Aug 152016
 
Economic update

For a quick economic update for members of Bellevue Rotary recently, I updated several slides I usually include as a part of my talks and added a new one or two. You can download all of them as a PDF file here. Among bullet points: We live in a slow-growth world. [continue reading . . . ]






Dec 172015
 
Slow-growth world

Raising interest rates a quarter point as the Fed did this week does not change the fact that we live in a slow-growth world. Money markets and commodities markets are singing the same song in unison: Almost no inflation, and very little growth. To say that commodities prices have collapsed [continue reading . . . ]






Aug 292015
 
The recovery: Still tepid

Good on us that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate estimated at 3.7% in the April-May-June quarter rather than the 2.2% rate announced as the first estimate a month ago. But don’t get too excited. State and local government spending accounted for a higher-than-average share of the growth [continue reading . . . ]






Jun 122015
 
Condemned to slow growth?

June marks the end of the sixth year since the Great Recession passed into history. At 18 months, it was the lengthiest recession since World War II, surpassing the 16 months of the other notably long-lived  post-war recessions, ended in March 1975 and November 1982. For duation, of course, the [continue reading . . . ]






May 102015
 
Good jobs report, but . . .

Friday’s jobs report showed the U.S. headline unemployment rate has fallen to 5.4%, the lowest since mid-2008. Good for us, but hold the applause. The underemployment rate, including those working part time involuntarily, remains relatively high (10.8%) for this stage of the recovery. It has been nearly six years since [continue reading . . . ]






Feb 232015
 

Overview bullet points ahead of my economic-update presentations last week to the Northwest Wall & Ceiling Bureau (slides here), a trade association, and the Economic Development Association of Skagit County (slides), perhaps Washington’s most successful economic development association: Listen to the music of the global bond markets. The tune they [continue reading . . . ]






May 122014
 
Income inequality illustrated

For a presentation May 8 to the Washington Alaska Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, I added to my talk a few comments on income inequality. It is not hard to find ways of illustrating growing income inequality in the United States and elsewhere. Here a few slides prepared [continue reading . . . ]






Aug 192013
 
Still a Great Disappointment

The Great Recession (January 2008-June 2009) was less severe and the recovery stronger than we thought at the time. But it was still the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. And the recovery remains the Great Disappointment. Uncle Sam in late July published national income and product accounts updated [continue reading . . . ]






Jul 232013
 

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are both spending heavily gearing up for shipping-container volumes vastly beyond anything they’ve handled to date. They both may be chasing pipe dreams that will prove costly to their taxpayers. Data from the Pacific Maritime Association shows that container “handle” at Tacoma peaked eight [continue reading . . . ]






May 282013
 

Things on my mind as I prepare for the business/economy segment on KUOW‘s Weekday program at about 10:40 a.m. Pacific time May 29: 1. The Boeing Boom? So over. The headlines over the past several weeks about layoffs and other cutbacks at Boeing (excellent coverage in the Seattle Times by [continue reading . . . ]






Apr 032013
 
Wealth and recessions

A correspondent who heard me last week on KUOW‘s Weekday program asks if there is research on “a correlation between the wealth lost in a downturn and the length of following recovery.” I told him the book to read is This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly  By Carmen [continue reading . . . ]