Category Archives: Diane Swonk

Consumers Go Car Shopping

Personal disposable incomes rose 0.4% after adjusting for inflation in the month of July, faster than consumer spending, which edged up 0.3% during the month. The bulk of the rebound in consumer spending, which came on the heels of a slight upward revision to June, occurred in vehicle purchases. Consumers have been reluctant to spread [...]

Growth in 2Q Revised Much Higher

The economy expanded at a revised 3.7% pace in the second quarter, almost 1.5% stronger than initial estimates for the period. The changes were driven by a strong upward revision to business investment. Commercial construction activity was particularly strong, while the contraction in equipment spending is now significantly less than initially reported.

Durable Goods Surprise to the Upside

Durable goods orders surged a more-than-expected 2% in July and were revised up to show a whopping 4.1% gain in June. More importantly, July’s gains occurred outside of the highly volatile aircraft sector; we saw increases in everything from machinery to vehicles and communications equipment. The increase in machinery is encouraging as it appears to [...]

Market Gremlins Disrupt Liftoff

Rapid declines in global equity prices, risks that the downdraft in China will take the U.S. market down again tomorrow and a legitimate concern that inflation will further decelerate are now expected to keep the Federal Reserve on the sidelines in September. A move in December is still possible, but a close call. Uber dove [...]

Fed Holds Cards Close to Vest

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes show that the Federal Reserve continued to edge toward liftoff, but members were not there yet last month. The divide between those on the FOMC who would like to raise rates in September and those who would prefer to wait is widening.

Inflation Remains Cool

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose a slightly less-than-expected 0.1% in July, with weakness in energy, vehicle and airfares offsetting continued increases in shelter costs. Prescription drug costs also continue to rise,

Retail Sales Disappoint

Retail sales dropped 0.3% in June, as a drop in vehicle sales contributed to weakness across the board. The only categories to post major gains were electronics and appliance stores sales, gasoline station sales, and spending at discount stores. Moreover, sales for the previous month, which had been relatively robust, were revised down slightly. This [...]

Tsipras Capitulates

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras capitulates after taking his economy to the brink. He has agreed to a far reaching deal after 17 hours of a touch and go marathon session with Greece’s creditors. The deal must now go to parliament for a vote. The deal will likely force hardliners, on the left, out of office and [...]

Inflation Looks Hotter than it is

The Consumer Price Index edged up a modest 0.1% in April, with retreating energy prices offsetting some of the increase in services. Core CPI (non- food and non-energy) rose a more than expected 0.3% in April. Almost all of the acceleration in inflation could be traced to the medical services component, which has been decelerating [...]

Another Dismal Report

Industrial production dropped 0.3% in April. The decline for March was not as severe as originally reported, but still lower. Losses in the mining and utilities sector are driving the drop in industrial production. That said, the weakness was broad-based