Macro Briefing | 17 January 2020

Trump impeachment hearing begins in Senate: WSJ
Second death reported in new SARS-like virus in China: CNN
China’s GDP rose 6.1% in 2019, slowest gain since 1990: CNBC
Worrisome decline in UK retail sales continued in December: Bloomberg
US jobless claims continue to fall, indicating strong labor market: CNBC
US home builder confidence slips in January but remains bullish: CNBC
Trend growth in US import prices remained subdued in December: Reuters
Philly Fed Mfg Index rose sharply in January: Philly Fed
US retail spending accelerated in Dec to annual 5.8% increase — 1-1/2 year high:

Macro Briefing | 16 January 2020

US and China sign trade deal that eases tensions: WSJ
A closer look at US goods that China pledged to buy in trade deal: CNBC
Key part of trade deal is already in doubt: Bloomberg
Senate begins to consider removal of President Trump: Reuters
Russia’s gov’t resigns, paving way for Putin to consolidate power: CNBC
Fed Beige Book: ‘modestly favorable’ outlook for 2020: MW
NY Fed Mfg Index ticks up, reflects modest growth in Dec: NY Fed
Business inflation expectations are steady at +1.9% in Jan: Atlanta Fed
VIX Index falls back to level that’s near 2-year low after recent increase:

Macro Briefing | 15 January 2020

Trump set to sign trade deal with China on Wednesday: Bloomberg
Expectations are muted for new US-China trade deal: CNBC
Senate prepares for impeachment trial: CNN
Iran rejects prospects for a new ‘Trump deal’ on nuclear capability: Reuters
Eurozone industrial output rebounded in Dec but trend still negative: FT
Softer-than-expected UK inflation suggests BoE will cut rates: Bloomberg
US Small Business Optimism fell in Dec but remains ‘historically strong’: NFIB
US core consumer inflation (s.a.) ticked down to +2.2 annual pace in Dec:

Will This Week’s Data Derail Moderate US Economic Optimism?

Economic pessimism for the US has had a rough ride in recent years. The macro trend has wobbled several times since the last official recession ended in 2009, but each time the economy righted itself and the expansion rolled on. But new doubts emerged in the second half of 2019 and the long knives of dark predictions returned anew. For now, the pessimists have been proven wrong, again. In fact, there are hints that growth may be picking up a bit. Key data releases later this week will stress test the case for optimism. Here’s a quick review of what’s on the docket for economic reports in the days ahead.

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Macro Briefing | 14 January 2020

US Defense Sec: US has right to strike Iranian proxies in Iraq, Iran: NPR
US Treasury ends ‘currency manipulator’ label for China ahead of trade deal: BBC
GOP senators not likely to dismiss Trump charges ahead of trial: Reuters
US-Eurozone trade talks in focus next week: Bloomberg
US budget deficit topped $1 trillion in 2019–seven-year high: CNBC
India’s inflation spikes to five-year high due to food prices: Reuters
BlackRock: climate change at center of firm’s investment strategy: Fortune
Economic woes deepen in Iran as public’s tolerance wears thin: NY Times
US Dollar Index’s downside bias appears to be strengthening:

Macro Briefing | 13 January 2020

Iranian protests raise pressure on government: CNN
US-China trade war had limited impact on US economy in 2019: WSJ
Will China flex military muscles after Taiwan’s election? Reuters
Trump wants to restart talks with North Korea: Axios
UK GDP fell 0.3% in November, marking fourth month with no growth: CityAM
US employment growth slowed in Dec after strong gain in Nov: Reuters
US wage growth in Dec eased to 2.9% annual pace–slowest in over a year:

Book Bits | 11 January 2020

Risk, Choice, and Uncertainty: Three Centuries of Economic Decision-Making
By George G. Szpiro
Summary via publisher (Columbia U. Press)
At its core, economics is about making decisions. In the history of economic thought, great intellectual prowess has been exerted toward devising exquisite theories of optimal decision making in situations of constraint, risk, and scarcity. Yet not all of our choices are purely logical, and so there is a longstanding tension between those emphasizing the rational and irrational sides of human behavior. One strand develops formal models of rational utility maximizing while the other draws on what behavioral science has shown about our tendency to act irrationally. In Risk, Choice, and Uncertainty, George G. Szpiro offers a new narrative of the three-century history of the study of decision making, tracing how crucial ideas have evolved and telling the stories of the thinkers who shaped the field.

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