Inflation Warning Signs Start to Develop

Chris Kuehl, Ph.D. This recession has had almost too many too count unusual aspects. It was a sudden and imposed recession; and thus, it came without warning signs that would have allowed governments and business to prepare.The shutdowns created massive unemployment issues from the start—the U.S. rate of joblessness went from 3.5% to more than 15% ...
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Trade Deficit Narrows a Bit

Chris Kuehl, Ph.D.Contrary to popular belief, there is not really a "good" or "bad" position as far as a trade deficit. To have a deficit in terms of trade means that there are more imports coming into the country than there are exports out of the country. This means that companies selling and distributing these imports make money; it means that co...
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Dealing with Bad Data, Bias and Hyperbole

It is said that there are two kinds of people: the glass-half-full optimists and the glass-half-empty pessimists. I would argue there are other varieties such as the glass has been thrown against the wall dumping all the contents down the drain. During times of chaos and uncertainty, there will be those in the punditry community who feel compe...
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Service Sector Emerging as Achilles Heel for Global Economy

The lockdown recession has been odd from the very start, and that has become more and more apparent with every passing month. The shock was sudden with absolutely no time to prepare. The pandemic was not expected. There was a woefully inadequate response at the start. Most governments worldwide ignored the threat until it was really ...
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Some Not So Good News Mixed in with the Better

How is that for classic economic equivocation? You know the mantra by now, never assert you know anything for sure other than the past. Even then, be sure to keep your options open. The reality is that there are rarely moments when one can assert that a $20 trillion-dollar economy is either all good or all bad.Even in the darkest days of the l...
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Europe and Asia Contend with the Surge

The assertion of a couple of weeks ago was that the U.S. was doing a miserable job of dealing with the pandemic as compared to other nations. The charts and graphs seemed to tell the story as everybody else was seeing the number of cases diminish, the number of hospitalizations decline and most importantly the number of fatalities were falling.The ...
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Busy Week Ahead for Global Data

There will be quite a lot of examination this week, when it comes to new information regarding the state of the global economy. At this point, the information looks pretty decent and suggests there has been recovery in several sectors of the economy. Two questions, however, will hang over these assessments: Did they meet expectations...
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What is Really Shutting Down the Economy Globally?

It would seem this is a pretty easy question to answer. After all, this has not been referred to as a lock-down recession for no reason. The governments of the world elected to shut down business operations as a means by which to reduce human contact with the hopes that such isolation and quarantine would limit the spread of the COVID 19 virus.The ...
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Sharp Improvement Seen in Credit Managers' Index

Data collected by the National Association for Credit Management in its Credit Managers' Index has proven to be very prescient. There are a couple of reasons for this. Generally speaking, credit managers are future thinkers. The surveyed nation's credit managers are more interested in the state of those accessing credit when they are due to payIf t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 29, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM EconomistShort Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyBetter News, but Not GreatThere will be some new data releases this week, and they will definitely provide some better news than has been the case lately. At the same time, they will reveal how far the economy has declined and how tough it will be to get back on track. The Pur...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 26, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—US Economy—Nice Jump in Consumer Activity There was a nifty gain in personal consumption in May—a gain of 8.2%. That has many feeling a lot better about the possibility of a solid recovery by the end of the summer, and maybe even before. The rebound in the economy has always been totally...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 24, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—US Economy—Home Sales Drop As expected, the sales of existing homes dropped and there has been a significant decline in sales since the record set at the start of the year. Back then, all the factors that tend to drive the housing market were in place. There were low mortgage rates and t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 22, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—US Economy—Commodity Prices Surge In just the last few days, there has been a rapid rebound in the price of most of the industrial commodities and in oil. The price of copper has been surging and there has been upward movement in tin, steel and aluminum as well. Oil is now in the 40s and...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 19, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—US Economy—Pandemic Battles As the lockdown slowly recedes, there has been a new phase of viral response. It promises to be even more contentious and controversial than what has gone before. The aim is now to open the economy, but with restrictions that supposedly slow the outbreak. The ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 17, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—US Economy—Retail Numbers Boost Confidence As the world started to open up for business, there was one burning question that hovered over everything. Would the consumer come back? This was especially important to the U.S. as the consumer accounts for between 70% and 80% of the economy. T...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 15, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—US Economy—Benefits or Bonuses? The shutdown recession plunged millions of people out of work with no warning whatsoever and created an immediate crisis. During a "normal" recession, people can see something coming and, to some degree, they can prepare for it. There was no time to prepar...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 12, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—US Economy—Battle of the Forecasts As if there was a need to add more to an already chaotic situation, the election year rhetoric is now heating up. The assertions from the Trump team have been that forecasts are too gloomy. There is an assertion that all will be well in just a couple of...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 10, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—US Economy—What Next for the Fed? The next set of discussions for the Fed will revolve around what they do once the pandemic is considered somewhat under control. This would mean an economy that would be focused on rebuilding from the lockdown; not an economy that is adjusting to being i...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 8, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—US Economy—Some Evidence of Consumer Rebound There will be a major report from the University of Michigan consumer confidence survey later this week, but there have been some intermediate releases that show some promise. The one conducted by the New York Fed shows that consumers are slig...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 3, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—US Economy—Dealing with Unemployment There has long been a significant difference between how the U.S. handles unemployment and how many of the European nations handle it. In past years, the differences were somewhat minor as both systems cost a considerable amount of government money an...
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