Monday Economic Report

  • Monday Economic Report: April 20, 2015

    20 April 2015 | eNewsletter

    Manufacturing production increased 0.1 percent in March. This followed three months of weaker data, including declines in both January and February.

  • Monday Economic Report: April 13, 2015

    13 April 2015 | eNewsletter

    This week marks the start of regular season baseball in the United States, an event I look forward to with anticipation every year. Somehow, the beginning of baseball seems to return life back to a normal, predicable cadence.

  • Monday Economic Report: April 6, 2015

    06 April 2015 | eNewsletter

    This week marks the start of regular season baseball in the United States, an event I look forward to with anticipation every year. Somehow, the beginning of baseball seems to return life back to a normal, predicable cadence.

  • Monday Economic Report: March 30, 2015

    30 March 2015 | eNewsletter

    As we have seen in past weeks, economic data continue to reflect dampened activity in the early months of 2015 as a result of a number of significant headwinds. These challenges range from weak economic growth abroad, to a significantly strengthened U.S. dollar, to the sharp drop in crude oil prices.

  • Monday Economic Report: March 23. 2015

    23 March 2015 | eNewsletter

    The U.S. economy has sputtered a bit in the early months of 2015. While it continues to grow modestly, several economic indicators are weaker than we would prefer. For example, manufacturing production decreased by 0.2 percent in February, declining for the third straight month. Many headwinds have combined to bring about this softness in the manufacturing sector, including global economic weakness, a strong U.S. dollar, the West Coast ports slowdown, a cautious consumer and the weather in some parts of the country.

  • Monday Economic Report: March 16, 2015

    16 March 2015 | eNewsletter

    Global news dominated the headlines once again last week. The euro sank lower as the European Central Bank began its quantitative easing program, where it plans to purchase 1 trillion euros in government bonds over the next 18 months in an effort to stimulate faster economic growth. As a result, the euro has depreciated by nearly 25 percent over the past 10 months, down from $1.3924 per one euro on May 6 to a close of $1.0497 on Friday.

  • Monday Economic Report: March 9, 2015

    09 March 2015 | eNewsletter

    According to the latest NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers, which will be released this morning, business leaders remain mostly confident about activity over the coming months. In fact, 88.5 percent of respondents said they were either somewhat or very positive about the own company’s outlook, and the data are consistent with 3 percent growth in manufacturing production over the next two quarters.

  • Monday Economic Report: March 2, 2015

    02 March 2015 | eNewsletter

    While manufacturers remain mostly optimistic in their outlook, we have seen softness in a number of recent economic indicators. Slower economic growth internationally, a stronger U.S. dollar, reduced crude oil prices and the West Coast ports slowdown have been cited as reasons for this weaker-than-desired performance. Along those lines, real GDP growth in the fourth quarter was revised lower, down from 2.6 percent to 2.2 percent.

  • Monday Economic Report: February 23, 2015

    23 February 2015 | eNewsletter

    In the minutes of its January 27–28 meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) provided a nuanced view of the economic outlook. Participants noted that “economic activity had been expanding at a solid pace,” and they were mostly optimistic about the “prospects for further improvement in 2015.” Yet, the FOMC also pointed to some significant headwinds in the U.S. economy, including sluggish global growth, a stronger U.S. dollar, federal government sequestration and reduced crude oil prices.

  • Monday Economic Report: February 17, 2015

    17 February 2015 | eNewsletter

    Recently, much of the discussion has been about the strength of the United States relative to many of its trading partners. Indeed, that continues to be the case for the most part, as noted in the latest Global Manufacturing Economic Update. Yet, last week, there was a bit of a shift, with better-than-expected economic growth in Europe and disappointing consumer spending and sentiment in the United States. The data points do not change the underlying trends, with manufacturers continuing to be mostly upbeat about future demand and production. However, it does suggest that economic activity has been softer in some areas than we had hoped as we begin 2015.

  • Monday Economic Report: February 9, 2015

    09 February 2015 | eNewsletter

    Manufacturers in the United States have added roughly 18,800 workers per month on average over the past 13 months, with an average of 29,000 from October through January. This suggests that the momentum in demand and production in the second half of 2014 has led to an uptick in hiring, which is encouraging. Income growth was also higher, with average weekly earnings up 2.0 percent year-over-year in January. At the same time, the larger economy has also seen strong growth, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by nearly 260,000 per month since the end of 2013. The unemployment rate edged up to 5.7 percent, however, as more Americans re-entered the labor force looking for work. The participation rate rose from 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent.

  • Monday Economic Report: February 2, 2015

    02 February 2015 | eNewsletter

    The U.S. economy grew 2.4 percent in 2014, just barely edging out the 2.2 percent gain in 2013. Yet, that somewhat understates the strength of the economy since the winter-related weaknesses seen at this point last year. Indeed, real GDP increased by an annualized 4.1 percent during the last three quarters of 2014, and in the fourth quarter, Americans spent at a healthy 4.3 percent annual pace, the fastest rate since the first quarter of 2006. Still, the 2.6 percent growth rate in real GDP in the fourth quarter also had some red flags. Weaker growth abroad, a strengthening U.S. dollar and worries about dramatically lower energy prices have impacted capital spending and international demand negatively. Therefore, while manufacturers remain mostly upbeat about orders and production in 2015, these developments serve as a reminder of the challenges in the global marketplace right now.

  • Monday Economic Report: January 26, 2015

    26 January 2015 | eNewsletter

    The European Central Bank (ECB) finally announced its long-awaited quantitative easing program on Thursday. The ECB will purchase 60 million euros in bonds each month until September 2016—totaling at least 1.1 trillion euros overall—in an attempt to stimulate growth. Depending on where the Eurozone economy stands pointing September 2016, the ECB might extend its purchasing beyond that point.

  • Monday Economic Report: January 20, 2015

    20 January 2015 | eNewsletter

    Financial markets around the world continue to react to the softening global economic environment. In particular, foreign exchange markets were rocked by news that Switzerland would no longer support its cap on the Swiss franc, where that currency has been seen as a safe haven, particularly against the euro.

  • Monday Economic Report: January 12, 2015

    12 January 2015 | eNewsletter

    The U.S. economy generated 2.95 million net new nonfarm payroll workers in 2014, the fastest annual pace since 1999. In addition, the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent, its lowest level since June 2008. Manufacturers, for instance, hired an additional 15,500 workers on average each month in 2014, with 762,000 more employees since the end of 2009. The sector currently employs just more than 12.2 million workers. Therefore, manufacturing employment has increased at a decent pace of late, consistent with a mostly upbeat outlook.