Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 20, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Fed Set to Become More Aggressive? We will get an idea of the Fed's thinking soon enough, but there are some factors that have led analysts, as well as some at the Fed, to assume that a more aggressive anti-inflation stance may be developing sooner than originally expected. The combination of generally good econ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 19, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyConsumer Confidence Hits 14-Year HighThis is more than a little confusing to economists. Not that we always expect the data to be consistent, but generally speaking, when there is an anomaly of some kind, it is resolved one way or the other. Thus far, there is a pretty significant division between what consumers ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 16, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyExpectations Remain in Place Among Most EconomistsThere have been some fluctuations as far as the threat of inflation is concerned. The thought had been that low unemployment would have triggered the rise of wages by now, but they have remained stubbornly low. The inflation threat from higher prices for commoditi...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 15, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyWhat Is Wrong With the Consumer These Days?If there is anything that can be counted upon in the world of the economy, it is that U.S. consumers know how to consume. We are the most diligent of spenders and have been for decades. Our mantra is, "I can't be broke, I still have checks in my checkbook." When we are n...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 14, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyRetail Sales Fall for Third Month in a RowThis was not supposed to be taking place after that big tax cut plan, but reality has started to sink in. The majority of the population simply did not see a major increase in their take home pay. For someone making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, the tax break is $87...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 13, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyConference Board Indicators RiseFrom time to time, I think we have mentioned that gauging the level of employment is always tricky. This is, at best, a moving target; people somehow refuse to be easily categorized. The Conference Board has put together a more complex index that tries to look at multiple factors t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 12, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyMortgage Rates Start to Become Real Headwind The idea of housing market headwinds has been discussed all year; yet there has not been all that much reaction. The price of homes has been going up. In some parts of the country, this has managed to price a lot of people out of the market (part of what has been drivi...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 9, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyHousehold Wealth Hits New RecordsOne thing that can be said about the rising values of the stock market and the increase of home prices throughout the country is that it has made the U.S. household far wealthier than it has ever been. The level of household wealth sets new records every month and this one is no e...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 8, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyRise of Nationalists in Trump's Inner CircleIt is a bit early to say anything definitive as we have learned that policy in the Trump era is ever-changing, and often with little warning. A few months ago, it appeared that the power of economic policy rested in the more traditional hands of people like Gary Cohn, b...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 6, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyService Sector Continues to ThriveThe shocker for the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) this month was the employment gauge. This reading fell hard—over 6.6%. This forced the whole index to trend down a little, but it is still above 59, firmly in the expansion category (anything above 50). Ordinarily, a big drop i...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 5, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyWhite House Civil WarThere has been tension within the ranks of White House advisors from the start—not all that unusual. The people who are tasked to head up departments and provide policy advice are expected to compete with one another to advance the agenda of the group they head. Trump is now dealing with a br...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 2, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyTariff Shock WavesFrankly, most analysts and observers never thought it would come to this. There were so many reasons that imposing tariffs on imported steel was a bad idea. It instantly makes everything made of steel more expensive in the U.S., such as cars, buildings, equipment, etc. It instantly pits the U.S....
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