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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

The Economy Has ‘Recovered’ – Anemic Growth To Follow

The September jobs report was filled with cross-currents, some showing possible economic weakness, some showing strength. This makes the Fed’s job exceedingly difficult. Is the economy strengthening or weakening? What’s the correct monetary policy prescription? “Taper” asset purchases? Raise interest rates? Since September payrolls were so ambiguous, perhaps October’s (which will be available to the Fed prior to its November meeting) will shed brighter light on the economic trends. Just to review the latest employment data, …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

Growth Risks To The Economy Intensify

Mask mandates now are a reality in many parts of the country. That can’t be good for economic growth in Q3. The first pass at Q2 GDP came in light, with growth of +6.5% where the consensus was north of 8%. Despite that disappointment, markets seemed to like the number, even as Amazon, the poster-child company for pandemic America, disappointed. Growth Some street economics departments are now seeing Q3 and Q4 with jaundiced …Read More

Why Interest Rates Are Falling

#*!? CRASH BAM @#$ Suddenly, markets (well, at least the bond market) now see falling interest rates in the short and intermediate term. The 10-Year U.S. T-Note fell from 1.47% on June 30 to close at 1.29% on Thursday July 7 (a big move in just four market sessions). Some of the rapid fall was due to short covering, so the slight give back on Friday (to 1.36%) wasn’t a surprise. For context, …Read More

The Fed ‘Dots’ Put Financial Markets In A Tizzy

Financial markets became temporarily unglued with the release of the Fed’s post-meeting statement on June 16 and the publication of its “dot-plot” table. The dot-plot, originated in the Bernanke Fed in 2012, represents the 18 individual policy committee member views as to what the Fed Funds Rate level will be on December 31 of the next three years and then a longer-run view.  Despite Chair Powell’s reiteration at the post-meeting press …Read More