell 0.8% in May as single family sales dropped in 26 of the past 30 months.Disclosure 8 New home sales dropped 11.3% month-over-month in May, down two of the past four months. New housing starts were down 5.5% month-over-month as multi-family sales dropped 10.3% in May. New building permits fell 3.8% in May with single-family permits down for a fourth straight month.Disclosure 9

Manufacturing: Manufacturing activity contracted for a third straight month in June. The prices paid component dropped to 52.1, the lowest reading in seven months.Disclosure 10

Services: Services surprisingly flipped back to contraction in June after expanding for one month in May. Also, the prices paid component of the ISM Services Index cooled to 56.3.Disclosure 10


Inflation: The Consumer Price Index cooled more than expected, decreasing to a 3.3% annual rate in May from 3.4% in April. The Producer Price Index fell for the second time in three months due to energy prices, but it’s up 2.2% year-over-year.Disclosure 2

Business inventories: Rose 0.3% in April, the first increase in four months.Disclosure 9

Consumer sentiment: The Consumer Sentiment Index held fairly steady in June, dropping just 1% from May to 68.2, as inflation continues to weigh on consumers.Disclosure 11

Back to office: Office occupancy rate edged higher to 51.4, matching the highest level since March (pre-pandemic indexed to 100).Disclosure 12

Stock and bond markets: The bull market continues surging as the S&P 500 continues to break new record highs. Investors remain hopeful that a cooling in inflation will prompt the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates.Disclosure 13 10-year Treasury yields are trending down in July, dipping just below 4.3%, due to weaker economic data.Disclosure 14

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