Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 7, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Currency Trigger Pulled For the better part of the last decade, the U.S. has threatened to label the Chinese as currency manipulators. This is a formal designation by the Treasury department. It is based on a set of formal rules that supposedly separate the deliberate adjustment of a national currency from the n...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 5, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Communication Is Hard The chairs of the Federal Reserve have had varied personalities. Each one has been a mystery to the investment community for a while. Some have actively cultivated that mystery and have reveled in their ability to keep the markets guessing (Alan Greenspan), others have almost been central b...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 2, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Jobs Data Still Holding Up The estimate was there would be an additional 148,000 jobs added this month. The numbers were slightly better than expected with an addition of 164,000 jobs, while the overall unemployment rate held steady. Employers in the service sector are still hiring at a pretty good pace, but the...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 31, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Fed Expectations By the time you read this, the Federal Reserve will have made its decision regarding interest rates. The consensus view this week has been that the Fed would drop rates by a quarter point in response to the declines noted in the global economy. Even today, there have been dissenters from both di...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 29, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy What Happened to Inflation? Most economists (including us) called for some kind of inflation surge long before now. It seemed all the ingredients were there—most notably the low rate of joblessness. The old reliable Phillips Curve held that when the rates fell this low, it was virtually automatic that wages woul...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 26, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Not as Bad as Feared As recently as yesterday, the estimate for Q2 growth was at 1.8% according to some analysts and economists. A few had the rate up around 2.5%, but the majority expected a fall to under that 2% threshold. The first iteration of the second quarter performance was respectable—2.1% growth. It is...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 24, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Bright Spot in Housing There has not been much joy in the housing sector of late, but the latest data on new home sales has been encouraging. The existing home numbers have been down some as the typical buyer has been a little intimidated by higher prices and the challenge of getting a mortgage. The boost in the...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 22, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Targeting Matters Recent studies seem to show that it matters when someone gets government assistance. Those getting help as adults generally do not see much change in their circumstances and will likely stay in the welfare system one way or another for years. The circumstances that placed them in this dependent...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 19, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Small Hike in New Claims for Unemployment The summer is a period of job volatility as one would expect. There are sectors of the economy that temporarily boom as people head out on vacation and there are sectors that slump. The auto industry often lays people off for a month or two while the plants are retooled....
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 17, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Industrial Production Remains Constant The overall industrial production numbers stayed flat, but that was only due to the fact that some sectors went in opposite directions. There was an improvement noted in both manufacturing and in mining, but there was a decline in the utilities sector. The cooler than usual...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 15, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Jobless 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 t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 12, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy No 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 t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 10, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy What 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 ther...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 8, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy More 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. Economy Jobless 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 ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 1, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Fed 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 ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 28, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Which 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 ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 26, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Durable 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 ot...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 24, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Existing 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 ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 21, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Reduction 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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