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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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 8, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Concern Grows as Regards Inflation The rate of unemployment is as low as it has been since 1969. That has the bond markets worried that at some point the inflation issue is going to become real. The threat has yet to manifest as expected, but that certainly doesn't mean it will not in the months ahead. The sense...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 5, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Can You Say Tight Labor Market? The unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest point since the days of the Vietnam War. Back in 1969, the rate was very low in part due to all the men who had been drafted into the military, but that is not a factor this time. Even though the number of new hires was down a bit fro...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 4, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Jobless Claims Fall Whenever there is a major natural disaster, the expectation is there will be a series of economic ripples. The first of these will be a surge in the number of people claiming unemployment since many will lose their jobs—either temporarily or permanently. The arrival of Hurricane Florence was ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 3, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy ISM Reports Record Numbers for Service Sector The latest numbers for the manufacturing side have been down a little, but they are up quite dramatically in the service sector with a reading of 61.6. That is higher than the index has been since 2008, but it is not likely this will be repeated in the next month's d...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 2, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Next Up?—China Now that the U.S. has moved to a new version of NAFTA, the attention of the trade deal has shifted to China. It is expected the same techniques will be applied—a mixture of dire threat and a way to salvage the relationship. The U.S. has started to run out of ways to punish China as there have been...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for October 1, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy PMI Backs Down a Bit The latest data from the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) slowed a little from the previous record-setting month. It was nearly inevitable this would be the case as there had been some factors driving last month's numbers that were clearly ephemeral. The threat of tariffs and trade wars conv...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for September 28, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Core Inflation Remains Near Fed Target For the last few years, the Fed has been trying to coax the inflation rate up to around 2%. This has traditionally been seen as the preferred level for inflation measured as core. It is high enough to avoid the stagnation of deflation and not high enough to justify Fed inte...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for September 27, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Technology at Heart of Trade Dispute With China There are many trade issues that separate the U.S. from China, but one festering away for many years is the tendency on the part of the Chinese to steal technology from U.S. companies in any way they can. Sometimes, this is espionage and outright subterfuge. In oth...
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