It's better than it was but it's not as good as anywhere else. There are growing pockets of strength. Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis -- these are economies that had been severely depressed a few years ago and are now making their way back.
There is not enough uncertainty about Fed rate hikes. That causes people to take on too much risk.
The market will be focused on anything that gives more context regarding the inflation outlook, how concerned policy-makers are about inflation.
It means that they're going to be under a lot of financial pressure in the years ahead. And that's going to put pressure on the entire economy and on the political process.
This is a similar point in the business cycle to when Greenspan took over the reins of the Fed. And of course he was tested right away with the 1987 stock market crash.
Gasoline, home heating prices, they are very volatile. Some months they're up, some months they're down. They depend on the vagaries of the weather It's warm, it's cold. The big decline I think will result in a big increase next month.
Yes. I don't think it would be appropriate at this point to raise taxes on anyone, certainly not in 2011.
I don't really put too much weight on the big ups and downs in the energy prices. And food prices also fell. That probably is related to the warm winter weather, and we can't count on that continuing for very long, either.
I think the new chairman will be more aggressive in tightening policy, at least early on in his term, just to establish his inflation-fighting credentials.
Consumers are likely to pay more for lumber, coffee, chocolate, perhaps sugar anything that we import through the ports in the affected region will face higher prices.
To stop globalization would be the exact wrong thing to do we have to embrace what's happening. It's in place and will remain in place. We need to help unemployed workers, make them better trained and skilled so they can get better jobs.
If we get a string of bad data on inflation, the Fed will probably have to tighten for a bit longer.
It's always a bit difficult to read the economic data in the winter, just because activity is thinner, and the vagaries of weather are more pronounced. So it's not unusual to see, although this is an extraordinary amount of volatility.
It looks like the mid-Atlantic weathered the hurricane well. Activity rebounded smartly. It does reinforce the view that the underlying economy remains strong in the mid-Atlantic and more broadly across the country.
Most likely the higher prices will slow growth, ... But there is the growing threat that we get a combination of slower growth and higher inflation.
Some 20 percent of the nation's refining capacity seems to be right in Rita's path. If that gets disrupted at all, then gasoline, jet fuel, natural gas and home heating oil will surge higher.
It's less likely that the Fed will pause in its tightening. A neutral rate is certainly at least 4 percent and probably a little higher. That's where we're headed.
If revenue growth does not start to pick up that would squeeze profit margins.
That's right where the Fed would like to see it, ... It would take a good year of that level of monthly growth before the job market tightens to the degree where inflation concerns would become more paramount.
You have to go back 25 years to find a decline that is as significant on a percentage basis.
I think this is a harbinger of more problems to come, ... I think we should look for fresh new records in delinquencies in the fourth quarter and first quarter of next year as credit card payments rise higher and as energy prices really begin to bite.
The job market is as good as it's been since 2000. Unemployment is 4.7 percent, and it is falling. Job growth is sturdy, and it is increasingly broad-based and across regions and occupations. In fact, this will be the first year that wage growth will begin to accelerate. It should be a good year for American students.
So far, it's weakening, not caving. But it's been a tricky policy to deflate housing, not crater it.
Economists say that as housing markets begin to cool, bankruptcies are likely to increase. At some point you will get a combination of falling values combined with rising payments on adjustable mortgages, which will result in more bankruptcy, ... For these areas of the country that are enjoying such wonderful conditions right now, it will become much less wonderful a few years down the road.
At best, people should prepare for no pay increase and no bonus, something they have been getting a lot of. At worst, they should be thinking they may need to change occupations.
A bunch of problems that we have ahead of us are largely because of these tax cuts. They are very costly and will contribute significantly to budget deficits in the future.
The Port of New Orleans alone imports 250,000 tons of coffee every year.
The baby boom echo generation is now in their mid-teens, at a time when demand for electronics is very high. And they're old enough now to put pressure on their parents to ante up. I know that from personal experience.
This should be a year where the tech market stabilizes but I don't see job growth until 2004.
Once skittish businesses are turning into confident businesses that are willing and able to hire. I think the job market will improve further in the course of the coming year.
The economy is strong, and if history is a guide it should suggest inflationary pressures should develop, but they haven't. Given the crosscurrents in the economic inflation data, it will difficult for him to be clear-cut.
Fundamentally, though, it stems from the fact that China will post a 250 billion surplus on its trade with the United States this year and there's simply no sign of that easing any time soon.
Bush will paint Kerry as being a tax-and-spend liberal and Kerry will paint bush as only providing tax cuts for the rich.
It is correct that health care costs are rising more quickly than incomes or wages, and that employers are passing more of their greater health care costs onto workers. But the increase in health care spending is not greater than the increase in incomes or wages.
Consumer spending growth will moderate, but it won't impede the current pace of economic expansion.
If my decision were based solely on economic considerations, I would tighten again. I think the economy won't be derailed by this. I think the economy is firm and they (Fed governors) can send a signal that things are as they were.
We're back on track after the ill effects of the hurricanes. But it is also fair to conclude that global competition and corporate layoffs are weighing on job growth.
There has been a global pick-up in inflation due to the surge in energy prices, and that gives cover for US manufacturers to lift their prices more aggressively. Central banks across the globe are tightening policy in fears that the surge in energy prices will infect inflation more broadly.
Greenspan should weigh against asset markets in the good times -- just as he works to support them in the difficult times. He's been one-sided in his policies,
This region is expanding not quite as much as the rest of the country. We will see much less housing activity, especially in the next couple of years.
Christmas sales are shaping up to be OK.
Consumers will see higher prices on coffee beverages and even chocolate if the raw supplies get backed up at the ports. In agricultural products, prices of cereals and breads could decline. If we can't export the wheat and grain, then the excess supply will have to be consumed domestically, pushing down prices.
I don't buy into those supply-side, trickle-down ideas. Those arguments might have made some sense 25 years ago, when the top tax rate was 70 percent, but not today, when the top rate is half of that.
In the absence of a second layer of information, we all assume the job growth is from hiring. It is our default position.
People are responding to the escalating prices They're moving.
The Fed is growing more uncomfortable about inflation, ... This is a more hawkish statement and signals that more tightening is on the way.
Confidence is a key part of what's happening in the economy and the market. You shouldn't underestimate the importance of symbolic moves like these.
Broadly speaking, the economy is in a pretty good place. But it's no longer obvious what the next step should be. Now it gets a lot more complicated.
Labor will start demanding bigger pay increases and will get them.
At a minimum, this will hit consumers' pocketbooksand perhaps their confidence. Before Katrina, Goldstein estimated that consumers' annual fuel bills this year would average about 250 more for gasoline and 400 more for home heating oil and natural gas than in 2004. Now he reckons those amounts will go up 30 percent to 75 percent. Costlier energy could adversely affect consumer spending, corporate profits and inflationor all three. We could be reaching a tipping point on consumer psychology, especially when people get their home heating bills, ... Those will be big.
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