Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 30, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Interesting Comment from Ford and GM Both companies reported that higher steel and aluminum prices stripped about $300 million off their quarterly results in Q2. They blamed it on higher tariffs. That's a big part of it, but a strong demand environment could also be just as much at work to push prices higher. On...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 27, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Impressive but Not Quite as Much as Expected The Q2 GDP numbers are in. And they are impressive at 4.1%. This is not as robust as some had expected and even predicted, however. Some were certain that growth rates would be as high as 5%—many had set their sights on 4.5%. In truth, anything over a 4% rise would me...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 26, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy GDP Revisions Lowered as Newest Data Disappoints The next GDP report doesn't come out until July 27 and already there has been some second guessing. A few weeks ago, there was some consensus around the notion that growth would be at least as high as 4.5% and perhaps 5.5%. This was slated to be the most robust qu...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 25, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Deficit Leader The U.S. has the dubious distinction of being the world's leading contributor to deficits. This is the result of the policies that have been pursued for years by the U.S. and its inability to come to grips with its own deficit and debt. At times, there has been incessant talk about trying to get t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 24, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Severe Housing Crisis There are many things that affect the housing sector—all those headwinds that analysts talk so much about. One area that didn't used to be so influential is a shortage of homes to buy at any price. This shortage has become acute in many popular cities and is expected to last for quite a whi...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 23, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Industrial Policy for the U.S.? Many nations in the world have been major advocates of what has been termed industrial policy, but the U.S. has long resisted that idea. There are many ways this kind of policy has been set, but the motivation is usually similar. The government is tempted to favor certain business...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 20, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Claims for Unemployment Fall to Five-Decade Low In yet another sign of a really robust labor market, the rate of new claims for unemployment have hit a fifty-year low. There are many permutations involved with tracking unemployment—for an economy to be truly benefiting from the increasingly low rate of joblessne...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 18, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Changing Political Labels The old descriptions of both the Democrats and Republicans hardly hold true these days, and the transition has been underway for a long time. There have been many instances of social shifts along the way, but the more surprising may be the shifts that have taken place as far as business...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 17, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Industrial Production Rises This is one of those measures that can be misinterpreted from time to time. It combines three sectors that are very different in terms of what they respond to, although they also have quite a bit in common. Industrial production includes manufacturing, utilities and mining. The latter...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 16, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Low Jobless Rate The jobless rate is still very low—full employment low—but it has risen slightly and for all the right reasons. The best way to illustrate this is to look at both the U-3 and U-6 designations from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U-6 numbers include those who have been characterized as "...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 13, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Record Unemployment Lows May Not Be a Good Thing There are several analysts suggesting that the already low rate of joblessness will get lower still and could bottom out at around 3%. This is likely a good news, bad news situation. Part of the reason for the low rate is the U.S. has started to run out of workers...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 11, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy What Ends the Trade War? At this moment, it would appear that China and the U.S. are preparing to get locked in a death match regardless of what analysts warn. There has been an intense round of accusations and bombastic threats. It would seem that backing down is not in the cards. At some point, both China and ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 10, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Is the Tax Cut Fizzling Already? According to research from the San Francisco Fed, that is what seems to be happening to the tax cut as far as its impact on economic growth is concerned. This was the fear from the very start of that process. There is nothing unusual about a tax cut and certainly not when the eco...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 9, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy States Are Not Ready Now that the economists of the country are starting to coalesce around the idea the next recession will be in 2019 or 2020, there is some conversation as to whether the country is ready. Right now, the answer would have to be a resounding no. The fact is very few of the states have taken ste...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 6, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Labor Market Adjustments The jobless rate is still very low—full employment low—but it has risen slightly and for all the right reasons. The best way to illustrate this is to look at both the U-3 and U-6 designations from the BLS. The U-6 numbers include those who have been characterized as "discouraged workers"...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 5, 2018

​ Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy When Rapid Growth is Not All that Positive It is always better to have growth than not but motivation also matters. The latest data from the Purchasing Managers' Index is quite positive—a month that saw the PMI hit 60.2. That is the highest level seen since the end of the recession and is further proof of a he...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 2, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Manufacturing Still Surging There may come a reckoning at some point and there may be several factors at work right now that are making the manufacturing sector grow faster than would seem logical. The point is that these factors are driving the economy at a rapid clip, while there is no real sign of impending d...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 29, 2018

Short Items of Interest—US Economy That Was Fast! For the last few years, there has been a steady drumbeat of expectation as regards the rate of inflation. The Fed stated often that it had a goal of 2% inflation at the core rate (the rate that excludes fuel and food). The signs all started to point to an outbreak as there was so much money getting ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 28, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Growth Not as Robust as Thought The third iteration of the U.S. GDP numbers shows less progress than was originally thought; it seems to have been the fault of the consumer. The last estimate of Q1 growth had been 2.2%, somewhat lower than the first estimate. Now the assertion is that growth in the quarter was o...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 27, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy CBO Warning on Interest Rates The latest report from the Congressional Budget Office is not saying anything that was not known prior, but there is a new sense of urgency as far as the message. The higher interest rates promised by the Federal Reserve will be combining with the running of big deficits to cost the...
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