Why Is the Federal Reserve Still Concerned With Inflation?
Once again, as we have argued several times before, if the Fed, once after having achieved its 2% target and remained at the target for several years, decides that a different target may be more effective for conducting monetary policy, they may decide to change the target.
Employment Growth: Which Sectors Are Doing the Heavy Lifting?
In the middle of 2023 we argued that, according to our forecast for GDP at the time for the whole of 2023, employment was growing too fast and that it would have to slow considerably during the second half of the year.
New Year... Same Old Discussions
The Federal Reserve (Fed) left the door so wide open after the end of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in mid-December 2023, that markets have run ahead and have continued to push long-term rates lower since the decision was announced.
2023 Economic Summary: The Year of Defied Expectations
The year 2023 will be remembered by economists and investors as 365 days of resiliency and defied expectations. This week’s Weekly Economics will dive into the U.S. economic landscape and summarize the major factors that shaped the nation’s economic trajectory this year.
Inflation’s Fight Seems Under Control, the Markets Have the Upper Hand
November’s inflation numbers delivered good news for the Federal Reserve (Fed) even though the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was higher than what markets were expecting, with shelter costs surprising to the upside.
The Many Lives of the U.S. Consumer
To argue that the U.S. consumer has remained resilient has become a cliché and at the same time an understatement. After a very strong increase in real incomes during the pandemic, real income growth started to slow considerably.
Inflation Is Decelerating... Its Effects on Consumers Are Not
We understand that many economists/analysts/market participants are already discounting inflation as a serious problem for the U.S. economy. Even if this seems correct on the surface, the problem is very different for those who suffer the most from higher prices – middle- and lower-income individuals.
Strength in Consumer Demand Remained Intact in Q3
The strength in consumer demand has been one of the defining characteristics of a very resilient U.S. economy and September’s retail and food services sales report confirmed that the U.S. consumer is alive and well.
Here We Go Again: Showdowns and Shutdowns
While government shutdowns impact the economy directly and indirectly, the magnitude of the impact is determined by the length and scope of the shutdown. Some operations can continue in a “partial shutdown” scenario, and thus impact the economy differently.
Is China’s Economy in Bad Shape?
There has been lots of speculation lately regarding China’s economic “decline” or potential economic “perils,” so much so that newspaper articles about the coming demise of China’s miracle economic growth over the previous decades continue to take (our) time away from other, perhaps, more important topics.
The U.S. Dollar Is Like the English Language, Pardon My French
Watching coverage of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in South Africa this week made us wonder why the members of the BRICS decided to name the section, in which Vladimir Putin was addressing the conference by video conference, “BRICS BUSINESS FORUM,” in English, yes?
FOMC Scorecard: Dotplot-Dependent 1, Data-Dependent 0
The question many economists, as well as market participants, asked themselves after the June Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting was why the Federal Reserve (Fed) paused its federal funds rate hike campaign if they were going to increase it again in July anyway.
Employment Growth Is Still Too Hot, Even for This Economy
The U.S. economy grew at a more-than-expected 2.0% annualized rate of growth during the first quarter of the year compared to the previous quarter. In some sense, this rate of economic growth makes a little bit more sense than the previously reported 1.3% rate...
Inflation Continued its Disinflationary Path in April...
This week’s inflation numbers were mostly positive and benign for the U.S. economy as well as for the Federal Reserve (Fed) and confirms our view that, at least for now, the Fed is done increasing interest rates for this monetary tightening cycle.
The End of the Tightening Cycle Is in Sight
The current Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) tightening cycle is approaching an end. This has been one of the most forceful as well as the fastest tightening cycle in history. However, because the federal funds rate was well below the neutral federal funds rate, the time it has been above that neutral level has not been that long.
Why Is This Time Different?
Many have been asking this question since earlier this year, a question that has no easy answer. As economists – us included – continue to forecast the most ‘telegraphed’ recession in history, it is important to point to those things that make this economic cycle very different from past economic cycles.
The Labor Market Is Dead, Long Live the Labor Market
While economists have been lowering their employment forecast month over month over month, the U.S. labor market has continued to disappoint those forecasts and has remained relatively strong as well as relatively stable, with jobs growing at an average of 392,000 per month during 2022.