Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 17, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Housing Bounceback but Not Much of One The June housing numbers were very weak. That set off a number of alarm bells from those who have been watching the impact of the housing sector on the U.S. economy. Most of the analysts were convinced that July would be a lot better. The consensus view was that there would...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 16, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy One Out of Three Ain't Bad There are three elements involved in U.S. industrial production numbers—somewhat related, but not precisely. The most important part is manufacturing. The second most important is the mining category as this includes the development of oil and gas reserves. The third leg of this tool i...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 15, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Small Strong Retail Start to July After cresting slightly above 4% in the second quarter, there has been endless speculation among economists over whether this rate of growth will be repeated in Q3. Roughly half think that Q2 was the peak and roughly half hold that this is just the start of things to come. The k...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 14, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Will Populism End the Bull Market? The U.S. stock market is about to set an important record—it will be the longest bull market in U.S. history. It has certainly had its ups and downs, but has been exceedingly resilient as it has shaken off many of the issues that seemed poised to end the run. The investment com...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 13, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Enjoy It While It Lasts The second quarter numbers did not really astonish people as there had been more than enough signaling that something good was in the offing. It would have been a very bad thing had there not been a reaction given the stimulus that was coming from the tax cuts. At the start of the year, t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 10, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Small Jump in Consumer Inflation Yesterday, we talked about the stability of the Producer Price Index (PPI) and commented that it involves a lot of variables. The Consumer Price Index was also subdued with a gain of just 0.2%. This was slightly more than the action in the PPI, but far from cause for real alarm. ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 9, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy No Change in Producer Prices This Month The level of producer prices stayed the same as it was last month; a bit of a surprise given all the turmoil that has surrounded tariffs and trade wars. It was thought that steel and aluminum would further jump start these prices, but apparently, the hikes were registered ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 8, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Warfare Accelerates The U.S. will have imposed tariffs on some $50 billion worth of Chinese goods by the end of the month. Meanwhile, more of these taxes have been promised by an administration that still insists they are "winning" this war. China has been responding in kind and has imposed tariffs on a like amo...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 7, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Right to Work Litmus Test in Missouri In 2017, the legislature in Missouri made the state a "right to work" state. Now the issue is on the ballot. It has become a national test for unions, while there has been an incredible amount of money spent to overturn the decision. The basic issue is whether somebody shoul...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 6, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Good but Not Great News on Jobs Nothing was wrong with the latest job numbers. There was a gain of 156,000 and the unemployment rate has fallen back down to 3.9% after having risen back to 4% the previous month. The criticism is that these numbers are a little lower than they were the month before. Over the past...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 3, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Jobless Rate Alters Slightly but No Surprises There was not a lot of shock value to the jobless total this time around. The rate of unemployment fell a little from 4% to 3.8%. There were not quite as many new employees as had been the norm. The expectation had been that another 200,000 would be added, but this m...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 2, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Economic Game of Chicken There have been many phases of the trade war between the U.S. and China. In the beginning, it was thought to be posturing by both sides in anticipation of some kind of mutually acceptable deal. Then, it started to get serious with the U.S. imposition of tariffs and the Chinese countering...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 31, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Another Bold Initiative? There is a pattern to President Trump's approach to foreign policy that is certainly unique, although not as much as one would assume if one looks at history. He has shunned traditional diplomacy and has opted for the personal with his efforts to deal with implacable enemies such as Nort...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 30, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Interesting Comment from Ford and GM Both companies reported that higher steel and aluminum prices stripped about $300 million off their quarterly results in Q2. They blamed it on higher tariffs. That's a big part of it, but a strong demand environment could also be just as much at work to push prices higher. On...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 27, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Impressive but Not Quite as Much as Expected The Q2 GDP numbers are in. And they are impressive at 4.1%. This is not as robust as some had expected and even predicted, however. Some were certain that growth rates would be as high as 5%—many had set their sights on 4.5%. In truth, anything over a 4% rise would me...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 26, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy GDP Revisions Lowered as Newest Data Disappoints The next GDP report doesn't come out until July 27 and already there has been some second guessing. A few weeks ago, there was some consensus around the notion that growth would be at least as high as 4.5% and perhaps 5.5%. This was slated to be the most robust qu...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 25, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Deficit Leader The U.S. has the dubious distinction of being the world's leading contributor to deficits. This is the result of the policies that have been pursued for years by the U.S. and its inability to come to grips with its own deficit and debt. At times, there has been incessant talk about trying to get t...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 24, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Severe Housing Crisis There are many things that affect the housing sector—all those headwinds that analysts talk so much about. One area that didn't used to be so influential is a shortage of homes to buy at any price. This shortage has become acute in many popular cities and is expected to last for quite a whi...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 23, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Industrial Policy for the U.S.? Many nations in the world have been major advocates of what has been termed industrial policy, but the U.S. has long resisted that idea. There are many ways this kind of policy has been set, but the motivation is usually similar. The government is tempted to favor certain business...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 20, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Claims for Unemployment Fall to Five-Decade Low In yet another sign of a really robust labor market, the rate of new claims for unemployment have hit a fifty-year low. There are many permutations involved with tracking unemployment—for an economy to be truly benefiting from the increasingly low rate of joblessne...
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