Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 14, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Inflation Surges Due to Gas Prices The pace of consumer price hikes accelerated last month. The consumer is now looking at higher gas prices for the first time in a while. Prices have been going up from time to time in the last few years, but this is the first time these prices have been accelerating over a sign...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 12, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Dollar Surges As much as the U.S. would like to see imports decline and exports surge ahead that will be hard to pull off as long as the dollar keeps getting stronger. The dollar has been hitting highs not seen in 18 months. That is making it very hard on exporters at the same time it makes imports easier to sel...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 9, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Why Midterms Likely Mean a Booming Retail Season There are multiple reasons why this holiday retail season is likely to be great, but there is one key reason why it could blow the door off of records. First, let's state the obvious reasons why this year's retail season could be a record-breaker: GDP trending nea...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 7, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy The New Political Reality It looks quite a bit like the old political reality, but with some new wrinkles that will play a bigger role as 2020 gets closer. By now, you have heard the major stories—the Senate is more firmly in the hands of the GOP with the loss of three Democratic incumbents. The House is now in ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 5, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Hiring Is Up and so Are Wages The latest jobs report showed some movement as far as wages are concerned. This has been long overdue. It is not the rocket speed some had feared and there is still relatively little pressure on wage inflation, but a least there are gains considered near normal. The fact is there ar...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for November 2, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Labor Report There were some aspects of the latest labor report that were eagerly awaited. For the most part, the news has been better than many had expected. The wage hike most had been expecting did indeed materialize with a 3.1% annual rate. That is as good as has been seen since the start of the recession. T...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 31, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Consumer Confidence at 18-Year High The latest numbers from the Conference Board are out and are quite a surprise. They might not be all that indicative of the real mood of the U.S. consumer, but they are astonishing. By now, readers of this newsletter know I do not place much stock in consumer confidence number...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 30, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Inflation Remains Tepid There are many ways to measure inflation. Some are more variable than others. Economists are often dinged for the way they treat core inflation numbers. We routinely ignore the price of fuel and food as these can be very volatile month to month. It's hard to make accurate assessments of h...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for Oct. 26, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Consumer Sentiment Up but Not as High as Before The level of consumer confidence has been elevated all year. This is better than it being lower than usual, but given that consumer confidence surveys can be notoriously fickle it is hard to really understand what they are indicating. This month, the level of confi...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 25, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Government Spending Pushes Economy Forward Specifically, it has been the rise in defense spending that has done the propelling. The increase was due to an increase in the purchase of aircraft and aircraft parts. This is one of the largest gains in years and has been attributed to the heavy use of air power in mo...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 24, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy U.S. Selling Fewer Treasuries This hardly qualifies as a crisis yet, but it bears watching. The share of foreign investment in U.S. bonds has rarely been this low. It stands at 41%. Even as recently as two years ago, the percentage was 50%. The yields for U.S. treasuries have been generally down—the 10-year bond...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 22, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Barriers to Higher Wage Growth There has been something missing as far as the economy has been concerned. The issue has been persistent enough to create some real issues. Every study of the economy over the last several decades has revealed a logical connection between the levels of employment and wages. The log...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 19, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Recession and Employment It is a safe bet that at some point the U.S. will be contending with another recession—although there is a lot of disagreement as to when that might take place and how bad it will get. The arrival of even a mild recession will have an almost immediate impact on jobs as there will be comp...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 18, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Slumping Housing Market The slide continues as far as the housing sector is concerned. Both starts and permits are down—starts fell by over 5%. This is not taking anybody by surprise as most had expected to see this kind of decline some months ago. It seems to have taken a little longer than expected for the hea...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 17, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy More Job Openings than Applicants This is record territory as far as the job market is concerned. There are reported to be seven million job openings and roughly six million people looking for work. If every unemployed person was subsequently employed, the business community would still be short by a million. Gi...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 16, 2018

Velocity of Money and the Connection to the Economy There is a fundamental premise in economics that the faster money changes hands, the better the growth of the economy should be. In our view, when you look at the velocity of M2, you get a fair representation of what is happening to the velocity of economic activity. A debate is raging among econo...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 15, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Fed Reiterates Intent It is not at all clear what the motivation is behind the latest tweet storm aimed at the Federal Reserve, but if it was expected to evoke a change in the policy of the Fed, it has not had the desired effect. The Fed has essentially circled the wagons and reiterated what it has been saying a...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 12, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Where Is the Consumer Inflation? The latest edition of the Consumer Price Index came in lower than had been expected with a very meager 0.1% rise. It is not that the analysts thought there would be some huge jump in prices, but there has been more than enough evidence to suggest consumers would be feeling the in...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 11, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Reactions to Global Tension The global markets have been roiled quite a bit in the last few days. This is likely to become a pattern in the weeks and months ahead. The sense is that markets are now expecting something bad to develop as a result of political tensions. Almost anything will do as a spark to evoke p...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 9, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Avoiding Tariffs 101 It turns out that setting tariffs on imported goods can be a very tricky proposition. The way to do this is to impose these taxes on select goods as defined in the HTS [Harmonized Tariff Schedule] code. This system has 18,927 different entries that attempt to catalog and define every single ...
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