Tag Archives: monthly

Uncertainty Redux: This Time It Is Entirely Self Imposed

Uncertainty has reared its ugly head again. This time it is entirely self imposed. The congressional budget impasse and the potential spillover to the debt ceiling has elevated uncertainty and will likely depress business and consumer confidence in October. The … Continue reading

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Incipient Normalcy and the New Abnormal

Aspects of the U.S. economy are beginning to act more normally. House prices are up 12 percent over last year. Auto sales hit a 16.1 million unit rate in August. Initial claims for unemployment insurance are back to pre-recession levels. … Continue reading

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Q2 Looking Better and Better, Teeing up Growth for 2013 H2

Remember that they call it the dismal science for a reason, when you recall how gloomy the forecasts were for second quarter real GDP growth. Some forecasters warned about the possibility of a negative quarter. The advance (first) estimate of … Continue reading

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Comerica Bank’s Arizona Index Up in May

Comerica Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index steadily increased in May, rising 1.5 percentage points to a level of 96.5. The May index reading is 25.2 points, or 35 percent, above the index cyclical low of 71.3. The index averaged 87.2 … Continue reading

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A Weak Q2, But Increasing Momentum Through H2

The recently completed second quarter looks vulnerable to a weak GDP print. The drag from fiscal tightening will combine with mediocre business investment, a widening trade gap and weak inventory accumulation to bring overall economic growth back into the “weak-to-modest” … Continue reading

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Comerica Bank’s Arizona Index Up in April

Comerica Bank’s Arizona Economic Activity Index climbed slightly in April, rising 0.2 percentage points to a level of 95.0. The April index reading is 23.7 points, or 33 percent, above the index cyclical low of 71.3. The index averaged 87.2 … Continue reading

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Plodding Through Mid-2013, More Push, More Pull

Themes for the U.S. economy have not changed significantly over the last month.  Monetary policy remains highly expansive, pushing on financial markets, while fiscal policy remains contractionary, pulling on federal government spending. Housing has emerged as a driver for the … Continue reading

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The Inventory Swing and the Fiscal Cliff Increase Odds of Mid‐Year Lull

Real GDP growth for the recently completed first quarter of 2013 appears likely to exceed earlier expectations when the first estimate is released on April 26. Despite the drag from fiscal tightening, real GDP growth is set to register in … Continue reading

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U.S. Economy Maintains Momentum As Fiscal Headwinds Increase

The federal spending sequester took effect March 1. The $85 billion reduction in federal defense and nondefense discretionary spending for FY2013 is expected to exert about a 0.6 percent drag on real GDP growth for 2013. This adds to the … Continue reading

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Animal Spirits, Monetary Stimulus and Fiscal Tightening

In their 2009 book entitled “Animal Spirits,” George Akerlof and Robert Shiller characterize the term as a “restless and inconsistent element in the economy…sometimes we are paralyzed by it. Yet at other times it refreshes and energizes us, overcoming our … Continue reading

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