Could Grexit Delay Liftoff?


New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley left September in play for liftoff in an interview with the Financial Times published on Sunday. His comments, however, were actually made on Friday, before Greece upped the ante further by punting the decision on reforms to a referendum after their next payment comes due at midnight in Greece on June 30. Financial markets have been much calmer than they were on this issue three years ago because the direct contagion risks are now much smaller Read More »

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Greece Closes Banks and Readies for Default


Deadlines have come and gone before, but there is a strong sense that this will be the momentous week of resolution for Greece. On Sunday, after the collapse of negotiations with the European partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Greece announced a bank holiday until July 6th and introduced capital controls, mostly aimed at stopping the flight of deposits and liquidity from the banking system.

Despite the narrowing of the gap between the Greek government on the one side and the European Union (EU) and the international creditors on the other, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was incapable or unwilling to muster the strength to close the deal. Read More »

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The U.S. Consumer is Back


Personal consumption expenditures surged at a 0.9% pace in May and were revised up for the month of April. Personal incomes jumped at a 0.5% rate and were also revised up in April. The data on May, coupled with upward revisions to April, confirm Read More »

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New Home Sales Surge


New home sales accelerated to a 546,000-unit pace in May. This data not only beat expectations but also comes after a strong upward revision to April. Both the Northeast and West posted increases from April Read More »

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Dismal Durable Goods Orders


Durable goods orders fell 1.8% in May and were revised down for the month of April. Much of the drop was driven by a sharp drop in aircraft orders, which are extremely volatile. The remainder, however, was a disappointment. The vehicle sector, which had been one of the bright spots for factory orders, flatlined in May Read More »

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Home Sales Highest Since 2009


Existing home sales grew to 5.35 million on an annualized basis in May. That is the fastest pace of sales since November 2009 when sales were inflated by the temporary tax credit for first-time home buyers. Read More »

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Prices Jump on Gas and Airfares


The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% in May, driven by a sharp increase in prices at the pump. The overall index, however, remained unchanged from a year ago Read More »

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Fed Insinuates More Than It Says


The Federal Reserve voted unanimously to do nothing at the June meeting. Fed Chair Janet Yellen went out of her way to talk a lot, but say as little as possible, at the press conference about when and if the Fed will get to liftoff in September. The real message, however, was not in what the Fed said but in what was printed. Read More »

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Housing Starts Down, Permits Up


Housing starts plunged 11.1% to slightly above the million-unit mark in May, after a surge in April. The correction in May from the April spurt was expected and somewhat offset by upward revisions to the April data. The housing market was playing catch-up in April after a dismal winter. Read More »

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Industrial Production is Struggling


Industrial production declined 0.2% in May after falling more than initially reported in April. Revisions earlier in the year had been to the upside. Oil and gas extraction, in particular, did not collapse as rapidly as we thought. Overall production activity is about even with where we were in January, which isn’t exactly a sign of progress. Read More »

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