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Category Archives: Weekly Economic Commentary

Real and Sustainable: An Update

Just prior to the release of the May 2013 employment, report, we wrote in our June 3, 2013, Weekly Economic Commentary: Real and Sustainable, that in the coming months…

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Real and Sustainable: An Update

Sizzling Summer Fed FAQ

The Federal Reserve (Fed) holds its fourth (of eight this year) Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting this Tuesday and Wednesday, June 18 – 19. The meeting will be followed by an FOMC statement, and the FOMC’s latest economic and Fed funds projections…

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Sizzling Summer Fed FAQ

Real and Sustainable

The U.S. Department of Labor’s monthly employment report always generates plenty of attention from the media, Main Street, and the markets — and this week will be no exception. The May 2013 report scheduled for release on Friday, June 7, is expected to show that the economy added a net new 165,000 jobs in May 2013, (the same number of net new jobs created in April 2013) and that the nation’s unemployment rate held steady at 7.5% in May 2013. (See “Closer Look: Labor Market Surveys” on page 5). This week’s report is of particular interest, given the rumblings from the Federal Reserve (Fed) on potentially scaling back, or tapering…

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Real and Sustainable

What’s Broken in Europe?

Last week (May 13 – 17), markets digested reports on gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the Eurozone during the first quarter of 2013 (please see “The Big Picture” for details about the Eurozone’s structure). Overall real GDP in the Eurozone contracted by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2013, following the 0.6% drop in the fourth quarter of 2012. The Eurozone’s economic contraction in the first quarter of 2013 was its sixth consecutive quarter of decline, dating back to the fourth quarter of 2011. Among the larger economies in Europe, only…

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What’s Broken in Europe?

Listening to the Leaders

The April Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI), due out on Friday, May 17, 2013, caps off a busy week for economic reports in the United States. This week includes reports on…

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Listening to the Leaders

Clearing Up Confusion on Common Queries

In this week’s commentary we attempt to clear up some of the confusion around some of the most common questions we encounter regularly, including:

  1. The Federal Reserve (Fed), its balance sheet, its role in the economy, and its impact on inflation;
  2. The federal budget deficit;
  3. The federal debt outstanding, and the debt-to-GDP ratio; and
  4. The trade deficit and a related topic, the US dollar.

In many ways, the items above are related. But oftentimes, pundits, politicians, newsletter writers, bloggers, Tweeters, and even the “traditional media” will confuse or conflate one or more of these issues, and that’s…

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Clearing Up Confusion on Common Queries

#TheWeekInTweets

Each time we publish the Weekly Economic Commentary, we include our calendar on page 3 that details all the key economic and policy events for the week. While we try to keep the Weekly Economic Commentary “relevant” by tying our commentary to one of the events of the week, many times we don’t refer to the calendar at all. This week, we thought we would try something a little different and incorporate the event calendar into the publication by providing a 140-character Tweet about each of the key calendar entries of the coming week. We’ll also sprinkle in a few charts…

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#TheWeekInTweets

What’s Fueling Gasoline?

This week, markets digest a variety of reports on the U.S. economy in February, March, and April 2013. Of particular interest to market participants will be the reports on producer prices and retail sales for March — both due out on Friday, April 12. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is due out next Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The price of gasoline will feature prominently in all three reports. This time of year, gasoline prices typically garner plenty of attention from the…

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What’s Fueling Gasoline?

Business Capital Spending

On March 28, 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that corporate profits of all U.S.-based corporate entities — as measured in the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) — hit an all-time high in the fourth quarter of 2012. The bulk of companies in the S&P 500, a subset of the companies in the NIPA profits data, will report their earnings for the first quarter of 2013 in the coming weeks…

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Business Capital Spending

Watch What the Fed Watches

 What constitutes a substantial improvement in the labor market? On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Ben Bernanke held the first of four press conferences scheduled for this year at the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) meetings on March 20, June 19, September 18, and December 18, 2013. While Bernanke’s Q&A session generated plenty of headlines (and tweets), he really did not say anything the market…

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Watch What the Fed Watches