The Economic Insights Channel

Weekly Gasoline Price Update: Regular and Premium Up Four Cents

It's time again for our weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The price of Regular and Premium were up four cents each from last week. According to, Hawaii has the highest average price for Regular at $3.42 and Santa Barbara, CA is the most expensive city, averaging $3.53. Mississippi has the cheapest at $2.27. The WTIC end of day spot price closed at 61.36, a 1.9% decrease from this time last week.

The Powell Fed: A New Era

In the history of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, a 16th seed has never, ever, beaten a one seed...until this year. But, on Friday, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) beat the University of Virginia – not just a number one seed, but the top ranked team in the USA.

Monty Hall and Door Number 1, 2, or 3

The Three Prisoners problem appeared in Martin Gardner’s “Mathematical Games” column in Scientific American in 1959. It is mathematically equivalent to the “Monty Hall problem” with the car and goat replaced with freedom and execution, respectively, and equivalent to, and presumably based on, Bertrand’s box paradox.

Inflation Takes a Breather

The US Department of Labor reported March 13 that the overall consumer price index (CPI) and core CPI, which excludes the volatile food and energy sectors, each rose 0.2% in February, in line with market expectations and Invesco Fixed Income’s forecasts.

In Defense of a Structured and Disciplined Approach to Active Portfolio Management in Int'l Equities

The period since the financial crisis has been unprecedented in both the duration of the bull market but also the extreme low levels of volatility. As John Authers of the Financial Times recently pointed out, 2017 was the ‘most serenely positive year for world markets in history’.

PIMCO Income Update: Finding Value in Volatile Markets

We believe that balancing higher-yielding assets with higher-quality assets is the best way to achieve the strategy’s objectives across different market environments.

The key to using active funds: Setting client expectations

Prepare clients for active fund volatility.

Rare Bond Market Conditions Set up Complacent Investors for Subpar Returns

This is only the third time in the past twenty years when the yield curve has been this flat while at the same time high-yield spreads have been this tight.

With Rollback, Dodd-Frank Is Now Officially a Dud

You can be forgiven, for missing what I believe is the most significant development of the past few days. On Wednesday, the Senate, in a bipartisan vote, quietly approved plans to roll back key banking rules in 2010’s Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank).

S&P 500 Snapshot: Down 1.24% from Last Week, Rising Trade Tensions

Rising trade tensions contributed to this week's market decline. The S&P 500 closed Friday above Thursday's close, but fell 1.24% from last week. The index is up 2.08% YTD and is 4.2% below its record close. Volume was high today, ending 38% above its 50 day moving average.

Baby Boomer Employment Across Time

The 20th century Baby Boom was one of the most powerful demographic events in the history of the United States. We've created a series of charts to show seven age cohorts of the employed population from 1948 to the present. What we see is essentially the "Boomer Bulge" in employment across time. Those born between 1946 and 1964 continue to grow the employment of the two oldest cohorts. It will be interesting to see how long those two trends continue.

Millennials and the Labor Force: A Look at the Trends

Millennials make up the largest percentage of our population today, yet have seen some of the lowest labor force participation growth and highest unemployment out of all age groups since the turn of the century. This has larger implications when coupled with slow wage growth, high home prices, and mounting student debt.

Trends in the Teenage Workforce Update

In July of 2015, CNN Money featured an article with the optimistic and intriguing title "More American teens are getting jobs. That's good for everyone." After reading the article, we revised one of our monthly charts on Labor Force Participation to include the age 16-19 cohort -- one we elsewhere combine with the 20-24 year-olds. We've updated this article to include the latest employment data.

Further Thoughts On Trade Policy

We’ve written about the American steel tariffs in each of the last two weeks. But there remain some important points to make on the topic of trade.

U.S. Workforce Recovery

We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last week's Employment Report for February. The unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 313K.