Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 15, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyJobless Rate Doesn't Tell Us All That Much For many people, the rate of unemployment is the only measure they know or care much about. The bulk of the economic data that gets released seems pretty arcane, but everyone can relate to whether they have a job or can get one. The problem is unemployment data is not te...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 12, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyNo Inflation Fear from PPI The latest iteration of the Producer Price Index (PPI) showed a very slight increase in the rate of inflation, but nothing to suggest there is a problem developing. As a matter of fact, the investment community has all but abandoned their fears regarding inflation and instead shifted to...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 10, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyWhat Would Prompt a Cut? There are three factors the Fed watches right now. They are not new issues, but they are the three that seem most in flux these days. The first is inflation. This is the most important of the central bank mandates as a rule. The thing the Fed is best at is controlling inflation, but there...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 8, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyMore Economic News on the Way Later this week, there will be some additional data on job openings. The expectation is it will show there are far more jobs available than there are people to take them. Despite all the good news that has shown up in recent labor department releases, the biggest issue remains as it ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 3, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyJobless Claims Fall The employment picture is complicated these days. The fact is there are far more jobs available than there are people to fill them. The unemployed person today is either wholly without skills or is in the wrong place at the wrong time. The business community has been struggling for some time t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 1, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyFed Reactions Over the last several months, the Federal Reserve has repeatedly stated its one major concern as far as the U.S. economy was the potential damage from extended trade wars and tariff fights. This global battle would drag down world growth numbers, which would then affect the U.S. The possibility of a...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 28, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyWhich Trump Showed Up at G-20? In the days that preceded the meeting of the G-20, the tone struck by Trump was confrontational and angry. The accusations were pointed and directed at allies like the U.K., Canada, Australia, Japan and the EU in general. The sense was that Trump was coming to demand major changes a...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 26, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyDurable Goods Orders Down Again For the third time in four months, the level of durable goods orders has fallen. That is yet another sign of overall weakness in the manufacturing sector. There was a very weak Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) number reported earlier and there have been significant reversals in oth...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 24, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyExisting Home Sales Up in May Given the slump in new home sales, there had been fears existing home sales would also be down. The sector has been an important driver and indicator for the greater economy and there have been signs of a slowdown. This month, the news was a little better with sales up by 2.5%. The e...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 21, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyReduction in Jobless Claims There continues to be good news on the employment front despite the occasional bump in the data. Last week, there was a slight increase in the number of first-time jobless claims, but this week, the number fell slightly. The end result is a stable level of employment. The challenge as ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 19, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyMore Distress in Housing Market The level of housing starts fell in May by 0.9%—a not unexpected development, but certainly not a welcome one. The decline has been fairly steady this year and signals the overall housing market has continued to weaken. Several factors are at work. One of the most salient has been ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 17, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyOptions Not Available The presumption behind a tariff imposition is that companies have options. The economic motivation behind a tariff or any kind of trade restriction is that its existence will push companies and consumers to do their purchasing elsewhere. The tariff is supposed to help a domestic producer com...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 14, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyNo Bang for the Buck Tariffs are a tool that many nations have used over the years, and some with great success. The primary rationale for the imposition of this tax on consumption is to offset an imbalance of some kind. Another nation is exporting its output to the U.S. because it can provide that good cheaper t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 12, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyLittle Change in Inflation Threat The latest Producer Price Index shows a very modest hike of 0.1%, essentially indicating there is no increase in underlying inflation to worry about for the time being. This has been one of the more baffling aspects of the economy of late as there really should have been some pal...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 10, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyChanges in Business Motivation For decades, the motivation for business was fairly simple. The ideal location for an operation was one where costs would be minimized. This meant locating where wage rates would be lower, taxes would be minimal and raw materials would be accessible and cheap. If there was cheap ene...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 7, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyAnemic Job Totals As was widely expected, the job data was weaker this month as there were only 75,000 jobs. This is more anemic than had been anticipated (the estimate had been gains of around 150,000 to 180,000). The slowdown in hiring is not a big shock given the manufacturing sector has been slowing for month...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 5, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyTrade and Interest Rates The Federal Reserve had been pretty adamant about its interest rate policy until the last few months. The logic was sound enough. The economy has been performing quite well and that is generally the precursor to a bout of inflation. For the last several decades, the Phillips curve has bee...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 3, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyHigh Inflation Is Bad—So Is Low Inflation There is no doubt high inflation is a major economic problem. One of the core missions of the central bank is keeping a lid on these price hikes. In many ways, the high prices are more dangerous to an economy than is recession. Inflation that is too low is an issue as wel...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 31, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyMore Tariff Threats The imposition of tariffs has become the go-to strategy for the Trump administration—regardless of the issue. Distress over the trade deficit with China results in a set of stiff tariffs, irritation with European policy begets tariff threats and now the ongoing concern over immigration has Tru...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 29, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyConsumer Confidence Rebounds Earlier in the year, consumers looked worried about what was coming up and this was affecting their mood. Both the Conference Board and the University of Michigan surveys indicated a slump as consumers worried about trade wars, potential inflation threats and an end to job growth. The...
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