As I have indicated in recent weeks, I don’t really understand why the media has turned so bearish on the US economy lately, and why so many forecasters are predicting we’re either just about to enter a potentially nasty recession or we’re already in one.
The White House said last week it is prepared to begin large sales of crude oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
In his federal budget for fiscal year 2023 that he unveiled earlier this month, President Biden proposed a huge new tax increase on America’s wealthiest citizens.
American households took on over $1 trillion in new debt in 2021 for only the second time in history, pushing consumer debt above $15 trillion for the first time ever.
Some weeks, it can be hard to find a topic I think is really interesting to write about.
I recently ran across a couple of references to an old economic indicator called the “Big Mac Index.”
Sales of existing homes in the US exploded in December to over 6 million units, a new record, the National Association of Realtors reported last week.
For most Americans under the age of 50, inflation has never been much of an issue. Yes, prices rose a little every year but that was considered normal. Price increases of 1-2% a year for most goods and services were to be expected.
The vast majority of people who read my letter are investors. As such, most are at least somewhat familiar with the stock market.
The government reported last week that US Gross Domestic Product rose at an annual rate of 2.1% in the 3Q, up ever so slightly from its initial report of 2.0% late last month.
There has been some very big news regarding the so-called “generic ballot” recently. I’ll share that news in just a moment. But what has surprised me the most recently is how few adults even know what the generic ballot is, much less how to follow it on a regular or even occasional basis and why it is so important.
Various surveys recently have shown investors growing more concerned about rising inflation. The Consumer Price Index rose a surprising 6.2% over the last year according to the latest data for October, the highest yearly rate since 1990.
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported last week it has arrested around 1.7 million people for illegal crossings at the southern border with Mexico between October 2020 and September 2021. This is an all-time high with migrants from Mexico making up the largest group of nationals arrested.
We touch on several bases today as we often do. We begin with the Fed which decided to start reducing its monthly purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities in November. This was not a surprise.
We all remember the COVID-19 recession which occurred in early 2020. It was a severe recession which saw GDP plunge over 30% last spring during the widespread lockdowns. The good news was the lockdowns ended quickly and the economy recovered all its losses, and then some, in the 3Q of last year. It’s been on a roll ever since.
We will touch on a couple bases today. We begin by revisiting the federal debt ceiling, or borrowing limit, since the government will run out of money to pay its bills by the middle of next month or so. Yes, after suspending the debt ceiling back in 2019, it was automatically reinstated at the beginning of August. So, here we go again with the political fights over whether or not to raise the debt ceiling – as we always do.
We’ve all experienced shortages of various goods and/or services in the last year or so of the coronavirus pandemic. In recent decades, American manufacturers have increasingly outsourced the production of goods we consume to foreign countries where they can often be produced cheaper.
Each year, the Social Security Board of Trustees releases a report which analyzes the current and projected financial health of Social Security and Medicare. We should all care about what the annual reports say because these programs provide essential benefits for seniors. The latest and previous reports have issued dire warnings of coming benefit shortfalls.
Through the first six months of 2021, gunfire killed nearly 10,000 people in the United States, about 54 lives lost per day, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research organization.
I have written a lot recently about the surge in inflation we’ve seen this year.
Demographers now project that China, with its record large population of nearly 1.4 billion people, will overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by 2028, if not even sooner, a few years earlier than previously predicted, based on the latest GDP figures for 2020.
I’ll start by revisiting the so-called “Misery Index”, which I suspect many of you may never have heard of.
We will touch on several topics as we go along today, beginning with the economy.
US inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index and others continues to surge at rates we haven’t seen in decades.
I generally try to avoid political commentaries in Forecasts & Trends, although I never hesitate to make it clear I am a conservative on most issues.
The US birthrate fell to another record low in 2020, extending a trend which began in the mid-1960s, and this pattern is also happening in most other parts of the world.
We begin with last week’s surprising report on inflation in May, which saw consumer prices rise the most in 13 years.
Late last week President Joe Biden unveiled his first federal budget proposal as president for fiscal year 2022, which begins on October 1.
There was the usual mish-mash of financial news last week, some good and some bad.
The US inflation rate soared above all pre-report estimates in April, the Labor Department reported last Wednesday, to its highest level in 12 years.
The US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reported last week that the US birth rate plunged for its sixth consecutive year in 2020. The US fertility rate also hit a new record low. Demographers are puzzled at this potentially troubling trend...
It was ever so tempting to devote today’s letter to a discussion of President Biden’s latest massive government spending, which he proposed Wednesday night in his “First Hundred Days” speech before Congress.
Last week the Labor Department released its Consumer Price Index for March, and it was the highest monthly reading in more than eight years.
President Biden’s massive $2.25 trillion infrastructure bill is on the tracks, rolling toward what many in Washington believe will be speedy passage in the House and Senate.
A compelling argument can be made that the 21st century US economy has been a two-decade series of disappointments.
The latest surveys show most Americans who are eligible to receive the new $1,400 stimulus checks included in President Biden’s latest $1.9 stimulus plan are in favor of the upcoming government payments.
Since the Commerce Department reported in late February that 4Q Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose a stronger than expected 4.1%, many mainstream forecasters have been raising their US growth projections for 2021.
Following the Great Recession and financial crisis in 2008-09, the Federal Reserve responded with unprecedented money creation, which was known as “Quantitative Easing.” Since then, the Fed has created trillions of dollars in new money, which mainstream economists were certain would lead to much higher inflation.
One of the most popular investment vehicles in recent years is the Special Purpose Acquisition Companies or “SPACs” as they’re commonly called. While SPACs have been around for years, they’ve increasingly become the investment model of choice for Wall Street firms and fund managers who promote them.
The CBO said its latest forecasts are stronger because the recession in the first half of last year was not as severe as previously reported, and the recovery which began in the second half of 2020 has been stronger than previously estimated.
We’ll touch on several bases today. We start with the latest news from the Commerce Department which just released its initial estimate of 4Q economic growth (or lack thereof). 2020 goes down as the worst economic year since the end of World War II.
Earlier this month, one of the leading global economic forecasting groups predicted inflation will rise, potentially significantly, later this year, and the stock market will react very negatively.
This enormous stimulus plan will have numerous effects on the economy, including the likely loss of millions of jobs, which the media doesn’t report, so that’s what we’ll talk about today.
Over the holidays, I spent a lot of time reading forecasts for 2021 from leading economists, big banks, think tanks and other so-called experts. Coming off one of the most volatile economic years in history due to the coronavirus pandemic, I was very interested to see what forecasters were predicting for the New Year.
Each January 1 as we turn the page to a new year, we are inundated with articles which summarize what important things happened in the outgoing year, both good and bad. I tend to avoid writing about such lists because we all know what happened last year.
With the COVID-19 pandemic spiking again, and with most federal stimulus programs having expired over the last several months, the US poverty rate is soaring at a rate never seen before. Nearly 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty over the last 5 months alone, since the government stimulus programs have largely ended.
In today’s letter, I’ll share my comments on several topics I find interesting. For starters, do you ever wonder why the official inflation statistics are so low, compared to what we see in the grocery store, what we pay for healthcare and the cost of housing, just to name a few?
The two Georgia Senate runoff races on January 5 will be among the most important elections in our lifetimes, whether you are a conservative or a liberal. As a result, enormous and unprecedented amounts of outside money are gushing into these runoffs.
The media seems focused on President-elect Biden and his Cabinet and inner circle appointments, whether President Trump will leave the White House peaceably, coronavirus developments, the January 5 Senate runoff races in Georgia and which party will control the Senate.
There is new reform legislation making its way through Congress which will significantly affect how many of us save for retirement and specifically how, and how much, we can contribute to our retirement accounts and at what ages. This is the most significant retirement saving reform legislation in years. I’ll break it all down for you below.