Economic News Blog

Friday, March 26, 2021

Disposable Income Growth Slows to a More Normal Rate

Real disposable income was 8% below January’s level. However, it was still higher than the disposable income for any month since July 2020.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Cutting Tool Orders Sluggish in January

It is likely that the January orders were affected by shift and/or plant shut downs in the automotive industry due to a lack of computer chips. Also, it should be expected that February order totals will be somewhat sluggish for the same reason in addition to the deep freeze from Texas through much of the Midwest.
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Monday, March 22, 2021

Automotive Industry Production Data Illustrates Magnitude of Current Supply Chain Crisis

Strong demand for new, large and luxury vehicles comes at a time when automotive production is 20% below its pre-pandemic level.  Much of this disconnect between supply and demand is a matter of crippled supply chains and unfortunate events.
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Friday, March 19, 2021

The Federal Reserve’s Blunt Tools for Managing Interest Rates Lack the Precision to Achieve Post-COVID Economic Goals

The last 25 years of data of the Federal Reserve Bank’s Fed Funds rate, corporate loan rates, inflation and economic growth testify to the complexities of the modern economy.  The data reviewed in this piece provide recent examples of just how unpredictable the economy can be and just how little control the Fed has when trying to construct a particular economic outcome.  
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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

February Production Down Due to Supply Chain Disruption and Winter Storm

February industrial production contracted 3.8%. The contraction accelerated because of the winter storm in Texas and other parts of the midwest hindered production and significant supply chain disruption, particularly regarding computer chips, forced a number of manufacturers to slow or stop production.
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