Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 28, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Disaster Relief It would not seem that providing assistance to those who have been affected by natural disasters would be controversial, but in nearly every case the process is fraught with controversy. The most common issue is the ability of the recipients to handle the inf...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 26, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—Decent News Expected from Durable Goods Data By the time you read this the Commerce Department will have released the latest durable goods numbers. Most expect them to show another month of improvement—even as the aerospace sector continues to grapple with the issues surroun...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 23, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM EconomistShort Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyChina RetaliatesAs expected, the Chinese have reacted to the U.S. tariff threats and imposed their own tariffs on another $75 billion worth of U.S. goods. The U.S. has indicated it will impose tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports into the U.S. The announced tariff ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 21, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM EconomistShort Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyHawks and Doves at the FedThe latest Fed minutes confirm what had already been concluded. There is far from unanimity on the subject of interest rate cuts at the Fed. Two of the members of the Open Market committee dissented from the decision to make the quarter point cut (Est...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 19, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM EconomistShort Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyMarket ReactionsAll sorts of issues are affecting the markets as the week begins. The rally last week was due to the latest veer in the Trump tariff policy. The investing community has started to take the threats of more and more tariff activity as "all bark and no bite." The ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 16, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy:Delayed but Not Forgotten— The threat to impose a raft of new tariffs on goods from China was delayed until December, but not all of the affected goods have been given that reprieve. There will be tariffs imposed on a wide range of consumer goods—everything from apparel to s...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 14, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy:Is Inflation Finally Starting to Ramp Up?— Certainly nobody is talking about runaway prices, but for two months in a row, there has been an increase of 0.3% in the readings for the Consumer Price Index. The hikes have been broad-based as well and have occurred even as some o...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 12, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy: Housing Market Shift— It is hardly news that the housing market is local at its heart. At any given time, there will be hot markets and cold ones. The overall pace of housing has been slower of late, but there are still many places experiencing high demand. This may be...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 9, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist— Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy—​Change in Nomenclature— For several months, it has been hard to define just what kind of conflict the U.S. and China were engaged in. There was always an assumption that much of the confrontation was essentially political theater. At some point, both Presidents Trump and X...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 7, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyCurrency 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 no...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 5, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyCommunication 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 ba...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 2, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyJobs 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 ther...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 31, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyFed 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 dir...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 29, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyWhat 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 would...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for July 26, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyNot 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. EconomyBright 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. EconomyTargeting 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. EconomySmall 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. EconomyIndustrial 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. EconomyJobless 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 te...
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