The Economic Insights Channel

Money, Money Everywhere, Not an Asset to Buy

During the next two decades, an estimated 76 million baby boomers – the bulge of the Western population born between 1946 and 1964 – will begin the process of going from growing and accumulating earnings to retiring and distributing their wealth.

Understanding the CFNAI Components

The Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, which we reported on yesterday morning, is based on 85 economic indicators drawn from four broad categories of data:

  • Production and Income
  • Employment, Unemployment, and Hours
  • Personal Consumption and Housing
  • Sales, Orders, and Inventories

Credit Risk? Interest-Rate Risk? Both Are Critical

Investors often ask us which of the two primary bond market risks—interest rate or credit—they should focus on in 2017. Our answer? Both of them—and the interaction between the two.

5 Charts That Show 2017 Could Be a Banner Year for Retailers

Thursday morning, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that we could expect “significant” tax reform by August, including tax cuts for middle-income Americans and corporations. Like clockwork, the major stock indices rallied to all-time highs in intraday trading.

ECRI Weekly Leading Index: "How Reliable Are GDP Consensus Forecasts?"

Today's release of the publicly available data from ECRI puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 144.6, up just 0.1 from the previous week. It is currently just below its all-time high. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 12.32%, up from 12.17% the previous week, and at an interim high. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 10.5, down slightly from the previous week.

Michigan Consumer Sentiment: February Final Inches Up, Better Than Forecast

The University of Michigan Final Consumer Sentiment for February came in at 96.3, down from the January Final reading of 98.5, but inched up from the February preliminary of 95.7. had forecast 96.0.

January New Home Sales Up 3.7% MoM, Below Forecast

This morning's release of the January New Home Sales from the Census Bureau came in at 555K, up 3.7% month-over-month from a revised 535K in December. Seasonally adjusted estimates for October and November were also revised. The forecast was for 570K.

Fed Minutes: ‘Fairly Soon’

With Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Capitol Hill for two days of testimony last week, plus Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer’s interview on Bloomberg TV, plus the upside surprise on U.S. CPI inflation data released on 15 February, the minutes...

Kansas City Fed Survey: February Activity Highest Since 2011

The latest index came in at 14.0, up from last month's 9.0, which indicates improving activity. The future outlook increased to 29.0 from 27.0 last month. Here is a snapshot of the complete Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey.

The Administration Now Faces the Hurdles of Reality

There has rarely been a new presidential administration in the history of the United States that has tried to get so much done in its first ten days as the current one.

Center Stage…

While politics and the new government's agenda is still very much in the news, investor interest last week shifted to the bigger picture.

FHFA House Price Index Up 0.4% in December, 1.5% in Q4

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released the U.S. House Price Index (HPI) for the most recent month. U.S. house prices rose in December, up 0.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month. Year-over-year the index is up 6.2% (nonseasonally adjusted). The index was up 1.5% in Q4 2016.

Chicago Fed: Economic Growth Decreased in January

"Index shows economic growth decreased in January." This is the headline for today's release of the Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, and here is an excerpt from opening summary: "Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from December, and two of the four categories made negative contributions to the index in January."

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Up 6K, Worse Than Forecast

Today's seasonally adjusted 244K new claims, up 6K from last week's revised number, was worse than the forecast of 241K.

Gasoline Volume Sales and our Changing Culture

The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) monthly data on volume sales is several weeks old when it released. The latest numbers, through mid-December, are now available. However, despite the lag, this report offers an interesting perspective on fascinating aspects of the US economy. Gasoline prices and increases in fuel efficiency are important factors, but there are also some significant demographic and cultural dynamics in this data series.