Tag Archives: budget deficit

Showdown to Shutdown

A government shutdown is looking more likely, short of a major leap by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, to build a coalition with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. In the near term, the effects will be most obvious to the poor, their children, tourists and financial markets. Food stamps, after-school programs, national [...]

First Quarter GDP Revisions Disappoint

Real GDP was revised down to 1.8% from 2.4% for the first quarter. That is an unusually large revision for the third cut of the data; the fact that it is to the downside is even more disturbing. Consumer spending and trade were the primary reasons for the downward shift. Consumers are still doing better [...]

Housing Starts Rise in February; Permits Jump

Housing starts rose to 917,000 in February, slightly above the 910,000 pace of January. Single family housing starts rose to a 618,000 unit pace, up slightly from the 615,000 pace of January. Multi-family starts averaged a 285,000 unit pace, which is up slightly from January, but off significantly from the robust 300,000 plus pace we [...]

Industrial Production Higher on Utilities and Durables

The index of industrial production jumped 0.7% in February as more seasonal weather returned, prompting many consumers to raise thermostats and businesses to increase production of everything from vehicles to appliances, electronics, furniture and carpeting. Moreover, manufacturing gains for the previous two months were revised up. The pickup in production in consumer durables reflects several [...]

Consumer Prices Temporarily Surge on Gas Prices

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped 0.7% in February; almost three quarters of that gain can be attributed to a 9.1% surge in gasoline prices, which has since been reversed. We also saw increases in other energy measures that pushed up consumer prices during the month. Increases in food prices were much more benign;