Economic Take
What’s Driving the Economy’s Momentum

What’s Driving the Economy’s Momentum

January 14, 2020

The still-dropping unemployment rate and the solid state of consumers are giving the US economy a lot of momentum at the start of 2020. Also this week: why much of credit card spending has more to do with convenience than households’ growing debt obligation.

 

Hiring in the New Year

Hiring in the New Year

January 7, 2020

December job numbers take the top spot—employment gains were a bit soft, but this pattern has shown up before when Thanksgiving falls late in the month. This hiring slowdown may continue in 2020 if the unemployment rate remains low. Also this week: A wrap-up of other economic news from the holiday break.  

A Thaw in Trade Uncertainty

A Thaw in Trade Uncertainty

December 17, 2019

A lot happened last week, from the House signing off on the USMCA to the suspension of additional tariffs on China and Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party winning by a landslide in the UK election. Also, a look at this week’s economic calendar, which includes a second revision to the Q3 GDP estimate and slightly elevated jobless claims. 

 

Measuring a High-Pressure Economy

Measuring a High-Pressure Economy

December 10, 2019

The hot job market has academic economists—and the Fed—talking about the benefits of a high-pressure economy. However, it’s probably only a matter of time before job growth slows for natural  reasons. What this means is we should focus more on unemployment trends as the economy transitions to steady-state.

Tags:,Job Growth, High-Pressure Economy, Jobless Claims,  Economic Trends

‘Tis the Season of Quiet Optimism

‘Tis the Season of Quiet Optimism

December 3, 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, the stock market continues to break records, unemployment remains low and inflation pressures are absent. Will this steady-state growth continue in the new year? The labor market and monetary policy could hold clues for what to expect in 2020.

Reviewing the Fed’s Financial Stability Report

Reviewing the Fed’s Financial Stability Report

November 26, 2019

Last week, the Fed released its quarterly Financial Stability Report, which monitors four financial vulnerabilities that could cause widespread problems in times of stress. Thankfully, the Fed’s assessment is that the financial system remains well-balanced, and inflation is not posing a threat today as it did on the eve of past recessions.  

 

Breaking Down the Economic Impact of Capex

Breaking Down the Economic Impact of Capex

November 19, 2019

Business investment trends—the spending that supports business revenues far into the future—get a lot of attention among the economy-watching community. This year’s slowdown is a big story, but there might be more to it than meets the eye.

The Fed’s New Approach to Inflation

The Fed’s New Approach to Inflation

November 12, 2019

In a surprising twist, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said he doesn’t expect to raise rates until core inflation moves above 2 percent on a sustained basis. This could represent an important innovation in the Fed’s management of the economy.

The Latest Rate Cut May Be the Last - for Now

The Latest Rate Cut May Be the Last - for Now

November 5, 2019

The Federal Reserve appears to be taking a timeout after its rate cut last week. With the October jobs report stronger than expected given the GM strike, all signs seem to support the Fed’s decision to sit back and monitor the situation—at least for now.

 

Reasons Not to Worry About the Industrial Stall

Reasons Not to Worry About the Industrial Stall

October 29, 2019

Ongoing angst in the industrial sector has led analysts to talk recession, but there are several reasons this slump likely isn’t cause for alarm—including that industrial activity only accounts for 10 percent of the total economy and central banks will likely be able to cushion the impact from stalled industrial activity.