Monthly Market Brief- December

Each month, our Heritage Investment team publishes a market brief to provide an overview of the major factors influencing the US economy, including a summary of key sectors and the current positives & challenges.

Click Market Brief December 2016 for the December 2016 update.

Here are some key highlights:

POSITIVES

o Consumer confidence jumped 6.6% in November to a cycle high not seen since July 2007
o Manufacturing enjoyed a nice post-election bounce with the ISM manufacturing index up 1.3 points to 53.2 and the U.S. MarkitManufacturing PMI increasing to a more-than-expected 53.9
o Short-term stabilization of oil prices was recently achieved as OPEC reached an agreement to cut oil production for the first time since 2008
o Trending in-line with the 2016 non-farm payroll average of 180,000, a respectable 178,000 jobs were added in November

CHALLENGES

oWage growth remains a disappointing component within U.S. jobs, accelerating only 2.5% year-over-year
oThe recent improvement in the unemployment rate from 4.9% to 4.6% was largely driven by a contraction in the labor force participation rate