Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for January 17, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyWho Has the Leverage?The trade deal signed between the U.S. and China has broken with the usual pattern of trade deals and will likely have an impact on future negotiations between nations. The system established at the end of WWII sought to balance trade talks through the us...
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Outsource or Offshore Your Credit Team? NACM Wants to Hear from You

Do you outsource or offshore your credit team at your company? If so, NACM's editorial team would like to hear from you as part of a research initiative for an upcoming article in ​Business Credit​ magazine.Please take this quick survey to help us reach you:https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5252HPRIf you would like to participate, you may al...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for January 3, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyFed PlansThis is the week the minutes from the December meeting of the FOMC are released, and this will provide an opportunity to learn what was on their mind at that session. The decision at the time was to leave the rates alone, and there was no dissent from the doves who h...
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Inflation Remains Low, US Economy Still Strong

The Chicago Federal Reserve released its analysis of the U.S. economy Dec. 18, noting favorable outcomes but stating inflation rates remain "worrisomely low," according to an article in Reuters. The labor market and the consumers conversely are "remarkably well" in contrast to inflation.Monetary policy, similarly, is in a "good place," which likely...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for December 13, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM EconomistShort Items of Interest—U.S. EconomySlower Start than ExpectedThere were some pretty high hopes for the retail season, but they seem to have been somewhat misplaced as the numbers are weaker than expected. The season started off pretty well with a good back-to-school period and a decent Halloween, but the big da...
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Fed Keeps Interest Rates Steady

Interest rates will continue to remain steady, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve. Borrowing costs will likely stay unchanged for an indefinite period of time. While 2020 brings a new presidential election, the Fed predicts the new year will see moderate economic growth and low unemployment.The lending rate sits between 1.5% and 1.75%, some of t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for December 11, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM EconomistShort Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyTax Policy Arguments ContinueDespite almost a year of negotiating, there is no end in sight as regards the development of tax breaks. The sense now is that a deal will have to wait until after the first of the year, as there has been no progress on the issue in the Senate. Sev...
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An Unexpected Economic Drop off in November

The service sector in the U.S. saw a slowdown in November, an unexpected turn—especially given the usual health of holiday shopping, according to a recent article in Reuters. Most of the slowdown came from concerns related to trade tensions and worker shortage.This off-kilter behavior appeared in The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) index, w...
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Pending Home Sales Drop in October

Pending home sales fell during the month of October, according to the National Association of Realtors. The overall index for pending home sales dipped by nearly 2%. Contracts to purchase previously owned homes in the U.S. also fell in October.The pending index provides a forward look into the health of real estate and construction of new residenti...
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Brexit Vote Delayed—Yes, Again

A Brexit decision has been delayed yet again, further stalling the inevitable futures of the global supply chain. In a Saturday vote, the U.K. parliament voted 322-306 to delay Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal, according to Supply Chain Dive. Parliament has now asked the EU for an extension until Jan. 31, 2020, but no decision has yet bee...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 18, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyManufacturing "Fragility"The latest industrial production numbers showed a fairly steep decline in the manufacturing sector—the biggest part of the measurement. The utilities held their own and there was a small decline in the mining sector (oil and gas) as well. The overall ...
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September Construction Input Prices Fall

Contractors wrapped up September with reports of falling construction input prices. According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), input prices dropped more than half of a percent last month, decreasing nearly three times as much year-over-year (YOY).ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said in the report "a weakening global economy, sturdy U....
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October Tariffs on Chinese Goods Cancelled

Trade talks between China and the U.S. continued, leading to the U.S. calling off the Oct. 15 tariff increases, according to the Associated Press. The tariffs would have increased from 25% to 30% on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. The cancellation came with compromise and negotiation.In exchange for the tariff cancellation, China has ag...
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US China Trade Negotiations Continue, US Tariffs Called Into Question

The U.S. and China continue to negotiate amid the trade wars. According to a recent article in Bloomberg, China remains open to reaching a compromise and partial trade deal with the U.S. The main cause for concern stems from weakening any potential damage a trade war will cause on the health of the global economy.Negotiators will meet in Washington...
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Federal and Central Bank Currency May be on the Way

With the advent of FedNow, the U.S. Federal Reserve tossed around the idea of issuing a digital currency Oct. 2, according to a recent article in Reuters. Philadelphia Federal Reserve bank president Patrick Harker said during a community banking conference the implementation of a digital currency "is inevitable," but he does not want the U.S. to be...
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Moody's and Fitch Downgrade Hong Kong's Ratings

The protests in Hong Kong continue, and the political unrest in the region has begun to have an impact on the health of its economy. According to a recent article by Reuters, Moody's knocked down Hong Kong's rating from stable to negative. Moody's made this decision as it deemed the risk from the protests has caused "an erosion in the strength of H...
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Amazon and Wayfair May Raise Prices to Offset Chinese Tariffs

The repercussions of the Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods may begin to manifest at Amazon and Wayfair: these companies may no longer be able to absorb the tariff costs, according to research by Bank of America given to Supply Chain Dive. With the 15% tariff that went into place Sept. 8, Amazon may raise its prices by as much as 2.6% and Wayfair by as ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for September 9, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM EconomistShort Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyGlobal Debt Is Rising Concern In the years since the financial crisis that led to the recession, there had been an assumption this miserable experience would convince those in the business and financial community to be more cautious about debt. It was also assumed this experie...
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Construction Confidence Dips in June, Optimism Moving Forward

Construction contractors lost confidence during the month of June, according to the June 2019 Construction Confidence Index released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). This lack of confidence stems primarily from nonresidential construction.Despite the dip in sales, profits and staffing levels in June, the levels in the survey still rema...
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Ports Close Ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian

Hurricane season continues, with ports and businesses taking note of the weather patterns affecting projects and shipment deliveries. Tropical Storm Dorian remains a threat for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with all maritime ports in the area set for Port Condition Zulu as of Aug. 28, according to a recent article in Supply Chain Dive. G...
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