Economic Update 11/13/17

By Robert Pagliarini on November 13, 2017

CONSUMER SENTIMENT INDEX DECLINES The University of Michigan’s monthly gauge of U.S. household sentiment fell to 97.8 in its initial November edition; analysts polled by Bloomberg estimated it would tick up to 100.8. While the 2.9-point dip from its final October level was the largest drop in a year, the index remained near a 13-year…

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Economic Update 10/30/2017

By Robert Pagliarini on October 30, 2017

THIRD QUARTER SAW SOLID ECONOMIC GROWTH Friday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis issued its first estimate of Q3 GDP: 3.0%. Its report showed increases in personal spending and business stockpiling offsetting a dip in home building. The economy grew 3% or more for a second straight quarter for the first time since 2014. Growth has…

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Economic Update 10/23/17

By Robert Pagliarini on October 23, 2017

SEPTEMBER SAW SLIGHTLY MORE HOME BUYING Existing home sales advanced 0.7% last month, according to a National Association of Realtors report. This gain broke a 3-month streak of retreats. Single-family home sales rose 1.1%. Housing inventory increased 1.6% last month, but it was still 6.4% under year-ago levels. GROUNDBREAKING FALLS TO A 12-MONTH LOW Housing…

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Economic Update 10/09/17

By Robert Pagliarini on October 9, 2017

HURRICANES HURT SEPTEMBER JOB NUMBERS For the first time in seven years, the economy went a month without payroll growth. The Department of Labor’s September employment report revealed the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma: it showed 33,000 fewer people working. Average hourly wages rose 0.5% to take the annualized gain to 2.9%, but this…

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Economic Update 10/02/2017

By Robert Pagliarini on October 2, 2017

PERSONAL SPENDING BARELY IMPROVES Consumer spending increased by only a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in August, while consumer incomes rose 0.2%. Those gains precisely matched the projections of economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal. Factoring in inflation, household spending actually retreated 0.1% during August. Hurricane Harvey may be partly to blame for these numbers. ROUNDING…

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Economic Update 09/25/18

By Robert Pagliarini on September 25, 2017

FEDERAL RESERVE: UNWINDING WILL BE GRADUAL Last Wednesday, the country’s central bank detailed how it would shrink its mammoth balance sheet. During the fourth quarter, the Fed will unload $10 billion of maturing bonds per month; in each subsequent quarter, the monthly runoff will increase by $10 billion until reaching a limit of $50 billion.…

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Economic Update 09/18/17

By Robert Pagliarini on September 18, 2017

INFLATION SPIKED IN AUGUST Economists had long assumed consumer prices would rise abruptly at some point, and they certainly did last month. The Consumer Price Index increased 0.4% in August, its biggest one-month advance since its 0.6% gain in January. Higher gas prices were a major influence: they rose 6.3% for August. Core inflation was…

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A Roadmap for Insurance Claims after a Natural Disaster

By Robert Pagliarini on September 14, 2017

After the winds end and the waters recede, people affected by the two monster hurricanes in the southern United States will need to move fast, keep records and become their own advocates if they are to recover financially. Many people whose property has been damaged by a flood learn quickly that standard homeowners’ policies cover…

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Economic Update 09/11/2017

By Robert Pagliarini on September 11, 2017

EQUIFAX BREACH MAY IMPACT 44% of AMERICANS Thursday evening, credit reporting agency Equifax disclosed that hackers had raided its databases this spring, accessing the personal information of up to 143 million people. Equifax believes that about 209,000 credit card numbers may have been collected in the process, plus numerous Social Security and driver’s license numbers.…

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Economic Update 08/28/17

By Robert Pagliarini on August 28, 2017

SUMMER SLOWDOWN HITS HOUSING MARKET Low inventory and high prices are taking a toll on existing home sales. They declined 1.3% in July, according to the National Association of Realtors, making a second straight monthly retreat. In the past 12 months, the number of existing homes on the market has shrunk 9.0%, while the median…

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