Pertinent Category: Daily Economy

The Economy, Heading Toward Spring

– May 1, 2015

Amid all of the talk about a first-quarter economic slump, we have some new data out this morning that shows the economy is likely to show more strength in the second quarter. “We’re seeing early signs that the soft patch might be ending,” said Bob Hughes, senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. “We expect it to be consumer-led.”


Reading the Fed’s Tea Leaves

– April 30, 2015

It is no surprise that no action was taken at the April Federal Open Market Committee meeting since the central bank has firmly formed public expectation of no interest rate increase in April. The question of interest to the market is whether the Federal Reserve has revealed some clear signal in its statement about the timing of the future rate increase. Disappointingly (but not surprisingly), the Fed didn’t change its forward guidance on rate increases from the March statement.


Slow GDP Growth Should Give Fed Pause

– April 29, 2015

The slower-than-expected growth in gross domestic product during the first quarter of the year is likely to cause the Fed to wait to raise interest rates until later in the year, said Bob Hughes, senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research.


On Income Tax Fairness

– April 28, 2015

Our April Business Conditions Monthly report began the discussion of federal income taxes and equity. It reported IRS data showing that the top 20 percent of income tax filers paid 88 percent of income taxes in 2011.


Strong Dollar a Burden on Corporate Profits From Abroad

– April 27, 2015

In February we analyzed the impact of the stronger dollar on the various sectors of the U.S. economy, as part of our new report, Business Conditions Monthly. In it we noted, “The surging dollar may be a boon for consumers who reap the benefits of potentially cheaper imports, but it can be a burden for U.S. corporations.” This has proven to be true as the ensuing months unfolded.


Americans Driving and Flying, But Not Buying Much

– April 24, 2015

An important barometer of economic health, orders of durable goods, showed remarkable strength in headline March data released this morning by the Commerce Department. But a closer look into the 4 percent increase over February showed that strength was driven by two unique areas: transportation and technology. Cut them out and focus mainly on manufacturing equipment and business investment, and the numbers don’t look nearly as rosy, said Theodore Cangero, data scientist at the American Institute for Economic Research.


That First-Quarter Slump

– April 23, 2015

We enjoyed Justin Wolfers’ story today about first-quarter economic slumps, featured in The Upshot today in The New York Times. The story resonates with some of our own research, as we have been cautioning against reading too much into sluggish gross domestic product performance.


Why Passive Management Wins Again

– April 22, 2015

In the early 20th century, professional baseball players batted over .400 four times in a 20-year span. Since Ted Williams’ magical 1941 season, no professional baseball player has batted .400. Although the aggregate professional batting average has remained stable at around .250, the variability of batting averages has declined as all players have become more skilled. We can apply the same lesson to investing.


Empowering Survivors of Abuse with Financial Tools

– April 21, 2015

Local bankers recently stepped up to provide survivors of domestic and sexual violence with the tools to handle their own finances. It added up to a meaningful experience, not just for the women, but for volunteers as well.


High Butter Prices, Melting

– April 20, 2015

If you’ve been to the grocery store recently, you’ve probably noticed that butter and dairy prices had been trending higher until recently. The big drop in butter prices in March is an interesting part of the story of the changing cost of living.


Older Workers, Happier in New Careers

– April 17, 2015

Older workers aren’t just finding new jobs – they’re finding new career paths, and with it, happiness and less stress, according to AIER’s new report, “New Careers for Older Workers.”


Defying Expectations, Older Workers Find New Careers

– April 16, 2015

Most older workers who sought career changes were successful, especially when they were able to use skills from their old careers, according to a new study released today by the American Institute for Economic Research. That study was profiled prominently in Money Magazine today.