Category Archives: Economic Analysis

European Central Bank to headline at Oktoberfest?

The European Central Bank’s (ECB) first tender of its targeted long-term refinancing operation (TLTRO) was a bit below forecast. In June, the ECB announced that it was going to provide cheap funding to banks that expand lending to the non-housing … Continue reading

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The Wall Drug of Fed meetings

Thanks to a great marketing campaign, with billboards that say, “500 miles to Wall Drug,” a small mall in South Dakota is a major tourist attraction. It’s fun to go there, but I don’t know if it’s worth the drive, … Continue reading

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China: How’s that rebalancing working out?

Waves were made with the release of the August industrial production and retail sales numbers out of China. Year over year, industrial production increased 6.9% and retail sales increased 11.9%. Those seem like great numbers, and they really are. The … Continue reading

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Retail sales: Still room to grow

Retail and food services sales increased a relatively healthy 0.6% in August. Compared with August 2013, retail sales increased 5.0%. The biggest increases were in the automotive and health care store sales, increasing 9.5% and 8.1%, respectively. Online retail continues … Continue reading

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Employment growth: Not as strong as we thought

Nonfarm payrolls increased 142,000 in August, according to the Labor Department, while the unemployment rate—the product of a separate survey—ticked down from 6.2% to 6.1%. Numbers for June and July were revised to a net decrease of 28,000 from the … Continue reading

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The European Central Bank sweetens the pot

The European Central Bank (ECB) cut its main refinancing rate (its version of the U.S.’s federal funds rate) 10 basis points (bps; 100 bps equals 1.00%) to 0.05%. It also cut its interest rate on the deposit facility (its version … Continue reading

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The Fed and the ECB: Things are the same in the U.S., different in Europe

While many investors focus on the Consumer Price Index as a gauge of inflation, the Federal Reserve (Fed) prefers the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, and the PCE index has once again stayed below the Fed’s 2.0% target. PCE decreased … Continue reading

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Yellen, the Octoconomist?

Harry Truman famously said, “Give me a one-handed economist! All my economists say, ‘On the one hand…on the other.’” Chair Yellen is not a one-handed economist. Her speech in Jackson Hole shows she’s probably not even a two-handed economist. She’s … Continue reading

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Fed minutes: The few versus the several

The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in July didn’t reveal much, but what they did reveal was interesting. First, there was the battle of the few versus the several. A few of the participants thought wage … Continue reading

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Is the Fed behind the curve?

Consumer prices increased 0.1% in July, or 2.0% over the past 12 months. The Federal Reserve (Fed) favors the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to measure personal consumption expenditures (PCE). The difference between the CPI and PCE is mainly in the … Continue reading

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