Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 12, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Fed Independence From the start, there was an opportunity for Trump to pack the Federal Reserve since there were six vacancies in a seven-person Board of Governors when he started his term. Outside of some back and forth over the fate of Janet Yellen, the choices made were all quite safe and traditional. Jerome ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 10, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Fed Battle to Be Waged in Senate For the last year or so, the Trump approach to the Federal Reserve has been increasingly hostile. The initial appointments made to the Fed were pretty traditional and did not run into much opposition in the Senate. These included Jerome Powell as chair, Richard Clarida as vice ch...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 8, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Budget Fight Looms In October, the two-year deal struck by Congress expires. That means Congress will need to develop a new budget by that point or watch the process revert to what it was two years ago. This would bring back the sequester, which would mandate a cut in the budget of 10% for the 2019 period. That ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 5, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Job Gains Back to Near Predicted Levels The economy added another 196,000 jobs in March—a slightly higher number than had been predicted, but close— and a far cry from the anemic total that set off rounds of worry and concern in February. The unemployment rate remained at 3.8%. That is on par with the lowest rat...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 3, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Private Sector Job Gains? The official Labor Department numbers do not come out until Friday of this week, but there has been a release from ADP, the payroll company. This report is generally seen as fairly accurate, but there have been times when the data did not match up well with the official numbers. The ADP...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 1, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy It Is Not Time—Even Doves Agree Neel Kashkari has been one of the most vocal of the regional Fed presidents on the subject of rates. He has been consistently dovish and has opposed all of the rate cuts that have taken place thus far despite eventually going along with some of the decisions. He is not a voting me...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 29, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Economic Slowdown Was Corporate Slowdown The latest data coming from the investment community shows that much of the problem with economic growth at the end of 2018 can be attributed to a radical slowdown in the rate of corporate profits. This slowdown was masked to some degree by the surging stock market as it ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 28, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Fed Pushback on Yield Curve Debate As with most assertions regarding economic cause and effect, there are flaws in the logic. The belief is that an inverted yield curve is the precursor to a recession. While that has been true, there has always been a lot of variance. That recession may take two or three years t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 25, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Inverted Yield Curve Arrives—Time to Panic? When there is an inverted yield curve, there is a school of thought that assumes a recession is imminent—after all the last seven recessions have featured just such an inverted curve. This is when the 10-year bond yield falls below that of the three-year bond. The inve...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 22, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Employment Data Remains Strong By almost any measure, the job market has been staying strong. There was another week of reduced jobless claims, which tends to offset the fears regarding the slower than expected job growth reported last week. The job market is still better defined by the shortages that persist th...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 20, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Jobs and Housing The labor shortage crisis shows no signs of abating. By most accounts, it will worsen in the future as more and more of the Boomer generation retire and stay retired. There are many reasons employers have been unable to find the people they need—lack of skilled people in the hiring pipeline has ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 18, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Manufacturing Decline The slowdown in the manufacturing sector has extended to two months according to the data released by the Fed. The level of output at U.S. factories fell by another 0.4%. That is on top of the decline from the month before. This is hardly a crash, but it means that most of the manufacturing...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 15, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Housing Sector Off to Weak Start The expectation for this year was not especially high given all the accumulated issues affecting the housing sector, but the latest data in new home starts has been weaker than expected. The decline was 6.9%, when the majority thought there would be a small increase. In January, ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 13, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Inflation Threat Remains Tepid Economists have been accused of being more than a little like Cassandra with their repeated warnings of events that nobody chooses to believe until they come to pass. Inflation has been on the minds of analysts for several years now as the ingredients seem to have been in place for...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 12, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Retail Data Has Been Rocky The expectation was that retail sales would be flat at the start of the year. This was based on the fact that sales were off at the end of last year. The initial report from December of 2018 has shown a decline of 1.2%, but the revisions to that data showed a further decline of 1.6%. T...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 8, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Internal Retraining Critics once assailed the majority of corporations for their policy of firing a group of employees and turning around and hiring new ones. The reaction by the managers was simple enough—they needed the skills of the new employees and no longer had a place for the old skills. Then, there was t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 6, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Will a Deal With China Mean Much in Short Term? It looks more and more likely that a deal of some kind will be struck between the U.S. and China over trade and tariffs, but the solution does not appear to be a definitive one—one that will have an impact on the global economy. If a deal is brokered, there will be...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 5, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Decline Noted in PMI The latest data from the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) shows another month of decline. There is not yet a sense of crisis as the numbers are still well into the expansion category (over 50), but the highs that were reached only a few months ago now seem a distant memory. Last month, the r...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for March 1, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Fourth Quarter GDP at 2.6% This was almost exactly what the majority of analysts expected. It is a return to the pace that has dominated the economy for the last 20 years; it's certainly a respectable number. The over 3% growth that was notched in the early part of 2018 was somewhat artificial as it owed much of...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for February 27, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy More Sliding in the Housing Market Housing starts were down by 11.2%, the steepest drop in two years. The majority of the data on housing has been pointing in this direction; however at this stage, it is not coming as any great shock. The price of homes had started to fall in 2018, but that was mostly within the...
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