Deeper Analysis

Factory Sector Growth in the U.S. and Euroland Slowed Last Month

April 3, 2018

The ISM-compiled U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index in March printed at 59.3, 1.5 points lower than in February but still 0.2 points above January’s reading. Indices for incoming orders, production, and employment respectively fell by 2.3, 1.0, and 2.4 points, but the score for inflation jumped 3.9 points to a lofty 78.1. The IHS-compiled manufacturing […] More

March and First Quarter 2018 in Figures

March 31, 2018

March was a difficult month for equities, largely because of Fed tightening, U.S.-inspired geopolitical uncertainty, and trade war fears. Nevertheless, U.S. share price losses in the first quarter of 2018 were generally smaller than declines recorded in other countries. Despite higher short-term interest rates during March especially in the United States and Great Britain, year-to-date […] More

Is U.S. Growth Really Strengthening?

March 28, 2018

Although the first derivative of the U.S. economy’s size has been very consistently positive, the answer to the above question is more debatable. In the nearly nine years since the Great Recession ended in mid-2009, real GDP rose in 35 of 36 quarters through end-2017, and the exception was a mere 0.9% annualized on-quarter dip […] More

Bear Markets and U.S. Recessions

March 24, 2018

Since a peak of 26,614 on January 26, the Dow Jones Industrials fell 11.6% in two months and has thus quickly moved 58% of the way to being a bonafide bear market, with a peak to trough drop of 20% or more. The causes of this downward correction remain active depressants, leaving little reason to […] More

FOMC Preview

March 21, 2018

Although government offices in Washington have been closed today due to a winter storm, the FOMC is meeting and will release a statement and updated macroeconomic and interest rate forecasts at 18:00 GMT (14:00 EDT) followed 30 minutes later by an hour-long press conference, the first of Jay Powell’s stewardship as Chairman. A 25-basis point […] More

Level of U.S. Employment Still Under Historical Trendline

March 12, 2018

The growth of U.S. nonfarm payroll employment in the 1980s (i.e. between December 1979 and December 1989) was 1.841% per annum or virtually identical to the 1.837% per year pace in the ensuing 1990s. The similarity of those figures covering the final fifth of the twentieth century establishes a long-term trendline entering the current century. […] More

U.S. Minus Euro Area Manufacturing PMI Spread Swings into Positive Territory

March 1, 2018

The ISM-compiled¬†manufacturing purchasing managers index exceeded the IHS-compiled Euroland PMI in February for the first time since September. Their differential was +2.2 points compared to -0.5 in January, -1.3 in December and -1.9 points in November. At respective February readings of 60.8 and 58.6, manufacturing in both economies is expanding robustly, but the faster growth […] More

February in Figures

February 28, 2018

February was unlike January. The dollar had declined across the board in the first month of 2018, but declined, except against the yen, during February. Likewise, share prices performed well in January but experienced a difficult February, including the biggest U.S. monthly drop in just over two years. Stocks were spooked by speculation that the […] More

2017 GDP Growth and CPI Inflation in the U.S., Euroland and Japan

February 20, 2018

Economic growth slowed last quarter from the summer’s pace in the United States, Euroland and Japan but, also in each case was stronger in calendar 2017 than in 2016. U.S. GDP rose 2.6% at an annualized pace between 3Q and 2Q, down from 3.2% in the previous quarter and reflecting a combined 1.8 percentage point […] More

U.S. Economy Strengthened Relative to Euroland’s in January

February 5, 2018

The ISM’s U.S. non-manufacturing purchasing managers index jumped 3.9 points to a 31-month high of 59.9 in January. Orders and jobs growth accelerated sharply. Production and inflation also picked up. The manufacturing PMI was also robust last month. The IHS estimate of Euroland’s services PMI rose 1.4 points to 58.0, which was at a 139-month […] More