201802.22
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Blaming The Boom Basis

Once the sick man of the global economy, Europe’s system had roared back in 2017. According to the narrative, everything is right right now on the Continent. Manufacturing couldn’t possibly be any better, and the ECB forced into “emergency” monetary measures for longer than almost anyone else (except, as always, Japan) is talking confidently about…

201802.13 3

SLOOS Answers The Boom

You find lots of tortured arguments about the state of the economy, largely because the premise starts with the boom and then seeks to find it. If it isn’t currently visible in the data, there is unusual and unearned confidence that the data will have to change in the near future (rather than the past…

201802.05
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The Brazilian Side of Symmetry

Brazilian stocks closed out January on an impressive run. Like stock markets all over the rest of the emerging market economies, Brazil’s has been on fire. The Sao Paolo Bovespa stock index had stumbled a bit in the middle of December, coinciding with a drop in the real against the dollar in that fit of…

201801.29
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The Unusually Hollow Boom

For GDP, one big piece that’s missing, or what’s kept it at a lower rate than in the comparable 2014 period, is inventory. Three and four years ago, American businesses couldn’t get enough. They piled into it at a record pace. The reason they did was almost surely Janet Yellen, or at the very least…

201801.25
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Korea’s Booming, Except It’s Not

Back in October, the Bank of Korea raised its economic outlook for the country. The central bank’s economic models foresaw rising fortunes, leading them toward a central tendency of 3% growth. At that level, Korea’s economy would be growing at the fastest rate in three years (what happened in between?). It was as much a…

201801.15
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: A Weak Dollar Stirs A Toxic Stew

Economic Reports Employment We received several employment related reports in the first two weeks of the year. The rate of growth in employment has been slowing for some time – slowly – and these reports continue that trend. The JOLTS report showed a drop in job openings, hires and quits. The Fed has been talking…

201801.05
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What’s Missing In Europe Is What’s Missing Everywhere

American central bankers and economists aren’t alone in their Phillips Curve nightmare. They are joined by others practically everywhere else around the world. In Europe, for example, the unemployment rate there continues to fall while inflation keeps on misbehaving in its meandering. Unlike the US, however, the Europeans don’t have the luxury of burying millions…

201801.02
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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Housing Market Accelerates

The economy ended 2017 with current growth just slightly above trend. In general the reports of the last two weeks of the year were pretty good with housing a standout performer going into the new year. We are still trying to get past the impact – positive and negative – from the hurricanes a few…

201712.15
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After Failed ‘Reflation’ For 2017’s Economy, What Might Be In Store For 2018?

The Federal Reserve’s Empire State Manufacturing Index fell slightly in its December 2017 estimate. At +18, that’s down from 19.4 in November and a high of +30.2 in October. It’s also nowhere near the low for the year, a -1.0 recorded back in May. This particular PMI is potentially noteworthy for what appears to be…