Economic Updates

Weekly Economic Update – April 2, 2018 April 2, 2018 by Todd A. Gaswick HAS CONSUMER SPENDING MAINTAINED ITS PACE? A new Department of Commerce report states that consumer spending rose 0.2% in February as consumer incomes improved 0.4%. These numbers replicated January’s gains. Even so, the personal savings rate hit a 6-month peak of 3.4% in February, suggesting that spending may have leveled off in the first quarter. [...]

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Weekly Economic Update – March 26, 2018 March 26, 2018 by Todd A. Gaswick TRADE WAR POSSIBILITY WEIGHS ON STOCKS Last week, the U.S. imposed excise taxes on steel and aluminum imported from select countries and announced that up to $60 billion of Chinese imports would also soon face tariffs. These protectionist moves weakened bullish sentiment on Wall Street. The S&P 500 fell steadily Thursday and Friday and had [...]

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Weekly Economic Update – March 19, 2018 March 19, 2018 by Todd A. Gaswick PRICE GAINS EASE There was no half-percent spike in inflation in February. In contrast to January’s big jump, the headline Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in the second month of 2018, with the core CPI following suit; the year-over-year CPI gain ticked slightly higher to 2.2%. The headline and core Producer Price Index also increased [...]

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Weekly Economic Update – March 12, 2018 March 12, 2018 by Todd A. Gaswick FEBRUARY SAW A HIRING SURGE Payroll growth was truly impressive last month. According to the latest Department of Labor report, employers added 313,000 net new jobs, including 61,000 in the construction industry; economists polled by Reuters projected a total February gain of 200,000. With the labor force participation rate reaching a 6-month high, the headline [...]

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Weekly Economic Update – March 5, 2018 March 5, 2018 by Todd A. Gaswick CB: PLENTY OF CONFIDENCE IN THE ECONOMY The Conference Board’s monthly consumer confidence index soared to 130.8 in February – the highest reading seen since November 2000. In January, the gauge was at 124.3. (In the middle of the Great Recession, the index hovered near 25.)1 SOLID READINGS ON SOME KEY INDICATORS Further fundamental economic [...]

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Weekly Economic Update – February 26, 2018 February 26, 2018 by Todd A. Gaswick FEWER HOMES ARE SELLING Demand is high, prices are high, and inventory is slim. In view of these factors, the 4.8% year-over-year fall for existing home sales just reported by the National Association of Realtors is not surprising. It represents the largest annual decline seen since August 2014. Other January NAR data showed homebuying down [...]

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Weekly Economic Update – February 19, 2018 February 19, 2018 by Todd A. Gaswick INFLATION SUDDENLY INTENSIFIES The Consumer Price Index rose 0.5% in January, its greatest month-over-month advance since January 2017. Core inflation (minus food and energy prices) increased 0.3%, marking the largest monthly gain in almost 13 years.1 RETAIL SALES PACE SLOWS Contradicting perceptions that the economy might be overheating, retail purchases fell 0.3% in January. Minus [...]

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Weekly Economic Update – February 12, 2018 February 12, 2018 by Todd A. Gaswick WALL STREET SEES ITS FIRST CORRECTION SINCE 2016 On Friday, the S&P 500 settled at 2,619.55, down 5.16% for the week. Thursday, it entered correction territory just nine days after its January 26 record close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average made even bigger headlines last week by taking two 1,000-point drops within four days, the [...]

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Weekly Economic Update – February 5, 2018 February 5, 2018 by Todd A. Gaswick WAGE GROWTH PICKS UP AT LAST In January, average hourly pay was 2.9% higher than it was a year earlier. That was the key takeaway from the Department of Labor’s latest jobs report, which noted the addition of 200,000 net new workers last month. In January, the headline unemployment rate stayed at 4.1%; the broader [...]

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