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December 2013 Economic Overview

December 2013 Economic Overview

US Economy Americans' confidence in the economy is slowly increasing, and has significantly improved from the mid-October shutdown.  This suggests that record-high U.S. stock market prices and the Bureau of Labor Statistics report of better-than-expected job gains in October may have boosted Americans' confidence. Increasing [...]

April 2013 Economic Overview

April 2013 Economic Overview

Following the recent spate of upbeat data, today’s consensus outlook (which I largely share) is that this year the economy may again grow about 2% and then speed up modestly in 2014.  Unemployment is expected to remain high and total business profits to slide a bit.  Federal Reserve forecasts, which have been chronically over-optimistic, do [...]

August 2012 Economic Overview

August 2012 Economic Overview

US Economy The US economy is in a tender state. Being led by an inventive private sector, the economy is reinventing itself. Old weaknesses remedied and new ones discovered. News headlines give credence, however, to Nouriel Roubini’s perfect storm in 2013 scenario: stalling growth in the US, debt troubles in Europe, a slowdown in emerging [...]

July 2012 Economic Overview

July 2012 Economic Overview

US Economy Bad employment reports continue, only 69,000 jobs created in May, unemployment hovers around 8.2%. Real personal income remains anemic and real disposable personal income is barely up for the year. These levels are normally associated with a recession. While the decline in gasoline prices since April help matters, the slow pace of [...]

June 2012 Economic Overview

June 2012 Economic Overview

The euro crisis casts its wintry gloom. Yields on Spanish bonds are rising dangerously, and Italian ones are close behind. Portugal may need fresh support. The euro zone’s recession may be mercifully mild. But budget pressures are pushing economies into recession. The IMF is warning against over-zealous austerity. But the 17 countries making up [...]

December 2011 Economic Overview

December 2011 Economic Overview

US The odds for a pleasant end to the situation continue to grow long. Policymakers elsewhere are making ready for the autumn. Federal Reserve is preparing to conduct a new round of stress tests on American banks with a euro-area collapse in mind. Treasury officials are looking at big American banks and urging them to cut back their exposure to [...]

September 2011 Economic Overview

September 2011 Economic Overview

After the absurd fiscal brinkmanship of the Congress in the debt ceiling debate, the economy will continue to be sluggish and fragile. The thoughtlessness of the debt debate resolved nothing. The 2008 recession was worse than estimated; the present recovery is weaker than hoped. The psyche of business and consumers is timorous. The fear is that [...]

July 2011 Economic Overview

July 2011 Economic Overview

For all the monetary and fiscal stimulus applied to the US economy, the recovery remains a disappointment. Growth may rebound to above 3% in the second half of the year. Inflation rose to 1.5% in May. The Fed may consider easing again. But the wealth is not trickling down. Small business account for 99% of all US companies and account for [...]

January 2011 Economic Overview

January 2011 Economic Overview

Can the Euro survive? A break up would be even worse. Germany is fed up with paying for other country’s mess, and talk of a ‘Strong Euro Area’ is becoming commonplace.  Say Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and France set up the ‘strongs’ to reconsider their place in the union, maybe even create a two-tiered Euro? And, say Spain, [...]

June 2010 Economic Overview

June 2010 Economic Overview

There are glimmerings of hope, but the economy remains Janus Faced: for every good, there is a bad. Housing prices have stopped going down and new home sales are beginning to show signs of life. But much of the positive is accounted for by the need of home buyers to get in before the incentive programs end shortly. Factory orders rose briskly, [...]

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