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. EconomyHousing and Labor ShortagesThe 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 prec...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 29, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyBusiness Investment ImprovesIt 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 con...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 25, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyCongress Gets Frustrated With Trump TacticsTraditionally, 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 president ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 24 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomySlight Rise in Jobless ClaimsFor 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 of...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 23, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyNew Home Sales FallAs 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 e...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 22, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyKashkari Adds Voice to the Cautious CampIt'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 Asse...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 21, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyInflation DifferenceIt 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 t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 18, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyJob MobilityIt 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 can'...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 17, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyManaging Trade DeficitsTo 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 count...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 16, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyIndustrial Production Levels Rise AgainThe 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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