Several Themes Affecting Markets

April 28, 2015

Most European stock markets are lower with a notable exception of Greece.  The Greek debt negotiating team was changed, but Prime Minister Tsipras made remarks that failed to signal enhanced prospects for an agreement.  He implied that any deal involving more austerity may be subject to approval by a referendum of Greek voters, and he […] More

U.S. Economic Growth Over the Past Ten Years

March 27, 2015

While faster than growth in Japan and the eurozone, U.S. growth during the past decade was considerably slower than in the prior ten-year intervals.  Nine consecutive calendar years have now passed without any showing average real GDP growth of as much as 3.0%.  The averages in the most recent three years — 2.3% in 2012, […] More

Barrage of Data and a Surprising Russian Interest Rate Cut

January 30, 2015

Russia’s one-week central bank auction rate was cut by 200 basis points to 15.0%.  Such had been raised by 900 bps during November-December.  Officials attribute the spike in inflation to ruble depreciation that will not continue and expressed concern about slowing growth. U.S. quarterly GDP growth slowed to 2.6% last quarter from 5.0% in 3Q.  […] More

GDP and Other U.S. Economic Indicators Reported Today

December 23, 2014

The initial preliminary estimate of third-quarter GDP put quarterly growth at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 3.5%.  That calculation got revised upward to 4.6% a month ago and an 11-year high of 5.0% today.  Between the first estimate and today’s second revision, growth in real personal consumption got revised from 1.8% to 3.2%, and […] More

U.S. GDP Getting Better All the Time?

September 26, 2014

The third estimate of real GDP growth in the second quarter was 4.6%, up from 4.0% reported initially and 4.2% in the first revision.  There were upward revisions to non-residential and residential investment, government expenditures, exports and imports.  Inventory building lifted growth by 1.42 percentage points (ppts), up from 1.39 ppts estimated a month ago.  […] More

A Turn for the Worse in Ukraine and Lots of Data to Peruse

August 28, 2014

Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine stepped up their attacks, seizing more territory.  Ukraine’s prime minister called the act a de facto invasion by Russia.  Harsher European economic sanctions on Russia appears the likely response. The main market reaction has been in stocks, bonds and gold, not the dollar The U.S. currency is unchanged overnight against the […] More

Aftermath of U.S. GDP Shocker

June 26, 2014

Markets continue to ponder the implications of yesterday’s announced revision in U.S. GDP last quarter to a contraction of 2.9% from previous estimates of -1.0% made in May and +0.1% made in April.  After such a weak start to 2014, GDP will not expand as much as presumed previously in full-2014.  Slack in the U.S. […] More

Comment on U.S. GDP Revision

May 29, 2014

Here’s what I take away from the 1.1 percentage point downward revision in first-quarter real economic growth to -1.0% at an annualized rate. Number one, although this is only the second negative quarter in the last nineteen quarters that comprise the current business upswing.  Looked at that way, it’s an infrequent but not unusual or […] More

Comment on U.S. GDP Clunker

April 30, 2014

Real GDP edged only 0.1% higher last quarter at an annualized rate.  Most other governments don’t bother with Washington’s custom of annualizing quarterly growth and would have reported today’s growth rate as a mere 0.03%.  Either way, the result was far below forecasts centered on 1.5%.  A number of analysts also have been predicting full-2014 […] More

Week Ends with a BOJ Meeting, U.S. and U.K. GDP Revisions, and an EU Banking Plan in which Few Trust

December 20, 2013

The Bank of Japan left its quantitative monetary policy and economic assessment unchanged.  Governor Kuroda believes 2% inflation will be reached by the spring of 2015 despite the coming sales tax increase. U.S. third-quarter GDP was revised up a half percentage point to 4.1% at an annualized quarterly pace, the fastest rate since the first […] More