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Fact of the Week

Translating the Fed: 4 Key Points on the FOMC Statement

By at 30 July, 2015, 11:16 am

by Raymond J. Keating- Leading up to its July 29 release, market commentators and watchers were hyper-focused on the Federal Open Market Committee’s statement on monetary policy, including, of course, interest rates. Opinions flew. When will the Fed raise short-term interest rates? How will markets react? Oh yes, and what about the economy? Well, the […]

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Fact of the Week: Housing Data Remains Mixed

By at 24 July, 2015, 3:12 pm

The last recession officially began in late 2007. But housing began its deep dive in late 2005. In fact, housing was in a depression from late 2005 into 2011. And housing’s recovery has been far worse than the overall economy’s poor recovery. As of the first quarter of this year, real private residential investment was […]

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Trade Numbers Down, But There’s Hope

By at 7 July, 2015, 12:00 pm

The Bureau of Economic Analysis just released trade data for May. The latest month’s data, and the trend, remain quite troubling. Specifically, declines in both exports and imports reflect the weak state of the economy. EXPORTS DOWN On the export side of the trade equation, exports fell in May, after a two-month increase. But exports […]

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FACT OF THE WEEK: Chicago PMI Still Contracting

By at 2 July, 2015, 12:26 pm

The Chicago Business Barometer (also known as the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, or Chicago PMI), released on June 30 by MNI and the Institute for Supply Management, improved from May, but stayed in contraction for the second consecutive month, and has been below 50 (the mark between expansion and contraction) for four months in 2015, […]

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Durable Goods Down

By at 24 June, 2015, 7:26 am

On June 23, the Census Bureau released its advance report on durable goods. Durable goods orders are widely watched, as they are considered a leading indicator of manufacturing activity. The topline numbers were negative. New orders for May were down by 1.8 percent. Given that big swings in defense and transportation orders can distort what’s […]

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Industrial Production Declining

By at 15 June, 2015, 2:58 pm

On June 15, the Federal Reserve released its estimate for industrial production for May, and this latest number continued a disturbing downward trend. Industrial production is an index measuring the physical output of all manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utility establishments in the U.S. In May, industrial production fell by 0.2 percent, with manufacturing […]

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Fact of the Week: 7 Points on the Federal Budget

By at 11 June, 2015, 1:33 pm

On June 5, the Congressional Budget Office released its latest “Monthly Budget Review” for May of this year. That is, it served up the broad federal revenue and spending numbers through eight months – or two-thirds – of fiscal year 2015. Consider 7 key points on the latest data and the trend in the budget: […]

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FACT OF THE WEEK: Strange Spin on the Latest Trade Data

By at 3 June, 2015, 12:00 pm

It seems like you can count on trade data to be misinterpreted on a regular basis. That seems to be the case with reporting on the April trade numbers, which were released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on June 3. A Wall Street Journal story, for example, carried a subtitle “April result eases […]

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Q1 GDP: Should We Be Thinking About the “R” Word?

By at 29 May, 2015, 10:45 am

By Raymond Keating-   The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its second estimate of first quarter real GDP on the morning of May 29, and it turned out that growth went negative. An ugly preliminary estimate of 0.2 percent growth rate managed to get even worse. First quarter GDP growth now is pegged at […]

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The Troubling Downward Trend in Industrial Production

By at 18 May, 2015, 9:32 pm

One month does not a trend make. Five months? Yes. The Federal Reserve reported on May 15 that industrial production declined in April, and that was the fifth straight monthly decline. Industrial production is an index measuring the physical output of all manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utility establishments in the U.S. The drop […]

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