Economic Risk Factor Update: November 2017

November 8, 2017

As we work our way through the effects of the hurricanes on the economic data, the news remains very positive. October’s results largely preserved or even improved on September’s strong data, with job growth rebounding and confidence at high levels for both business and consumers. Fed policy, despite the expected rate hikes ahead, remains stimulative.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: October 2017

October 10, 2017

Despite the impact of the hurricanes (in many respects, because of them), September’s data came in surprisingly positive. The headline figures were certainly affected by the storms, but the underlying details remained solid.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: September 2017

September 8, 2017

August’s data was mixed, as improvements in business and consumer confidence were offset by a flattening yield curve and jobs numbers that were weaker than expected. These results were mildly disappointing. But the overall positive trends and, in particular, the high levels of confidence point toward faster growth toward the end of the year. 

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Economic Risk Factor Update: August 2017

August 4, 2017

July’s data was largely positive, with improvements in employment and consumer confidence leading the way. With unemployment at a 16-year low and no signs of slowing, the strength of the labor market is continuing to power the current recovery. While business confidence showed some signs of softening, overall conditions remain healthy. 

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Economic Risk Factor Update: July 2017

July 11, 2017

The data for June was generally positive, with a rebound in job growth and a surprise increase in business confidence supported by continued high levels of consumer confidence. After a run of weak data in the past couple of months, the June rebound is a good sign. Although there is still a gap between confidence and actual hard data, the persistence of confidence suggests that most economic factors remain positive—and that the current expansion is likely to continue.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: June 2017

June 6, 2017

The data for May was mixed. The weak areas—in employment and interest rates—suggest that we might be approaching the end of the recovery cycle. On the other hand, both consumer and business confidence remained high in May, suggesting that the end is likely to be a ways away. Although the data bears monitoring, all of our measures remain in green-light territory, supported by the strength in April’s reports.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: May 2017

May 9, 2017

Economic data in April was mixed, with first-quarter weakness lingering in some risk indicators. Overall, though, the news was positive, and most forward-looking indicators we track bounced back from decreases in March. Given the good news in the employment and service sectors, two of the indicators here, it is very likely that the weakness in the first quarter, including March, was seasonal rather than the start of a negative trend. As a result, all of our indicators remain in green-light territory.

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