Deeper Analysis

U.S. Economic Performance of the Last Ten Presidencies

January 23, 2017

John Kennedy began America’s 35th presidency on January 20, 1961 asking citizens to “ask not what their country can do for them” but rather to “ask what they can do for their country.” Making the case for passing the torch on to a new generation, he declared, “let us never negotiate out of fear, but […] More

Inflationary Amber Alert

January 13, 2017

After the election of Donald Trump, the dollar, U.S. equities, long-term interest rates, and commodities rose initially. Some of these changes have been pared, but they reflect a changed perceived economic outlook. Analysts who follow fundamental economic trends became more optimistic about economic growth and the likelihood of higher inflation. Market players were very mindful that […] More

Strong Factory Growth Acceleration in Both Ezone and U.S.

January 3, 2017

The Institute of Supply Management’s U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index climbed 1.5 points in December to a two-year high of 54.7. Markit Economics’ U.S. factory-sector PMI told a similar story, printing at a 21-month peak of 54.3 in the final month of 2016. The euro area PMI in manufacturing, compiled by Markit Economics, rose almost […] More

December and 2016 in Figures

December 31, 2016

Although the federal funds rate was raised three fewer times in 2016 than many U.S. monetary officials were expecting a year ago, short-term interest rate differential moved significantly more in favor of U.S. assets over the course of the year. This shift was reflected in 10-year bond yield spreads between the United States and both […] More


December 22, 2016

Real economic growth in 3Q16 was revised up 0.3 percentage point to 3.5% annualized from the second quarter. However, the on-year pace of 1.7% was down from 2.2% in the year to 3Q15 and 2.9% in the year to 3Q14. Personal consumption remains a mainstay of the economy, posting successive on-year advances of 3.2% in […] More

Accelerating Economic Activity in the U.S. and Euroland

December 5, 2016

The U.S. non-manufacturing purchasing managers index rose 2.4 points in November to a 13-month high. Increases of 4.0 points and 5.1 points in production and jobs powered the improvement. Euroland’s services PMI went up less sharply to an 11-month high of 53.8 from 52.8, and this widened the differential between the two indicators by 1.4 […] More

November in Figures

November 30, 2016

World financial markets spent most of November grappling with the implications of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory and the Republican Party’s coming control of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the federal government, as well as most state governorships and legislatures. A possible December hike of the federal funds target became a virtual certainty after […] More

U.S. Presidential Election Math

November 19, 2016

Although there have now been four different times — 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016 — when a presidential candidate has won a majority of electoral college votes without having the most straight popular votes, this year’s result produced the greatest disparity between the two votes. There are currently 538 electoral votes. The number of electoral […] More

Some Thoughts on U.S. Inflation

November 15, 2016

This note considers changing U.S. inflation over the past half century, using total consumer prices rather than core CPI or the consumer spending price deflator. For the purposes of a study covering decades, core CPI and headline CPI should in theory converge. Consumer prices were selected rather than the PCE deflator simply for easier access […] More

Sharp October Drop in U.S.-Minus-Ezone PMI Services Spread

November 7, 2016

The U.S. non-manufacturing purchasing managers index fell 2.3 points to 54.8 last month. Euroland’s service sector PMI increased 0.6 points to 52.8. The differential between those two indices thus narrowed 2.9 points to +2.0. In combination with a negative 1.6-point manufacturing PMI differential, half a point more advantageous to Euroland than in the prior month, […] More