Economic data is looking good. So why the glum vibes?

Jun 25, 2024
Unemployment is near record lows, GDP is growing, inflation has been trending down, wages are up. But in spite of it all, people are feeling bad.
One reason for all the economic angst? A very positive reference point from earlier in the pandemic might make some consumers feel like nothing will compare.
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Like the Fed, corporations also eagerly await economic data

May 22, 2024
This year, bigger-than-expected inflation reports are playing a role in determining when companies decide to borrow money by issuing bonds.
"A company is not going to come to market with a new bond deal unless they feel reasonably confident that that bond deal is going to go pretty well," says Winnie Cisar with CreditSights. Above, traders on the New York Stock Exchange floor.
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The federal government's inflation measures can feel ... wrong. How accurate are they?

Apr 30, 2024
CPI and PCE can both seem to be out of step with consumers' experience.
The CPI and PCE each have their own basket of goods and services they keep an eye on to determine how inflation is doing.
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When will rates go down? The answer rests on conflicting economic data.

Apr 4, 2024
The numbers are sending positive and negative signs, making the future of inflation, and the timing of Fed interest rate cuts, uncertain.
The numbers paint a mixed picture of the economy, so Federal Reserve officials seem to be waiting for clarity.
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The Fed loves a data buffet. What's on the menu these days?

Mar 20, 2024
Beyond government reports on inflation and jobs, it examines bank and payment processor data along with factory output, credit and rents.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell leaves a news conference. "I like to refer to the Federal Reserve as the Hoover vacuum of data," says former Fed economist Claudia Sahm.
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Who cares what CEOs think about the economy? You probably should.

Jun 7, 2023
CEOs may not be economic wizards. But they have access to crucial data and make decisions that influence the economy.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is among the executives who participated in the Business Roundtable's quarterly survey, which predicted GDP growth of 1.5% this year.
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So how are consumers feeling about the economy post-SVB?

Mar 30, 2023
It may be hard to tell from some data out Friday, which is for February. But we may still get a read on whether consumer sentiment is changing.
February consumer spending numbers will show whether January's spending numbers were an anamoly.
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For public good, not for profit.

How much should we trust "seasonally adjusted" numbers these days?

Mar 8, 2023
January was an outlier for jobs, spending and inflation — but can we rely on seasonally adjusted data when the past three Januarys have been so weird?
Did a warm January encourage a surge in consumer spending and inflation? "It’s very hard to explain that all with weather," says Johns Hopkins economist Jonathan Wright.
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The impact of survey fatigue on key economic indicators

Mar 7, 2023
Response rates to The Bureau of Labor Statistics' JOLTS report are continuing to waver according to Bloomberg reporter, Reade Pickert.
Survey fatigue is impacting response rates to important economic data surveys.
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Next week's economic data will tell us a lot

Nov 25, 2022
Reports on inflation, consumer confidence and jobs will be consequential. We asked economists to point out the most important items.
"If consumers were truly, truly worried," says economist Jennifer Lee, discretionary spending on things like restaurant lunches "would be one of the first areas they would cut back on."
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