Fact of the Week

May 17th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The U.S. Census Bureau reported that retail and food services sales were up by 0.9 percent in April. For good measure, March sales growth was revised up from 0.7 percent to 1.4 percent. Of course, these nominal gains need to be put in perspective when inflation is running hot, as […]

May 5th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Eventually, economic reality even catches up to the Federal Reserve. And the current reality is that inflation is running red hot. The question remains, however, if at least one part of the Fed’s remedy will actually work. In the May 4 FOMC statement, the Fed declared that it is “highly […]

April 27th, 2022 by

  by Raymond J. Keating – If one doubts the importance of policy decisions made by elected in officials in cities and other localities, just take a look at the history of places like New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco. Over the decades, in each of these cases, decisions were made in a […]

April 19th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest report on residential housing construction from the U.S. Census Bureau pointed to continued gains in March, though at a slow rate. If we move beyond the volatility of month-to-month numbers, housing has seen a move up in recent months in terms of permits and starts, but with completions […]

April 14th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – Retail and food services sales grew by 0.5 percent in March, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The problem is that retail sales numbers are not adjusted for inflation. And the latest estimate put Consumer Price Index inflation at 1.2 percent in March. Well, so much […]

March 31st, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The latest personal income report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis provides another sobering reminder of how inflation is reducing incomes. For February, personal income increased by 0.5 percent. However, that turns negative once you consider that PCE (personal consumption expenditures) inflation registered 0.6 percent. And over the past […]

March 16th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The headline from the latest FOMC statement is that the Federal Reserve has decided to up federal funds rate from the targeted range of 0 percent to ¼ percent to the range of ¼ percent to ½ percent. The FOMC statement also included that the Fed “anticipates that ongoing increases […]

March 10th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The tightness of the labor market was made clear in the latest “Job Openings and Labor Turnover” report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even with the data basically unchanged in January, both the level of job openings and quits remained quite high. The following chart shows total nonfarm […]

March 4th, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – The February employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics hit all the points on the checklist. It ranked as a robust month for job growth. First, the establishment survey estimated that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 678,000 in February. Second, the household survey, which tends to better capture […]

March 1st, 2022 by

by Raymond J. Keating – While assorted challenges persist, the latest purchasing managers surveys point to manufacturing at least moving in the right direction in February. The IHS Markit Manufacturing PMI reported “a stronger improvement in operating conditions midway through the opening quarter of 2022.” Some of the good news was summed up this way: […]

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