Jobs Growth Is Rebounding and Hourly Earnings Growth Is Accelerating

– June 1, 2018

Payrolls in the United States rose by 223,000 in May, solidly beating an expected rise of 188,000. Gains in the labor market have accelerated recently, reducing fears of a pending slowdown, yet the increases remain modest by historical comparison, suggesting that the slower and somewhat steadier gains of the current cycle may help prolong the expansion.


Retail Sales Rise in April

– May 15, 2018

Retail sales rose 0.3 percent in April following a 0.8 percent increase in March. The April gain suggests that second-quarter GDP growth is off to a solid start.


Labor-Market Outlook Remains Strong as Job Openings Surge

– May 8, 2018

Total job openings in the United States rose to a record 6.550 million in March while private-sector job openings totaled 5.928 million. Overall, the data relating to the labor market continue to show strength with payrolls rising, few layoffs, rising quits, and a declining number of available workers per opening. 


The Financial Crisis, Ten Years On

– April 30, 2018

It was this time ten years ago that people started to catch on that something was going wrong. Home prices stopped rising, many were falling, the flipping schemes were dying out, and default notices were being posted for smaller banking houses. Could it be that the entire glory days of the spectacular increases in home prices were coming to an end? Denial was still in the air. 


Economic Outlook Remains Positive Despite Slower GDP Growth

– April 27, 2018

Real gross domestic product rose at a 2.3 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, down from a 2.9 percent pace in the fourth quarter of 2017. However, growth over the past four quarters hit 2.9 percent, the fastest four-quarter gain since the second quarter of 2015. 


Small-Business Optimism Ticked Down in March but Remains High; Quality of Labor Remains the Most Important Problem

– April 10, 2018

The small-business-optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Business fell in March but the result extends a run of 16 consecutive months above 100, a very high level by historical comparison. A significant concern among small businesses is the declining quality of the available labor force, particularly in the context of an already tight labor market and robust plans for increased hiring in the near future.


Suspiciously Pessimistic March Jobs Report

– April 6, 2018

The employment report was weaker than expected for March, adding just 103,000 new jobs for the month. However, there are a number of tensions among the details of the report and with other measures of the labor market. Certainly, the BLS report could be the first of a string of weaker reports on the labor market and the economy more broadly, but the preponderance of data still support a positive outlook.


Fourth-Quarter Real GDP Rises 2.9 Percent as Domestic Demand Surges

– March 28, 2018

Real GDP grew at a 2.9 percent pace in the fourth quarter as domestic demand surged. Most of the major components of GDP made positive contributions, and core consumer prices rose at a modest pace, however, corporate profits did show a decline.


Consumer Confidence Ticked Down in March but Remains at a Very High Level

– March 27, 2018

The Consumer Confidence Survey from The Conference Board shows consumer attitudes pulled back slightly in March but remain at historically favorable levels overall, suggesting support for ongoing economic expansion.


Positive Outlook Amid Global Headwinds

– November 7, 2014

Recent data show that steady growth of the U.S. economy continues. After a disappointing first quarter of the year, gross domestic product posted healthy increases in the second and third quarters, at 4.6 and 3.5 percent annual rates. 


Fiscal Policy Drag Diminishing

– October 2, 2014

The Great Recession of 2008-2009 will be remembered for its severity—a cumulative decline of 4.2 percent in real GDP, the loss of 8.7 million jobs, and a harsh toll on the banking system with more than 400 bank failures from 2008 to 2011. The Great Recession should also be remembered for the massive increase in the federal budget deficit it spawned.


Momentum in Manufacturing

– September 9, 2014

As Labor Day marked the unofficial end of summer 2014 with backyard barbecues or long days at the beach, long gone were thoughts of the harsh winter and decline in first-quarter GDP. As we had expected it would, the U.S. economy rebounded in the second quarter, proving the naysayers, pessimists, and doom and gloom types completely wrong. In addition, U.S. equity markets continued to move higher throughout the summer, with many benchmarks hitting record highs. Twenty-fourteen was certainly no year to “sell in May and go away.”