Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 26, 2018

How Jerome Powell's Comments and GPDI Should Have Us Watching We use three basic recession indicators. One of them, Gross Private Domestic Investment (GPDI) has predicted 11 of the last 13 recessions dating back to the 1940s. The "Spidey Senses" are warming up, but aren't tingling just yet. Keeping corporate and private investment flowing is critic...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 22, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Major Reorganization Proposed At this point, the plan, as developed by the Trump team, is more a series of talking points since it is the mid-term season and few in Congress have the desire to tackle something this complex and controversial. It bears closer examination as it would shift a great deal of current e...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 21, 2018

Short Items of Interest—US Economy Supreme Court Reverses Tax Decision The Supreme Court has overturned a previous decision on whether states can tax internet retailers. The old law said that states would not be able to collect sales taxes on an internet-based company unless that company had a physical presence in that state. Now, the law will allo...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 20, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Recovery in Housing Starts For the last few months, there has been a steady drumbeat of concern as regards the state of the housing sector. It has been assumed that past patterns would start to manifest at some point—the headwinds that everybody seems to talk about. Higher home prices and higher mortgage rates w...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 18, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Changes in the Supply Chain on the Immediate Horizon There are several factors that are all conspiring to force significant change in the way that companies handle their supply chain. Some of these changes have been coming for some time, but the pace has been accelerating due to the fact that driver shortages an...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 15, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy U.S. Growth Outpaces World Last year, the global economies were experiencing a rare period of unity. The U.S. was growing and so were Europe, Japan, China and pretty much everybody else. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) were both gushing o...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 14, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Will Higher Borrowing Costs Impact Consumer? At some point, they will have to. The rate on a mortgage loan is now as high as it has been since 2013—standing at 4.54 for a 30-year fixed. Credit card rates will move up by a point or two, and so will car loans and most everything else. It would be assumed this woul...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 13, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Producer Prices on the Rise Yesterday, the news from the consumer side of things indicated that there was reason for concern about the rise of inflation. Now, there is support for that notion from the producer price index as well. The rise was by 0.5% over levels seen in May, above the estimate of a 0.3% hike. O...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 12, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Inflation Starts to Show Its Ugly Face For the better part of the last two years there has been a steady drumbeat of concern among economists that inflationary pressure was about due, but it never seemed to quite manifest as expected. Most of the blame for this slow reaction has fallen on the job market as there...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 11, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Will Job Market Continue to Baffle the Fed? Right now, the tried and true strategies and tactics are not working as they are supposed to. Once upon a time, it was relatively easy to figure out the connection between the job market and the Fed. A very low unemployment rate would inevitably create wage inflation a...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 7, 2018

Insights From the Non-Manufacturing ISM Report The Institute for Supply Management released its May non-manufacturing (services) Report on Business June 5, and it was a strong report. Diving into the report, here are the top takeaway themes. Composite NMI: 58.6 vs. 56.8 in April This made the 100th consecutive month that the NMI (non-manufacturing ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 6, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Labor Shortages Starting to Pinch One of the sectors fighting the labor shortage situation the longest has been transportation. Today, there are many sectors chronically short of the workers needed—everything from construction to manufacturing to even health care, but it was the transportation sector that was in...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 5, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Beating Trade Restrictions It is a little misleading to refer to trade wars between nations. The fact is that countries do not buy or sell anything to another country. It is not like the U.S. government is purchasing from China to fill the shelves at Walmart. Trade takes place because companies in the U.S. want ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 4, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Global Indices Fading At the start of the year, the most common question asked of any economist was "what will the year be like?" The general consensus was that everybody needed to enjoy the first six months of the year since the last six months may not be so great. This is starting to pan out—at least according...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 1, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Job Report Solid—As Expected The rate of unemployment has now fallen to an 18-year low, although there is still an issue with how much people are being paid. The rate of wage increase was slightly higher than last month at 2.7%, but that remains highly anemic given a jobless rate of 3.8%. The economy gained a so...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 30, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Housing and Labor Shortages The U.S. has an acute shortage of workers in a wide variety of fields. This has been made abundantly clear over the last few years. There are many factors that play into this issue—lack of training opportunities, lack of knowledge regarding these opportunities, personal issues that pr...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 29, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Business Investment Improves It would not seem to be the case given the latest data on durable goods, but the pace of business investment has started to improve; however, not quite at the pace that had been anticipated when the tax cuts were implemented. The big fall noted in this month's durable goods data is c...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 25, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Congress Gets Frustrated With Trump Tactics Traditionally, trade issues are the purview of Congress—at least there is an expectation that the legislators will weigh in. The president does not have the power to establish a trade deal without getting final approval of the plan from Congress. Likewise, the presiden...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 24 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Slight Rise in Jobless Claims For the second week in a row, the number of first-time jobless claims rose, but nobody is yet sounding the alarm as these numbers remain at historically low levels. The number this week was 234,000 and was not concentrated in any specific area. There was a slight rise in the number ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 23, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy New Home Sales Fall As expected, the pace of new home sales fell off this month. Analysts expected this slide, many of whom were actually pleasantly surprised the decline was less than anticipated. The headwinds that everybody has been talking about all year are stiffening up and creating an increasingly hostile...
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