Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 22, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Kashkari Adds Voice to the Cautious Camp It's not that the other 11 regional Fed presidents are not men and women who bear the mantle of interesting in their own right, but the Minneapolis Fed head has a more varied background than most. Neel Kashkari was the "uber bureaucrat" charged with making the Troubled As...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 21, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Inflation Difference It seems that the death of the Philips Curve may have been announced prematurely. This was one of those economic laws that actually worked most of the time. Simply stated, it held that when the unemployment rate fell, there would be wage inflation. It seemed to make intuitive sense that when...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 18, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Job Mobility It has long been the case that workers in the U.S. have been willing to move to where the employment opportunities are. This was how many recessions have been dealt with in the past. Opportunities sprang up somewhere and people relocated. Today, that pattern is rare. There are many reasons people ca...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 17, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Managing Trade Deficits To begin with, there is a deep misunderstanding as to what creates deficits and surplus on the global market. The Trump belief is that this is all about plots to negatively impact the U.S. economy with unfair trade practices, but the reality is that trade has far more to do with which cou...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 16, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Industrial Production Levels Rise Again The 0.7% rise in industrial output marks the third month in a row for gains. This indicates a broadly healthy industrial market. The industries that are included in this measure range from mining to manufacturing, as well as the utilities. Over the course of the last years...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 15, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Broad Gains in Retail The expectation was that retail numbers would be up by 0.3% and, for once, the prognostication was correct. The gains varied from one sector to another—the biggest gains were at gas stations with a 0.8% hike. That is due to the rapid increase of gas pricing, as the hike is expected to conti...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 14, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Gas Prices Headed Up It was only a few months ago oil analysts were confidently asserting the price of gas would not hit $3 anytime soon. It just didn't seem that any of the root factors would be much of an issue. The overall supply of oil in the world was more than sufficient for the expected level of demand. T...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 10, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Race Is On for Crude Supply Leave it to geopolitics to upset the run of low oil pricing and start people thinking seriously about the old threats of inflation. The U.S. has not yet worked out the details as far as renewed sanctions on Iranian oil—this may not be decided until November of this year. It looks like...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 8, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Is Secular Stagnation Dead? The notion behind the concept of secular stagnation is that the U.S. economy and that of the European states and others will be prone to periods of very slow growth unless there are extraordinary steps taken to stimulate the economy beyond what it seems to be capable of. The last few ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 7, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy NAFTA Plans The latest proposal from the Trump team as regards NAFTA is pulling together some interesting bedfellows. The objection that some have had regarding Mexico's role in U.S. manufacturing is that pay scales are far too low for U.S. manufacturers to compete. This is obviously part of what attracted many ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 4, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Long Fight Ahead All of the commentary that is coming from both the Chinese and American trade negotiators is suggesting that this will be a long and arduous process. This is both good and bad news for those that do business with China or count on Chinese products. The good news is that it now seems that threats...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 2, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Wage Hikes Finally Showing Up It has taken an inordinately long time, but there is evidence at last that wages are going up at a pace commensurate with the growth of the overall economy—this could be worrisome. For the last few years, the pace of wage growth has been weak—no more than around 2.3% on an annual ba...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 1, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Inflation Peaking? How big a deal is the fact that inflation has reached the 2% level as far as the core rate is concerned? It is both important and no so important. It has been the target for the Fed for the past few years. There was some sense of relief as far as analysts are concerned, but there is also recog...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 30, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Inflation Target Reached For the better part of the last decade, the Fed has been on a quest of sorts. It has wanted to see the rate of inflation reach a "normal" level of 2%. The thinking is that too much inflation is deeply damaging to an economy for the most obvious of reasons. However, too little inflation i...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 26, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Will Fed Stick to Its Guns? Up to this point, the decisions facing the Federal Reserve have been relatively simple. The economy is doing very well with an average of 3% growth over the last 12 months. It's easy to stay focused on the need to temper excessive growth with interest rate hikes. The bulk of the conve...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 25, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Stock Market Jitters Good news is not always good news for the investment community. Thus it has been with the rise of the 10-year treasury bond yield to 3%. The logic that has informed the investment community is that rising yields signal a very healthy economy—one that is perhaps too healthy to avoid the downs...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 23, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Can Trump Force Congress on NAFTA? Some refer to Trump's negotiating tactics as "hard-nosed." Others are not as charitable and refer to them as bullying. Most of the interactions with other nations have been intense and insistent. They have, however, resulted in some concessions. It is hard to say what gained th...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 20, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Obstacles Facing Oil Sector Now that per barrel oil prices are rising again, there is an assumption the oil boom that marked North Dakota and other regions a few years ago will soon resume. After all, that was the assertion when things started to wind down. The problem may be far more complex than just the price...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 19, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Jobless Claims Continue to Drop It takes two developments to get unemployment rates as low as they have been for the last couple of years. The first is that there has to be hiring, which has been the case since 2016. However, just as important and perhaps more significant to those who are employed is that people...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 17, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Beige Book Out Today The Fed's report on general conditions in the country's economy is out today. It is expected to be a fairly positive set of reports. This is not a collection of definitive research conclusions, but rather impressions collected from the 12 Fed banks and the local boards that oversee these ban...
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