CFE Analysis | Macro

Beware of Seasonal Adjustment

By Kevin Heerdt and Jonathan H. Wright Economic data released by the government and other entities are being distorted by normally acceptable statistical methods. The extreme economic data that are coming out raise important issues of seasonal adjustment. Of course, there is no questioning the fact that the economic data are bad in an unprecedented […]

CFE | CFE Analysis | Macro

Votes, deaths and layoffs

There are 50 states, but only 13 where the 2016 presidential election was decided by a margin of less than eight percentage points. Six of them went for Hillary Clinton and seven for Donald Trump. It is likely that this year’s election will be largely decided in those states. So how are they faring in […]

CFE | CFE Analysis | Macro

The best kind of stimulus

No sooner was the ink dry on the March 27 $2 trillion stimulus package than Washington began work on the next stimulus. This is the right thing to do. Deficit hawks who worry about the debt-GDP ratio should want it, because without further stimulus, the debt-GDP ratio will soar because of crumbling GDP. Both President […]

CFE | CFE Analysis | Finance | Macro

Trump stocks

President Trump has frequently pointed to the performance of the stock market in praising his own performance, although not in the past week when markets worldwide came down with (fears of) the coronavirus. Even at the end of the market’s worst week since 2008, the S&P 500 has still risen at a compound rate of […]

CFE Analysis | Macro

A Surprising – And Ominous? — Boom

There has been much talk about the death of bricks-and-mortar retail, which traditionally hires hundreds of thousands of temporary workers in November and December for the Christmas rush. With more and more business being conducted online, it stood to reason that general merchandise stores — the Macy’s and Targets of the world — would be […]

CFE Analysis | Macro

Zero Bound

The outlook for growth in employment and corporate earnings over the next few years is headed down. The problem is not what the Federal Reserve will do, or what a Democratic (or Republican) Congress is likely to do, or the possibility of a mushrooming trade war. It is the unsustainable nature of what has caused […]

CFE Analysis | Macro

Faster Growth, More Wage Income and Better Data Provision

Once a year we get a slew of news about U.S. economic performance, when the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) provides both its initial estimate for recent economic performance and detailed revisions on previous economic trajectories. The initial estimate for Q2 real GDP growth confirms what a great many other high frequency times […]

CFE Analysis | Macro

Lord make me pure, but not until 2020

In a recent post, we complained that Congress had muzzled the CBO, forbidding them from reporting budget projections until the forecasts could “reflect the tax legislation and any major decisions about spending that the Congress makes in the next few weeks.”[1] We conjectured that the spending cuts offered up would be slated for the out […]

CFE Analysis | Macro

CBO: The dog that didn’t bark, for now

Each January the Congressional Budget Office provides a 10-year budget forecast, driven by the interplay of tax laws, spending commitments, and a 10-year economic projection. Not so in 2018. CBO received a directive from the Senate and House Budget Committee Chairs, instructing them to hold off on supplying a report until they can produce a […]

CFE Analysis | Macro

Jobs and Inflation, Dec. 2017

Eighteen months ago, in “Six Degrees of Separation between jobs and inflation,” we argued that job gains of 200,000 per month could easily continue for the next 18 to 24 months without providing significant upward pressure on inflation. Eighteen months are up, and as of today’s job report we’ve seen solid job growth of 187,00 […]