Fitch Ratings has downgraded the long-term rating of US Treasurys from AAA to AA+. Chief Economist Brian Horrigan shares his take on Fitch’s reasoning and highlights key differences between this event and the S&P downgrade of 2011.
Markets will likely get increasingly unsettled as the X-date approaches without resolution. Congress has about four weeks to hatch a deal. Chief Economist Brian Horrigan looks at five possible scenarios and relates important considerations for each.
The US has had 12 recessions since 1945. Chief Economist Brian Horrigan contemplates the potential for unlucky #13.
Does it matter who wins the Senate? It matters a great deal. Read our latest blog regarding midterm elections.
The business press sometimes likes to say that a recession is a decline of real GDP lasting at least two consecutive quarters. Not so.
We think the housing sector should hold steady with good structural trends, a potentially bad environment for housing bargains and a scenario for prolonged inflation.
The Federal Open Market Committee’s announcement of a 75-basis-point (bp) rate hike on June 15 revealed a shift in the Fed’s thinking.
Chief Economist Brian Horrigan looks at the pandemic’s lingering effect on employment and shares his outlook for the months ahead.
As the global recovery kicks into gear, there are signs of shortages and delays causing pricing pressure. It appears that aggregate demand may be rebounding faster than aggregate supply.
We are entering a period when data may be on a wild ride. Brian Horrigan shares why he thinks market participants shouldn’t panic over big moves in upcoming data.
Congressional leaders are aiming to pass a $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus package by mid-March. This approach is not without risks.
A look at what a 50-50 split in the Senate could mean for President-elect Biden’s policy proposals and nominees for courts, agencies and his cabinet.
We’ve gone without a lot of things in 2020. Surprises aren’t one of them. After ten months of twists and turns, most of us are ready for a nice long stretch of the mundane. But this has been a strange year, and neither the year nor, I fear, the strangeness is over.
Sending a ballot by mail may seem straightforward, but the rules can be complex. Brian Horrigan explains some of the challenges associated with mail-in voting.
While there is a lot of uncertainty about the outcome of the upcoming US presidential election, the process will remain intact regardless of who wins. Brian Horrigan shares a refresher on the Electoral College.
Consumers are traditionally the engine of the US economy, and I believe consumer confidence is an important indicator of consumer intentions. The August reading of the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index suggests that consumers are not feeling optimistic.
The global pandemic has devastated global trade. It appears that some of the drop in trade is simply related to lower domestic demand everywhere as spending on consumer goods and investment goods has been slashed.
On April 9, the Federal Reserve announced the creation of the Municipal Lending Facility (MLF), aimed at allowing state and local (S&L) governments access to credit so that they may continue to function in these hard times.
On March 31, the Federal Reserve announced the creation of another new liquidity facility; this one is aimed at central banks and international institutions. This new facility is a temporary repurchase agreement facility for Foreign and International Monetary Authorities (FIMA)...
The Federal Reserve (Fed) has taken another step in its attempt to avert a financial crisis. It revived its Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), a measure last used in the Great Recession.
To help support investment-grade corporate bond market liquidity, the Federal Reserve introduced two facilities March 23: the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF) and the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF).
The US and China surprised me with their announcement of a small, “phase one” trade deal last week. I had thought any kind of deal would be a long shot, so I view this development as good news. Here’s a summary of the deal and what could happen next.
The fact that US trade with China has declined shouldn’t be a surprise. But how bad is the damage? According to the US international trade report for July, released September 4, US exports to China have declined at double-digit rates for the past 12 months. This is the longest sustained contraction in the last 20 years.
"Core" PCE inflation year over year eased from a recent high of 2.04% last July to 1.55% in March. This easing has made some market participants speculate that the US Federal Reserve will ease up on monetary policy. However, there’s more than one way to measure inflation.
The ISM’s Institute for Supply Management US manufacturing surveys are widely recognized gauges of economic health. They’ve taken us on a ride in recent months.
The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee is set to release its press statement on December 19. I expect the FOMC to increase policy rates by 25 basis points. The new range for the federal funds rate would be 2.25% to 2.50%.
The national midterm elections are today. As of yesterday morning, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website is giving the Democrats an 85.6% chance of taking the House of Representatives and the Republicans an 85.6% chance of keeping the Senate. This forecast should be no surprise; the president’s party almost always loses House seats in the first midterm election...
The federal deficit hit $779 billion in fiscal year 2018. This was the highest level since the $1.09 trillion deficit of FY 2012. Many pundits point to the tax cuts as the driver, but that tells only a part of the story.
It may be chilly outside this spring, but the US economy is currently running hot. Two data releases this week indicate that the economy is hot. However, I caution that these days, hot is not what it used to be.
I noticed an interesting result in the Conference Board’s most recent Index of Consumer Confidence in March. The percentage of survey respondents describing business conditions as "good" reached its highest point since 2000. Great news, right?
The Trump administration announced Jerome Powell as its choice for Federal Reserve Chair on November 2. The following are some thoughts on what we could expect from a Powell appointment.
In early August, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released a small business survey that revealed an upbeat assessment of the labor market. Firms have lots of job openings and they are planning to hire, but they are having a hard time finding qualified applicants; the quality of labor is a problem.
This week’s Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting will be anything but boring. The Federal Reserve seems eager to move toward rate and balance sheet normalization, probably because President Trump is unlikely to nominate Fed Board Chair Janet Yellen for another term when her current term expires in January. I expect Yellen and her colleagues to take three steps this week.
As do many economists, I have a strong bias for free trade. These are not happy times for those of us with such a perspective.