Consumer Price Index

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows us inflationary pressures in the economy.  The CPI measures the average price levels of a basket of goods and services purchased by consumers.  The index starts with a base time period (1982-1984, currently) and shows the overall increase since that time. As with many economic indicators, it can be volatile from month to month, …

Federal Open Market Committee

Last Wednesday, the minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), held in late July, were released. After a year of some of most dovish monetary policies in the Federal Reserve’s history, members of the FOMC finally indicated they were on track to begin scaling back their gargantuan asset-purchase program later this year. The program, which was established at …

Producer Price Index

The Producer Price Index (PPI) looks at the average change in selling prices from the viewpoint of domestic producers of both goods and services. Three areas of production are observed: industry-based, commodity-based, and commodity-based final demand-intermediate demand. Investors look to the producer price index, which is a more relevant way of gauging inflation than the CPI because of the large …

Consumer Spending

Consumer spending, measured by Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), makes up approximately two-thirds of the economy and is a direct measure of purchasing activity. PCE is a reliable indication of inflation because it is calculated from data acquired directly from the GDP report and businesses. It shows us where consumers are spending their dollars, whether it be durable and nondurable goods, …

Producer Price Index

The Producer Price Index (PPI) looks at the average change in selling prices from the viewpoint of domestic producers of both goods and services. Three areas of production are observed: industry-based, commodity-based, and commodity-based final demand-intermediate demand. Investors look to the producer price index, which is a more relevant way of gauging inflation than the CPI because of the large …

Jobless Claims

US Initial Jobless Claims, provided by the US Department of Labor, provides underlying data on how many new people have filed for unemployment benefits in the previous week. One can gauge market conditions in the US economy around employment; as more new individuals file for unemployment benefits, fewer individuals in the economy have jobs. In normal times, this means people …

Federal Open Market Committee

Last Wednesday, the minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) were released, and for the first time in over a year, the Federal Reserve appears to be somewhat open to considering a policy change. Back in March of 2020, when the Covid-induced panic was at its peak, the FOMC slashed interest rate to essentially zero, setting a Fed …

M2 Money Stocks

M2 Money Stock refers to the measure of money supply that includes financial assets held mainly by households such as savings deposits, time deposits, and balances in retail money market mutual funds, in addition to more readily-available liquid financial assets as defined by the M1 measure of money, such as currency, traveler’s checks, demand deposits, and other checkable deposits. The …

Federal Reserve

Yesterday the Federal Reserve gave us an idea of what they were thinking for 2019.  The market does not like it and is showing it with its actions.  It is my opinion, that both the market and the Federal Reserve are wrong. Let me explain. The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate; full employment and price stability.  As the chart …

Are Businesses the New Banks?

More than half of all cash on the books at corporations is invested in investment grade corporate bonds. The record high comes from the decreased investments in US Treasurys, commercial paper, and CDs. Money market funds are becoming less attractive due to new SEC rules and deposits are tougher on banks due to the banking rules of the Federal Reserve. …