Economic Risk Factor Update: July 2019

July 10, 2019

Although there was some good news last month—job growth bounced back to come in well above expectations—the overall trend remains negative. Confidence has continued to decline, while the yield curve hit an official inversion as of the end of June. That said, conditions remain generally favorable, with all metrics in expansionary territory except the yield curve, but there is no doubt the risk level has risen further. That risk still does not look immediate, but that point may be getting closer.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: June 2019

June 7, 2019

After a difficult first quarter, April’s data was better. But, in aggregate, May has not continued that improvement. Job growth has slowed further, taking it closer to a risk level. Plus, the interest rate outlook continues to deteriorate, with the yield curve now inverted for a period of weeks. Not all the news was bad: both consumer and business confidence improved, which should help growth going forward. Overall, though, risk levels have increased somewhat.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: May 2019

May 9, 2019

After a difficult quarter, April’s data showed signs of meaningful improvement. Job growth bounced back, easing a major concern. Plus, consumer confidence improved, which should help growth going forward. On the other hand, business confidence dipped further, and the yield curve remains close to a risk level.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: April 2019

April 9, 2019

The primary worry over the past month has been employment: was the very weak February job number a one-off or a sign of something worse? Fortunately, it looks like the former, which eases the primary risk. Unfortunately, we saw the other risk factors continue to trend down, suggesting that the economy might well be slowing even more than expected. Here, one key point at month-end was the brief inversion of the yield curve, which raised concerns.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: March 2019

March 12, 2019

After signs of weakness in January, the question was whether we would see a rebound in February. In some areas—consumer and business confidence—we did, largely driven by the end of the government shutdown. This confidence rebound has reduced risk going forward, although we need to pay attention to whether it holds.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: February 2019

February 7, 2019

As far as we know, the economic news remained solid if somewhat mixed last month. The caveat here is that the government shutdown delayed some reports. The core data we look at, however, is available.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: January 2019

January 9, 2019

Despite last month’s political and market turmoil, the economic news remained solid if somewhat mixed. Both consumer and business confidence pulled back a bit but remained at healthy levels overall. Hiring rebounded strongly after weak results last month. This rebound should help maintain consumer and business confidence going forward, despite the December pullbacks. Finally, longer-term interest rates, which had been a concern after Fed rate hikes and hawkish commentary, also moderated.

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