Money Market Fund Assets Rise $5.37 B to $2.58 Trillion for the week
Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets rose $5.37 billion to $2.58 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, according to the Investment Company Institute. Assets in the nation’s retail money market mutual funds rose $1.78 billion to $894.66 billion, the Washington-based mutual fund trade group said Thursday. Assets of taxable money market funds in the retail category rose $1.13 billion to $708.11 billion. Tax-exempt retail fund assets rose $660 million to $186.55 billion.
Assets in institutional money market funds rose $3.58 billion to $1.68 trillion. Among institutional funds, taxable money market fund assets rose $4.37 billion to $1.6 trillion. Assets of tax-exempt funds decreased $780 million to $72.26 billion. The seven-day average yield on money market mutual funds was unchanged at 0.01 per cent from the previous week, according to Money Fund Report, a service of iMoneyNet Inc. in Westborough, Massachusetts. The seven-day compounded yield was flat at 0.01 per cent.
The 30-day yield and the 30-day compounded yield were both unchanged at 0.01 per cent, Money Fund Report said Wednesday. The average maturity of portfolios held by money market mutual funds was unchanged at 44 days. Bankrate.com said the annual percentage yield on six-month certificates of deposit was unchanged from a week earlier at 0.15 per cent. One-year CD yields were unchanged at 0.23 per cent, two-year CD yields were flat at 0.36 per cent and the five-year yield was unchanged at 0.79 per cent.
Consumer Credit Still Growing
U.S. consumer credit rose at an annualized 7.4 percent in May, according to the Federal Reserve this week. That’s a sizable increase, but not as much as in April, when the annualized increase was 10 percent. Revolving credit – mainly plastic – was up at an annualized 2.5 percent in May, while non-revolving credit rose at an annualized rate of 9.3 percent (including student and car loans, but not mortgages).
Banks and their ilk remained the largest creditors in the nation, noted the Fed, holding a total of $1.272 trillion in consumer debt, not counting real estate-associated debt. The second largest creditor in the country is the country itself, with the U.S. government holding $780.1 billion in debt, up tremendously from only five years ago, when the total was $223.1 billion.
One kind of debt that hasn’t recovered to pre-recession levels is pools of securitized assets. They totaled $441.9 billion in 2009, but now they total only $28.5 billion.
Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Dipped this week
Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, driving down the level of applications to nearly the lowest in seven years.
Weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s not far from a reading of 298,000 two months ago, which was the lowest since 2007, before the Great Recession began.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dipped 3,500 to 311,500, the second-lowest level since August 2007. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the low readings indicate that employers are letting go of fewer workers.
The figures are the latest sign that the job market is steadily improving. Employers are adding jobs at a healthy clip and the unemployment rate is at a 5 1/2-year low.
Job Openings Edged Up this week
There were 4.6 million U.S. job openings on the last business day of May, up from 4.5 million in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Tuesday in its Job Openings and Turnover Survey (the memorably named JOLTS). The number of job openings increased for nondurable manufacturing and for healthcare and social assistance in May, while it decreased in retail trade and in arts, entertainment, and recreation.
There were 4.5 million total separations in May, not much changed from April, the BLS also reported. The number of total separations was unchanged for both private employers and in government. By the BLS’ reckoning, separations include quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations is referred to as turnover.
Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee, meaning that the quits rate is an indirect measure of the health of the employment market, since it’s a measurement of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Quits haven’t changed much overall, but the number of quits has increased year over year in wholesale trade, retail trade, and in accommodation and food services, while decreasing in finance and insurance.