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The Pandemic Caused Significant Economic Impacts; Not All Inflation Is Related

Over the last several blogs, we have opined that the pandemic hasn’t changed the economy’s potential growth path. The chart shows GDP growth rates beginning in the mid-1990s (with the Atlanta Fed’s +1.3% Q3/2021 forecast). The horizontal line shows a 2% growth level. Note that the left-hand side of the chart shows much higher growth than the right-hand side. In the 1990s, growth was in the 4%-5% range, and in the 3%-4% range in …Read More

Delta-Variant, Soft Data Bode Ill for Near-Term Growth

The markets waited all week for Fed Chair Powell to speak at the Kansas City Fed’s Annual Jackson Hole Symposium.  Due to the Delta-variant, like many other business meetings, this one was held virtually.  There was growing market concern that Powell would turn somewhat more hawkish, especially since some Regional Fed Presidents appear to have done so in recent speeches and media appearances.  As a result, interest rates, as measured …Read More

The Economy: On the Other Side of the Abyss

The good news is that a vaccine is definitely coming.  But getting to herd immunity is going to take more than a quarter or two, especially given the resistance of about half of the American population to getting the vaccine, at least early on. The economy is likely to remain soft until well after the pandemic passes.  There are many reasons for this including a decade of poor policymaking and …Read More

The Shape Of Things To Come: ‘V’ Or ‘L’ Recovery

What do -38%, -34%, -30%, and -25% have in common? If you guessed that these are the Q2 real GDP forecasts from the major financial houses (Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JPMorgan), you would be correct. Incredible as it may seem, we are likely headed for a drop in Q2 real GDP in that magnitude, and the just passed Q1 quarter looks to be somewhere near high negative single digits. …Read More

The Shape Of Things To Come: ‘V’ Or ‘L’ Recovery

What do -38%, -34%, -30%, and -25% have in common? If you guessed that these are the Q2 real GDP forecasts from the major financial houses (Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JPMorgan), you would be correct. Incredible as it may seem, we are likely headed for a drop in Q2 real GDP in that magnitude, and the just passed Q1 quarter looks to be somewhere near high negative single digits. …Read More

The “Avoidance” Reaction

Preamble I received an email from my travel agent last Monday (March 2) informing me that, because Italy had been raised to a Travel Level 3 by the CDC (strongly advised not to travel there), our vacation to Italy (March 12-22) had to be postponed, else we risked being quarantined upon our return.  In addition, the previous Friday, two corporate meetings in my immediate schedule for the week in the …Read More