David Kirkpatrick

October 21, 2010

Latest Beige Book still bland …

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:48 pm

… but hints at Fed action to come.

From the link:

Economic growth continued at a sluggish pace over the past few weeks, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday, supporting views that the Fed might take action to spur the economy at its next policy meeting.

In its latest snapshot of regional economic conditions, the Fed reported some bright spots in manufacturing, travel, tourism and auto sales, but still saw weakness in the housing market.

The report, known as the Beige Book, summarized economic conditions in the central bank’s 12 districts across the nation. It will help set the tone for the Fed policy meeting set to take place Nov. 2-3. Investors are widely expecting an announcement of another round of asset purchases.

“The lack of meaningful improvements leaves investors anticipating additional action by the Federal Reserve to reinvigorate the economy in November,” said Kathy Lien, director of currency research for GFT, in a research note.

“If the Fed was worried about the recovery in September, they will remain worried in November as there was no major pickup in economic activity,” Lien said.

 

October 23, 2009

Latest Fed Beige Book?

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:12 am

The news is rather, er, beige.

From the link:

U.S. consumer spending was weak in most parts of the U.S. during late summer and early fall, leaving unexciting prospects for economic growth into the rest of 2009.

In a report Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said its 12 districts indicated either stabilization or modest improvements from depressed levels in many sectors of the economy

September 17, 2009

Consumer spending not returning anytime soon

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:02 pm

[Note: this is the replacement for this lost post without the extensive additional commentary from the lost original.]

News from Bloomberg:

Americans plan to refrain from boosting their spending even after the biggest drop in consumption since 1980, signaling concern about the direction of the economy over the next six months.

Only 8 percent of U.S. adults plan to increase household spending, almost one-third will spend less, and 58 percent expect to “stay the course,” a Bloomberg News poll showed. More than 3 in 4 said they reduced spending in the past year.

Respondents were divided over whether the economy will get better or stay the same in the next six months; only 1 in 6 said things will get worse. More than 40 percent of those surveyed said they feel less financially secure than they did when President Barack Obama took office in January, outnumbering 35 percent who said they feel more secure.

Consumer spending not returning anytime soon

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:14 pm

[Note: this post was lost in WordPress somehow. Hit this link for new post sans my expanded commentary from the lost original.]

August 18, 2009

Economic indicators …

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:06 pm

… are analyzed, talked about, reported on and used to justify almost any position you might want to take on the state of the economy at any given moment — and can successfully be used to prove both sides of the argument.

This article lays out the “hows” and “whys” of a whole slew of leading and lagging indicators, so hit this link if you want a little more information on where all those figures are actually coming from and what they really mean to the economy.

From the link:

To determine the health of their patient, economists look to indicators, such as unemployment and consumer spending, in much the same way doctors monitor blood pressure and heart rate. One reading can’t provide enough information to understand the state of the economy. Several together can lead to accurate conclusions.

Earlier this year and in late 2008, many indicators pointed to the economic equivalent of a massive coronary. The U.S. economy has been in the longest recession since World War II. While there have been improvement, concerns remain. Will the economy suffer further setbacks or is it on the mend? No predictions can be guaranteed, but several key indicators point to a continued recovery. With the benchmark S&P 500 Index up about 50% in the past five months, a lot of money is riding on the economy returning to growth this year.

March 2, 2009

Economy in fast retreat

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:34 pm

Shrinking at fastest pace in 26 years. Yikes.

From the link:

The economy contracted at a staggering 6.2 percent pace at the end of 2008, the worst showing in a quarter-century, as consumers and businesses ratcheted back spending, plunging the U.S. deeper into recession.

The Commerce Department report released Friday showed the economy sinking much faster than the 3.8 percent annualized drop for the October-December quarter first estimated last month. It also was considerably weaker than the 5.4 percent annualized decline economists expected.

A much sharper cutback in consumer spending _ which accounts for about two-thirds of economic activity _ along with a bigger drop in U.S. exports sales, and reductions in business spending and inventories all contributed to the largest revision on records dating to 1976.

Looking ahead, economists predict consumers and businesses will keep cutting back spending, making the first six months of this year especially rocky.

“Right now we’re in the period of maximum recession stress, where the big cuts are being made,” said economist Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics.

January 6, 2009

10 lights in dark economic times

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:22 pm

It’s list day! Not really, but I am doing two lists posts in a row. Here’s ten things that are good news, as far as that goes, to look forward to during the financial crisis.

From the link, number one — and a great point:

The Savings Rate Should Increase
The slowdown in consumer spending is actually a good thing. While often decried as an accelerator of the downturn — which it surely is — the pullback in consumer spending will benefit the economy in the long term. Consumers have been on a shopping spree for two decades, and household savings have suffered. In 2007, the household savings rate was 0.6 percent. In some recent quarters, the rate turned negative, indicating that people borrowed more than they saved. As a result, many families have very little cushion to protect themselves from the vagaries of life. And, even disregarding the recent damage wrought on 401(k)s, a staggering number of people have not put away enough for retirement. At the same time, their ability to invest their savings in U.S. businesses by buying bonds and stocks has dwindled. Instead, U.S. business growth has become highly dependent on foreign investors, whose willingness to send funds to these shores could fade at any time.

“Consumer spending needs to slow down,” says Matthew Slaughter, professor of international economics at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. “It’s a really important long-run structural issue for the financial health of families and the economy. More savings means companies can undertake more investment to drive faster economic growth.”