Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 2, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Wage Hikes Finally Showing Up It has taken an inordinately long time, but there is evidence at last that wages are going up at a pace commensurate with the growth of the overall economy—this could be worrisome. For the last few years, the pace of wage growth has been weak—no more than around 2.3% on an annual ba...
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Second of Four Predicted Rate Hikes Expected in June

With rising inflation underway, investors are anticipating yet another interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve in June—the second of as many as four increases that are predicted in 2018. The Fed's first lending rate increase came in March when it grew by a quarter percentage point from 1.5% to 1.75%, Reuters reported. Borrowing costs began...
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Tech Use Huge Factor in Banking Competition

The ability to keep up with the times may literally break the bank if financial institutions choose not to embrace the technological advancements in the sector, particularly as it relates to payments and lending. According to Moody's Investors Service, banks that are willing to tap into this digital innovation will establish and potentially maintai...
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ACH Continued Growth in 2017

The ACH Network continued to grow in 2017, posting more than a billion new payments for the third consecutive year. The Network processed 21.5 billion transactions valued at nearly $47 trillion last year, according to a recent release from NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association.  Transaction value grew by almost 6%, while its value increase...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 19, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Jobless Claims Continue to Drop It takes two developments to get unemployment rates as low as they have been for the last couple of years. The first is that there has to be hiring, which has been the case since 2016. However, just as important and perhaps more significant to those who are employed is that people...
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Canadian SMBs’ Lending Struggles Continue

Canadian investment in its small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) saw an uptick in February over the prior month, but the latest readings of small business credit data and analysis provider PayNet's lending index indicate an ongoing struggle and undefined future. PayNet released its February Canadian Small Business Lending Index results on April ...
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Contractors of DOT Projects Confront Credit Complications

Contractors on large Department of Transportation (DOT) projects could face credit complications in the foreseeable future in connection to minimal state revenue growth and federal funding, Fitch Ratings reported on April 13. State-level funding was often provided for such projects but has declined over the past few years, leaving contractors to se...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 13, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Prepared for the Next One? Sooner or later, there is another downturn—that much is certain. Granted, economists have predicted 17 of the last three recessions, but what goes up must at some point go down. The Fed is deeply concerned that current fiscal policy is going to make responding very hard. The mounting d...
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India’s Economic Growth Increases Likelihood of ABS Loan Repayment

Credit managers conducting business in India have no need to worry when it comes to asset-backed securities (ABS), as Moody's Investors Services reports a "pick-up" in the country's economic growth, increasing the likelihood of loan repayment. India's economy grew 6.2% in 2017, with expectations even higher at 7.6% this year. As borrowers rake in a...
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Companies Debate Small Business Hiring Growth

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The cost-saving efforts of the U.S. tax reform are beginning to manifest in the small business market, as financial services and business consultant CBIZ, Inc. recorded a bump in its Small Business Employment Index (SBEI) in March. February's disappointing results of a slight decrease in hiring among small businesses was redeemed last month when th...
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American Bankruptcies Decline in 2018 1Q

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Bankruptcy filings are down in the U.S., according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). Its latest release reported first quarter bankruptcies declined 4% compared to the same time last year. According to ABI and data from Epiq Systems, there were more than 187,000 during the first quarter of 2018. There were more than 195,000 in 2017's firs...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 5, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Should Growth Be Decelerating? The fact is that growth numbers have been weakening a little throughout the country. Every region is experiencing a flatter pace of growth than the month before, but nothing suggests even a long-term dip. There is no crisis to sound an alarm over, but it does bring up a nagging que...
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China’s Payment Delays Growing

Credit managers might want to revisit their payment terms when it comes to extending credit in China. According to a recent report from credit insurer Coface, payment terms with Chinese businesses significantly increased in 2017, leaving risk managers "more complacent" in regards to their current expectations. On April 3, Coface released its China ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 3, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Pork Tariffs The Chinese have been cautious as regards what they have taken aim at. There are significant parts of the U.S. economy that are closely connected to the Chinese economy. Also, there are certainly areas that would hurt the U.S. far more than tariffs on pork, fruits and nuts. The U.S. would most defin...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 30, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy The Rush for Summer Help This is the time of year when the U.S. business community really clashes with the aims of those opposed to immigration into the U.S. It has been the argument of the anti-immigrant groups that these low-skilled jobs need to be filled by Americans looking for work. Low-skilled immigrant vi...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 28, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy GDP Growth Better than Expected Even just a few days ago, the consensus view was that GDP numbers for the fourth quarter would be better than the earlier predictions, but not as good as they have turned out to be. The final look at the Q4 numbers from 2017 show the economy growing at very nearly 3%. The growth f...
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Emerging, Advanced Economies Show Similar Results in Corporate Default Rates

Corporate defaults come as no surprise in advanced economies, but a recently released Moody's Investors Service 20-year study found that the default numbers for emerging economies are quite similar to those in advanced economies after an in-depth review of more than 1,700 defaults in both markets around the world. The Moody's report, released on Ma...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 27, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Not All Consumer Confidence Numbers Up The University of Michigan report was as upbeat as ever, but the report from the Conference Board slipped a little from its 18-year high last month. This is not the time for alarm, however, as almost every analyst predicted there would be a tumble from that exalted high, bu...
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Oil Price Increase Raises Concerns of U.S. Supply Outlook

Rising prices coupled with growing tensions with the Middle East could threaten the U.S. oil supply, despite a substantial increase in global output. According to Reuters, oil prices were clocked at $70 a barrel this week—an increase of 7% in March and more than 5% overall in 2018. As the May deadline nears for the U.S. to decide whether it will wi...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 26, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy John Williams Likely to Replace Bill Dudley The head of the New York Fed is one of the most important of the 12 regional Fed leaders as it is the branch that interacts with Wall Street most consistently. It is the only regional Fed that has a permanent seat at the table for the Open Market Committee. Dudley anno...
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