Monthly Archives: February 2019

US GDP Growth Slowed In Q4 But 1-Year Trend Ticked Up Again

US economic growth in real (inflation-adjusted) terms slowed in the fourth quarter to 2.6% (seasonally adjusted annual rate), the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported in today’s report on gross domestic product (GDP). The softer increase, which was expected, marks the second quarter of deceleration, slipping from Q3’s 3.4% gain and the strong 4.2% increase during last year’s Q2.
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Macro Briefing: 28 February 2019

Trump’s meeting with N. Korea’s Kim abruptly ends with no deal: Reuters
Cohen’s testimony in Congress raises potential legal risks for Trump: Bloomberg
China’s factory activity falls to 3-year low in Feb via survey data: CNBC
US factory orders inched up in Dec, just barely: CNBC
Pending home sales in US for Dec rebounded, but annual trend still negative: MW
US trade deficit increased in Dec, weighing on Q4 growth outlook: CNBC
GDPNow model sees modest 1.8% rise for today’s Q4 GDP report: Atlanta Fed

Weak Housing Construction Suggests Softer US Growth Ahead

New residential housing construction was surprisingly weak in December, presenting more evidence for assuming that the US economic growth will continue to slow. Housing permits perked up, providing a degree of optimism for expecting that building activity will rebound in the months ahead. But reviewing both indicators on a rolling one-year basis suggests that the housing trend has weakened — a trend that will create headwinds for the US economy in the months ahead.
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Macro Briefing: 27 February 2019

Pakistan shot down 2 Indian jets, raising threat of wider war: WSJ
Trump says N. Korea has ‘awesome’ potential ahead of meeting with Kim: Reuters
House passes law that rejects Trump’s declaration of border emergency: Reuters
Economic signals suggest China’s growth is picking up: Bloomberg
Fed chairman: unlimited borrowing via Modern Monetary Theory is ‘wrong’: CNBC
Home prices in US rose in Dec at slowest pace since 2015: CNBC
Richmond Fed: mfg activity in district strengthened in Feb: Richmond Fed
US housing starts fell to 2yr low in Dec, but permits suggest rebound is near: MW

US Economic Growth Set To Slow Again In Q4 Report

This week’s delayed fourth-quarter report on US gross domestic product (GDP) remains on track to confirm that US economic growth continued to slow. The Bureau of Economic Analysis is expected to report (on Thursday, Feb. 28) that the expansion moderated for a second straight quarter, based on a set of nowcasts. The release will also reveal that recession risk remained low for the US at the close of 2018, although preliminary data for 2019 suggests that growth will continue to decelerate.
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Macro Briefing: 26 February 2019

India launches air strike in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir: Fox
Congress inching closer to rebuking Trump’s emergency declaration: Politico
VP Pence announces new sanction’s on Venezuela’s Maduro regime: CBS
UK Prime Minister May set to rule out no-Brexit deal: Reuters
N. Korea’s Kim arrives in Vietnam for meeting with Trump: Reuters
Texas mfg activity slows in Feb but outlook remains positive: Dallas Fed
US wholesale inventories rose a strong 1.1% in December: MW
Chicago Fed Nat’l Activity Index: US economic growth slowed in Jan: Chicago Fed

Macro Briefing: 25 February 2019

Trump says he’ll delay tariff increase for Chinese goods: WSJ
Beijing is cautiously optimistic on prospects for US-China trade deal: SCMP
Will a US-China trade deal stop the global economic slowdown? CNBC
Trump and Kim may formally declare end to 1950-53 Korean War: NY Times
NABE survey: more than 75% of economists expect recession by 2021: Bloomberg
US stock market volatility (VIX Index) fell to 5-month low on Friday:

Book Bits | 23 February 2019

Bubbles and Crashes: The Boom and Bust of Technological Innovation
By Brent Goldfarb and David A. Kirsch
Summary via publisher (Stanford University Press)
Financial market bubbles are recurring, often painful, reminders of the costs and benefits of capitalism. While many books have studied financial manias and crises, most fail to compare times of turmoil with times of stability. In Bubbles and Crashes, Brent Goldfarb and David A. Kirsch give us new insights into the causes of speculative booms and busts. They identify a class of assets—major technological innovations—that can, but does not necessarily, produce bubbles. This methodological twist is essential: Only by comparing similar events that sometimes lead to booms and busts can we ascertain the root causes of bubbles.
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