On Monday, we learn that consumer sentiment is the highest since the end of the Great Recession.
On Tuesday, we’re told that Americans’ fear of hunger, eviction and foreclosure are at record highs.
On Wednesday, a new analysis tells us that GDP is expected to grow by 6% in the 1st quarter of 2021.
On Thursday, an article shows that over 10 million people are still unemployed, with tens of thousands of restaurants and bars permanently closed.
And on Friday, one strategist suggests that the stock market will grow by another 30% this year.
Another one says that because stock prices are so overpriced relative to earnings the market is due for a major correction.
Quite a week, eh?
At its worst last spring, over 20 million Americans were laid off or furloughed — suddenly jobless and struggling to make ends meet month after month after month.
Yet, as New York Times writer David Gelles revealed over the weekend, the executives in charge of many of the companies those millions of unemployed once worked for “were showered with riches.”
Less Americans getting infected, more Americans getting vaccinated, $6 trillion in government spending, with at least $4 trillion more on the table, and many trillions more from an anything-goes Fed.
What do they have in common? They’re all converging to create what giddy economists and others, like Axios’ Nicholas Johnston, say will be “a year of U.S. economic growth for the record books.”
With those kind of numbers (think 10 zeros!), it better be record-setting!
Don’t look now, but the economic recovery, rebound or whatever you want to call it has stalled.
It’s not exactly drowning in quicksand (at least not yet), but it’s definitely mired in pools of thickening sludge.
The U.S. reported disappointing job growth for the second straight month and for the third time in six months.
Just 194,000 nonfarm jobs were added to what has got to be characterized as an restless economy in September — a significantly slower pace than the 366,000 number a month earlier.
Economists had been expecting to reach at least 500,000 this time around.
Corporate America is shelling out higher wages to employees, and business executives expect to continue doing so.
According to its new quarterly survey released today by the National Association of Business Economists, a record high 58% say they increased pay at their companies during the 3rd quarter.
Just about the same number expects that trend to continue in the months ahead.
Inflation came in like a hot potato last month.
At 6.2% for all items, virtually no economist wants to touch it, politicians just want to play the blame game, and few everyday Americans see a silver lining.
There are always a ton of ways to slice and dice inflation, including what it actually is and the best way to measure it.
Market bull Phil Orlando believes the Fed will raise interest rates six times over the next two years to reign in significant ongoing consumer price increases.
Last week he said, “…we will see two quarter-point rate hikes…in the second half of , and perhaps another four quarter-point rate hikes over the course of .”
In other words, Orlando and his firm, Fidelity Hermes, see the Fed Funds rate rising from its current 0% to 0.25% range to 1.75% to 2.0% two years from now.
Jerome Powell and his colleagues at the Fed are getting advice from a new generation of college students; maybe that’s a group they’ll listen to.
They’re telling them to speed up the tapering, enhance communications with the public and finish their study on digital currency.
For a few minutes every semester or two, the students act as Fed officials and compete to pitch staffers the best direction for the economy.
Never mind the Wall Streeters. Here’s a fresh look from the next generation policymakers.
The next official government release on inflation comes Friday, as a nation of number watchers try to figure out the mixed signals sent by last week’s confusing jobs report.
Americans of all ilk — from the White House, members of Congress and Federal Reserve policymakers to mega corporations, small businesses and everyday households — are focused on persistent price gains and how they’re impacting families and the economy.
A new poll is the latest sign that job numbers are pretty strong and the stock market may be at an all-time high.
Yet, Americans are overwhelmingly grading the economy by the price they see on the shelves.
Prices paid haven't always been the top indicator of choice. When YouGov asked the question in August 2020, 44% picked the unemployment rate compared to 25% who chose inflation.
Bottom line, in the latest Economist/You Gov poll, a majority of Americans (53%) say the economy is getting worse — one point lower than the highest level of the Biden presidency, last month.
The nation’s worker shortage “has become a flywheel of doom, messing up our lives and society writ large,” according to Emily Peck.
“And many of the underlying problems that led to this breakdown are bigger than the pandemic.”
Because of increased restrictions on immigration and travel that began with the pandemic in early 2020, the net inflow of immigrants into the U.S. has for all intents and purposes been in a 2-year hiatus.
The nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is out with the “Chart Book: Tracking the Post-Great Recession Economy.”
This ongoing study is a comprehensive, insightful look at how our economy has fared since the financial crisis that began in late 2007.
The surprising pace of recent job growth may be catching recent headlines. But, as Neil Irwin points out, other details contain the biggest implications for markets in the months ahead; namely, wage growth.
More warehouse workers, fewer waiters. More health store employees, fewer in public schools. The overall job market is getting back to its pre-pandemic strength, but it looks a lot different.
Courtenay Brown writes that disruptions over the past two years have shaken up the composition of the labor force — “with big implications for how industries will have to adjust to a longer-term worker shortfall.”
Economist Ellen Gaske at PGIM Fixed Income says, "I'm not looking for recovery to pre-pandemic levels in each industry. Some workers have left for greener pastures, and that's a good thing.”
She added, "There is more opportunity for workers to return to new jobs — where the industries are growing and the outlook is potentially brighter. That churning is what offers up a possibility of stronger productivity gains and increased standard of living."
The Federal Reserve’s dual mandate is to promote stable prices and maximize employment. Today, we take a look at how current events are affecting those policy mandates.
Early Pandemic Layoffs Driving Today’s Labor Shortages
One only has to recall the infancy of the pandemic to see why employers in a broad range of industries are struggling with historic labor shortages.
Decisions made in 2020 to cut staff appear to be a root cause of many 2022 frustrations, according to Courtenay Brown and Neil Irwin of Axios.
The industries hardest hit at the pandemic's onset — restaurants, hotels and airlines — are now those seeing a boom in demand.
Even with higher pay, though, they're struggling to replace the workers they laid off back then – some of whom have moved to other industries where the pay is comparable or higher and working conditions are better.
The worker shortage has pushed businesses to raise wages rapidly, which has, in turn, kept inflation elevated.
On the other hand, this dynamic has been more subdued in Europe.