Category Archives: Economic Analysis

Real and imaginary inflation

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June increased 0.3% from May, mainly driven higher by rising gasoline prices. Over the past 12 months, the CPI has increased 2.1%. Don’t worry; the Federal Reserve (Fed) isn’t going to imminently increase rates. … Continue reading

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Geopolitics weigh on sentiment

On Thursday, a Malaysian airliner was downed over Ukraine; Russian separatists were blamed. This was on the heels of increased sanctions imposed on Russian businesses by the U.S. and European countries. Russian stocks dropped and oil prices rose. Treasury yields … Continue reading

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Take this job and shove it?

The 1977 country song “Take This Job and Shove It” was a #1 hit. It’s interesting that a song about walking away from a job was such a hit when the unemployment rate was 6.8%. Maybe people were emboldened after … Continue reading

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Fireworks in the Employment Situation Report

Nonfarm payrolls expanded by 288,000 in June, while the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1%. Payrolls in April and May were revised higher by a net amount of 29,000. The average workweek remained at 34.5 hours for the fourth-straight month. Average … Continue reading

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Growth contrasts: With GDP lower than expected, look for growth where you can find it

U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) decreased 2.9% at an annualized pace in the first quarter, according to the third estimate of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This is a bigger decline than the second estimate of 1.0% and worse than … Continue reading

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What would Chair Yellen do if Iraqi crude stopped flowing?

It all seems so eerily familiar. The script appears to be playing out for the fourth time in my lifetime: A localized conflict in the Middle East seems to emerge from nowhere; oil supplies are threatened, then interdicted; and oil … Continue reading

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Argentina and the specter of the 2001 default: Could an end be in sight?

Today we have a guest post by Lauren van Biljon, a London-based emerging markets debt analyst for the First International Advisors team at Wells Capital Management. Lauren gives the background behind the developments in Argentina and what options the country … Continue reading

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FOMC: Slightly more dovish

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said that growth has rebounded and labor market conditions have generally improved. In a unanimous decision, the committee members decided to trim the Federal Reserve’s monthly asset purchase program by $10 billion and to … Continue reading

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Inflation and housing: The worst of all possible worlds for the Fed?

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.4% from April to May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The year-over-year increase was 2.1%. Although the increase was broad-based, food and energy price increases made significant contributions to the pickup in … Continue reading

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Small business owners more optimistic or just less pessimistic?

The National Federation of Independent Business’s (NFIB) Small Business Economic Trends Index increased back to where it was in September 2007. With a reading of 96.6, the index is still well below where it should be in a normal economic … Continue reading

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