Better Financial Market Tone Continues

August 27, 2015

The Kansas City Fed’s annual economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, WY begins today.  The topic of this year’s central banker conference is “Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy.”  While Chairperson Yellen will not be attending, Vice Chair Stanley Fisher’s speech on Saturday, the final day of the gathering, is the most eagerly awaited event.  Remarks […] More

Comment on U.S. GDP

July 30, 2015

The U.S. economy rebounded in the spring from a weather depressed first quarter.  At 2.3%, the annualized growth of real GDP was very close to market expectations, four times faster than the first-quarter pace, but hardly better than what’s come to be the economy’s average performance.  The six-year-long post-Great Recession upswing has produced an average […] More

IFO Monthly Report and a Setback in the Greek Talks

June 24, 2015

Yesterday’s proposal by Greek Prime Minister Tsipras was not accepted by all the Europeans.  News of this setback sent share prices down 3.8% in Greece and 0.9% in Germany, Spain and Italy.  Stocks fell also by 0.5% in France and Switzerland and by 0.1% in Great Britain.  The Greek fixed asset yield spread above Germany […] More

Remarks on the Weak 1Q U.S. GDP Data

April 29, 2015

Real GDP expanded just 0.2% last quarter, and nominal GDP edged up by a smaller 0.1% at an annualized rate.  Both results were below consensus. Weak first quarters have become an habitual occurrence, which makes sense unless you happen to still believe that talk of climate change is a myth.  Seven of the last nine […] More

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