Economic Update

Economic Update 03/20/17

By Robert Pagliarini on March 20, 2017

FED HIKES, LEAVES 2017 FORECAST UNCHANGED As expected, the Federal Reserve raised the target range for the federal funds rate by a quarter-point last week to 0.75-1.00%. “The simple message is, the economy is doing well,” Fed chair Janet Yellen explained to the media following the move. The central bank’s dot-plot table still projects two…

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Economic Update 03/13/2017

By Robert Pagliarini on March 13, 2017

COMPANIES HIRED READILY IN FEBRUARY U.S. firms added 235,000 net new jobs last month, and the latest Department of Labor employment report showed the largest growth occurring in the construction and education/health care sectors. The DoL also revised January’s job gains upward by 11,000 to 238,000. Payroll expansion has averaged 209,000 per month since December.…

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Economic Update 02/12/17

By Robert Pagliarini on February 13, 2017

CONSUMER SENTIMENT SLIPS A BIT The University of Michigan’s preliminary February index of consumer sentiment came in at a reading of 95.7 Friday, compared with a final January mark of 98.5 (which was a 13-year peak). Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a slight decline to 98.0. While this was the index’s lowest level in…

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Economic Update 02/06/2017

By Robert Pagliarini on February 6, 2017

POSITIVES & NEGATIVES IN JANUARY’s JOB DATA The Department of Labor’s latest jobs report showed 227,000 net new hires last month. Unfortunately, wages grew just 0.1% in January as the headline jobless rate rose slightly to 4.8%. The U-6 rate, counting the underemployed, rose 0.2% to 9.4%. STRONG CONSUMER CONFIDENCE & SPENDING While the Conference…

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Economic Update 01/23/17

By Robert Pagliarini on January 23, 2017

LARGEST INFLATION ADVANCE IN 5 YEARS The Consumer Price Index rose 2.1% in 2016, marking its greatest annual gain since 2011. During 2015, consumer prices only increased by 0.7%. December saw a 0.3% rise for the headline CPI and a 0.2% gain for the core CPI (which excludes food and energy costs). The core CPI…

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Economic Update 12/19/16

By Robert Pagliarini on December 19, 2016

FED RAISES RATES, PLOTS THREE 2017 HIKES Federal Reserve policymakers unanimously chose to raise the benchmark interest rate by a quarter point last week. That was expected; less expected was the central bank’s adjustment to its 2017 dot-plot. Fed officials now see three rate hikes next year instead of two. The move to the new…

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Economic Update 12/12/16

By Robert Pagliarini on December 12, 2016

SERVICE SECTOR LOOKS VERY HEALTHY The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly services index improved 2.4 points in November to a 57.2 reading. Analysts polled by Briefing.com had expected a small gain to 55.6. It was the PMI’s best reading since October 2015, and it marked the 82nd consecutive month of expansion for the non-manufacturing segment…

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Economic Update 12/05/16

By Robert Pagliarini on December 5, 2016

JOBS REPORT SHOWS UNEMPLOYMENT AT 4.6% America’s jobless rate fell to a nine-year low in November as companies added 178,000 net new jobs. The U-6 rate (including the underemployed decreased) 0.2% to 9.3%. There were some negatives: yearly wage growth moderated to 2.5%, and the labor force participation rate ticked down to 62.7%, in part…

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Economic Update 11/14/16

By Robert Pagliarini on November 14, 2016

BLUE CHIPS HIT ALL-TIME HIGHS Donald Trump’s unexpected presidential election win did not rattle Wall Street. Instead, bulls saw the prospect of greater federal outlays and less business regulation in the near future. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a new record Friday: 18,847.66. The Dow 30 had its finest week since 2011, gaining…

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Economic Update 10/31/16

By Robert Pagliarini on October 31, 2016

ECONOMY EXPANDS 2.9% in THIRD QUARTER After just 1.4% growth in Q2, this was welcome news. Surging exports and greater inventory investment and federal spending made Q3 the best quarter for the economy in two years, according to the Department of Commerce. The federal government’s core PCE price index was up 1.7% for the quarter…

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