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Category Archives: Weekly Economic Commentary

The Inflation Situation Revisited

We last wrote about the inflation outlook in the September 24, 2012 edition of the Weekly Economic Commentary: The Inflation Situation. Since then, while inflation and inflation expectations in the United States have remained in check, the Federal Reserve (Fed) has begun another round of bond purchases, known as quantitative easing (QE). This decision — along with the recent run-up in consumer gasoline prices and recent comments from some members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) that the costs of QE may soon…

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The Inflation Situation Revisited

JOLTS Show Labor Market Still Healing

The nation’s labor market has come a long way since the depths of the Great Recession and its aftermath, but it still has a long way to go to get back to “normal.” We continue to expect modest improvement in the labor market in 2013, with the economy creating between 150,000 and 200,000 jobs per month and the unemployment rate drifting gradually lower from the 7.9% reading in January 2013. How quickly the labor market heals in 2013 will help to determine if…

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JOLTS Show Labor Market Still Healing

Residential Recovery

Over the second half of February 2013, financial markets will begin to digest early 2013 data on the housing market: housing starts, home prices, new and existing home sales, and pending home sales. Housing made a splash in late January 2013, as the gross domestic product (GDP) data for 2012 revealed that housing added to GDP in 2012 for the first time since 2005. Market participants are now asking…

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Residential Recovery

Following the Center of Gravity at the Fed

The Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) policymaking arm, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), meets January 29 – 30, 2013, the first of eight FOMC meetings this year. With several new voting members on the committee, this week’s meeting is likely to garner plenty of attention from the media and markets. Of note, however, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will not…

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Following the Center of Gravity at the Fed

 

Quick Start

2013 will get off to a quick start, as many market participants return from the holidays to face several key economic reports at home and overseas including…

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Quick Start

Festive Fed FAQ

Why Write About the Federal Reserve (Fed) This Week When the Fiscal Cliff Is Looming?

 The Fed may deliver the most important policy announcement of the week, given the ongoing behind-the-scenes fiscal policy debate in Washington. The Fed continues to play a key role in markets and the economy, and that will continue into 2013 and beyond. Although Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has said that…

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Festive Fed FAQ

Sandy Clouds the Beige Book

Heavily influenced by the impact of Superstorm Sandy and the uncertainty generated by the election and fiscal cliff debate, our proprietary Beige Book Barometer (at +30), is down from a recent high in the April 2012 Beige Book (+101). The Barometer is now back down to the levels seen in the summer and fall of 2011, amid the disruptive…

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Sandy Clouds the Beige Book

Budget Defense

As Congress and the President work together to avoid the looming fiscal cliff during the lame duck session of Congress, a more intransient problem remains in the background: the United States’ structural budget deficit. In our Weekly Economic Commentaries of October 29, 2012 (Budget Debate) and November 19, 2012 (Budget Myths), we wrote about how…

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Budget Defense

Return of Recession Obsession

The results of last week’s presidential and congressional elections in the United States — and the looming fiscal cliff — provide us with another opportunity to revisit the odds of a recession in the United States in the coming quarters. We will provide a full update on…

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Return of Recession Obsession

Still Slow Growth

The much anticipated October 2012 employment report was released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, November 2, 2012, to great fanfare from both the financial and mainstream media which, appropriately, are hyper-focused on the implications of the report for…

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Still Slow Growth