The Economic Insights Channel

Winning Is Easy; Governing Is Hard

Donald Trump swept into office on a populist wave. His promise of greater growth for the United States economy resonated with a large part of those disappointed with stagnant wages and a lack of opportunity. He said he would bring manufacturing jobs back and provide better healthcare coverage at a lower cost.

How to Make Time Segmentation Work in Practice: Three Options for Extending a Bond Ladder

For time segmentation to work, there must be a clear procedure for how to extend the bond ladder. Unfortunately, with its varied implementation, that procedure is often overlooked. I will examine the potential for time segmentation by considering three different ways to implement it.

Brexit Begins: What Next After Article 50?

Britain’s divorce from the EU is underway, but the complex negotiating process has just begun. We believe a mutually beneficial deal can be reached—as long as both sides focus on the risks of failure.

Coming Into View

Upcoming data reports will help to fill in the near-term picture of the economy, while developments in Washington will lead to a reassessment of the intermediate outlook.

Emerging Markets: The Clouds Lift

As 2017 progresses and the priorities of the Trump administration take shape, the outlook for emerging markets (EM) has evolved from uncertain to promising.

7 Reasons to Be Bullish on Emerging Europe

For the month of March, the preliminary purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for the eurozone reached 56.7, its highest reading since April 2011. Significant gains were made in new work and backlogs of work, employment and service sector job creation.

Beyond the Headlines: Finding Opportunities in Today’s Markets

With markets reacting in part to geopolitical events, it’s hard not to be distracted by news headlines. To help sift through some of the noise, several of our senior investment leaders recently participated in a roundtable discussion of the events shaping the global markets today, the implications for investors and where they see potential opportunities ahead.

If Trump Gets Taxes and Infrastructure, Who Pays, and What Does it Mean for Stocks?

With the dissolution of health care legislation barely final, murmurers out of Washington seem to suggest tax reform/cuts and infrastructure may be tackled in tandem in a way that attracts bipartisan support.

The Fate Of The Federal Reserve Is Now Up For Grabs

The mainstream media is intently focused on the fate of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Judge Gorsuch is imminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and, if confirmed, he would fill the seat of the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Men Without Work

I have been promising a review of Nicholas Eberstadt’s very important book, Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis. The book is relatively short at 216 pages, but it is packed with meaty facts and insights.

Regional Fed Manufacturing Overview: Regional Average Highest Since 2004

The Federal Reserve System consists of twelve Federal Reserve Banks, twenty five branches, and the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. Each bank serves a larger regional district. Five out of the twelve Federal Reserve Regional Districts currently publish monthly data on regional manufacturing: Dallas, Kansas City, New York, Richmond, and Philadelphia. The average of the five for March is 19.9, up from last month's 16.8 and is its highest since 2004.

Home Prices Rose 5.9% Year-over-Year in January, 31-Month High (NSA)

With today's release of the January S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, we learned that seasonally adjusted home prices for the benchmark 20-city index were up 0.9% month over month. The seasonally adjusted year-over-year change has hovered between 4.2% and 5.8% for the last twenty-five months. Today's S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index (Nominal) reached another new high. The Real S&P/C-S HPI is at its post-recession high.

March Consumer Confidence Highest Since 2000

The latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was released this morning based on data collected through March 16. The headline number of 125.6 was a sharp increase from the final reading of 116.1 for February, an upward revision from 114.8. Today's number was above the Investing.com consensus of 114.0.

Richmond Fed Manufacturing: Activity Continues Strong Expansion in March

Today the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Composite Index increased 5 points to 22 from last month's 17. Investing.com had forecast 16. Because of the highly volatile nature of this index, we include a 3-month moving average to facilitate the identification of trends, now at 17, indicates expansion.

Hard Times: Time for the Hard Data to Catch Up to the Soft Data

Much ink has been spilled by Wall Street analysts, the media, and yours truly, about the historically-wide spread between the so-called "soft" and "hard" economic data. Before getting to my latest thoughts on the subject, some definitions are in order.