January 18, 2021 — Fed Chairman Powell Addresses Policies

JANUARY 18, 2021 – FED CHAIRMAN POWELL ADDRESSES POLICIES The Fed lowered short-term interest rates to near zero last year and expects to keep them at that level for years.  It has also been buying $80 billion of treasury securities and $40 billion of mortgage bonds every month since June, and is committed to doing so until “substantial further progress” …

January 11, 2021 — US Loses 140,000 Jobs In December

JANUARY 11, 2021 – US LOSES 140,000 JOBS IN DECEMBER Seven months of job growth ended in December as the US economy lost 140,000 , but the unemployment rate came in unchanged at 6.7 percent.  The bulk of the job losses are a result of restaurant and bar closures which cut 372,000 positions; hotels, tourist venues and the government added …

January 4, 2021 — Economists Guardedly Optimistic for the New Year

JANUARY 4, 2021 – ECONOMISTS GUARDEDLY OPTIMISTIC FOR THE NEW YEAR As the new year begins, the news is not great. Coronavirus cases are rising across the country, restrictions on businesses remain in place and economic growth has slowed in the last few weeks. But economists see several reasons why 2021 should start improving. The new pandemic-relief package will bring …

December 14, 2020 — Final Fed Meeting of 2020 this Week

DECEMBER 14, 2020 – FINAL FED MEETING OF 2020 THIS WEEK The Federal Reserve meeting is set for Tuesday and Wednesday this week, with the primary concern being the impact rising coronavirus cases are having on the economy.  Interest rates are effectively at zero, closing the door on stimulus from the Fed on that front, but they can still influence …

December 7, 2020 –New Jobs Slow in November

DECEMBER 7, 2020 – NEW JOBS SLOW IN NOVEMBER The US economy added 245,000 job in November, missing expectations of 440,000 new jobs, and far less than the 610,000 jobs added in October. With the increase in new jobs, the unemployment rate fell from 6.9 percent in October to 6.7 percent. It is notable that the US economy added back …

November 30, 2020 — New Data Lacks Reassurance

NOVEMBER 30, 2020 – NEW DATA LACKS REASSURANCE In a holiday shortened week, little data was released, while the virus continued to grab the headlines.  New applications for jobless benefits rose to 778,000 last week, the second straight weekly increase since the summer. Household income was reported to have fallen 0.7 percent In October as federal aid programs expired. A …

November 23, 2020 –Retail Sales Disappoint, Import Prices Fall

NOVEMBER 23, 2020 – RETAIL SALES DISAPPOINT, IMPORT PRICES FALL US retail sales rose by only 0.3 percent in October, following a 1.3 percent increase in September. Economists are concerned they could slow further as virus cases keep rising and household income falls, as millions of unemployed Americans lose government financial support. As state governments impose restrictions and with people …

November 16, 2020 –Fed Chair Delivers Sobering News

NOVEMBER 16, 2020 – FED CHAIR DELIVERS SOBERING NEWS Both Pfizer and Moderna recently announced their Covid vaccines are delivering better than expected results, but the challenge will be how to roll out the vaccines to get the world back to a new normal; while last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell spoke at a European Central Bank panel with ECB …

November 2, 2020 — Record High GDP Reported

NOVEMBER 2, 2020 – RECORD HIGH Q3 GDP REPORTED After its worst quarter ever, US GDP rebounded in Q3 at an annualized rate of 33.1 percent. For comparison, second quarter 2020 GDP fell 31.4 percent.  This should be a time to cheer, but with coronavirus infections hitting record levels worldwide, how the fourth quarter of this year will unfold is …