Category Archives: Fed Flash

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.

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,

Moderate Rebound in Employment

Payroll employment rebounded by 223,000 in April after being revised down for the month of March. The snapback was in places one would expect, such as construction and teachers at the state and local levels.

Q1 GDP to Show Hit from Trade Deficit

The trade deficit widened dramatically in March as containers that had been stockpiled during labor disputes at West Coast ports were finally unloaded and made room for new shipments. Indeed, almost all of the increase in imports came from Asia,

Loss of “Patience” Offset by Caution

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted unanimously to drop “patience” with regard to its stance on short-term interest rates. The loss of the word “patience” from the statement was more than offset by a surprise in the FOMC’s verbiage that raising rates at the next meeting in April “remains unlikely.” That is in addition [...]

Industrial Production Disappoints

Industrial production edged up a negligible 0.1% in February, carried almost entirely by gains in utilities. Colder than usual temperatures across the country in February boosted utility usage, particularly in places that typically see more temperate conditions, in the South and West. Texas and Virginia were hit particularly hard by cold winter weather and storms [...]

Employment Remains Buoyant: Participation Up

Payroll employment jumped a more-than-expected 257,000 in January, despite more than the usual number of heavy snow days across the nation.  (Yes, economists watch the weather too.) More importantly, benchmark revisions were released with strong upward revisions to November and December, underscoring the upward shift in economic momentum that we saw at the end of [...]