This week’s discussion highlights segments of the U.S. economy. The U.S. job market remains strong as layoffs within the energy sector remain low and individuals who leave their current positions are moving on to better jobs. In the housing market, U.S. home prices are up 10% on average and even higher in the Mountain and Pacific areas. The municipal bond market, with the exception of Illinois and New Jersey, has done well as state and local finances continue to improve. Listen in to hear more on these issues as well as GDP for the first quarter and anticipated bad press for Freddie Mac.
This week’s Inside the Economy with SH&J highlights an update on the global economy. Germany appears to be a bright spot within the European Union with a budget surplus in 2015 despite global trade trending down, particularly in China. After recording a trade deficit with China for 2015, Germany is now seeking to make the United States their primary trading partner. Japan is also seeing a downturn in output and could be in recession by this summer. Listen in to hear more on the ECB’s continued quantitative easing, the flood of refugees into Germany, and comments on Emerging Market debt.
This week’s Inside the Economy with SH&J continues the discussion on oil and the challenges hindering the much anticipated boost in production from Iran. Meanwhile, Europe’s banking system is under pressure to keep its zero-interest and negative-interest rate policies in place for the foreseeable future. Listen in for commentary on the aftermath of the Brussels and Paris attacks and how it is affecting tourism and putting further pressure on the European banking system. We discuss how the first quarter is wrapping up and the outlook for the remainder of 2016.
This week’s Inside the Economy with SH&J includes explanation of how the price of oil has largely contributed to the recent S&P 500 recovery, yet earnings will likely be the primary factor influencing S&P 500 growth in the near future. The U.S. is seeing the start of a manufacturing rebound as well as the beginning signs of full employment. Inventory buildup is decreasing as consumption picks up and the labor participation rate is on the rise. Core inflation has slowly increased and appears to be sustainable, giving the Fed rationale for a rate increase this year. Listen in to hear more on these issues as well as commentary on nuclear energy worldwide and the Federal Budget.
As lack luster S&P 500 performance continues to plague media headlines, this week’s economic discussion provides reasoning around lower earnings and a high percentage of sales coming from struggling overseas economies with weak currencies. Low energy and material prices are also contributing to lower performance figures. Hear commentary about how a prolonged duration of low oil prices could cause a global sell-off of European stocks and what effect it may have on business and consumer sentiment, particularly in the U.K. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the labor market continues to improve with 5.61 million available positions, retail sales are up, banks are back in the lending business, and consumer spending and consumer sentiment are on the rise. Listen in to hear more!
As the year begins with volatile markets, investor sentiment is a bit shaken and all eyes are on China as the media’s darling. However, China is not the only country with rising debt issues as emerging market nations (in general) are facing rising debt as well. Currency is flooding out of China’s borders in anticipation of the inevitable devaluation of the Chinese yuan. Yet, this could bolster foreign spending, specifically in real estate outside of China. There are additional bright spots as well; the U.S. seems poised for growth (albeit slow) but growth nonetheless, and Japan has implemented negative interest rates in an attempt to discourage savings (believe it or not) and encourage spending to boost their respective economies. Listen in as Larry puts perspective on all these issues and more.
As media headlines announce “plunging markets” and “warning signs of recession”, Larry Howes gives us the underlying details of the economy we are facing in 2016 and guides our expectations. He comments on the shrinking Federal deficit, consumer debt, and S&P 500 earnings. Why are Americans, on average, continuing to pay down debt, buy new cars, and increase personal savings? How has the interest rate increase affected the markets and consumers? Listen in and find out!
*Please note that during the commentary section, Larry mentions the $1.3 billion student loan market, which in reality is $1.3 trillion. Also, within the slide titled “The Fed trims its Bond-buying” Larry refers to liquidating $4.3 billion of the bond market when he meant to say $4.3 trillion.
Larry Howes kicks off the New Year with his outlook on the economy in 2016. How did the interest rate increase in December affect mortgages? Will U.S. inflation reach the Fed’s target rate of 2%? What is expected from the U.S. economy and markets this year? What will happen to the U.S. dollar? What can we expect to see in Europe this year? Listen in as Larry addresses these questions and more!
This week, we bring you a special edition of Inside the Economy with SH&J. As many of you are aware, the Federal Reserve increased interest rates on Wednesday for the first time since 2008. While the increase was a small one, only a quarter of a percentage point, it has caused media frenzy. In less than five minutes, Larry addresses the primary reasons behind this rate increase, what it could mean for inflation, mortgage rates, credit card interest, the housing market, Americans’ wallets, and more. Overall, Larry says the effects of this increase will be mostly positive. We will cover more on this topic during our next discussion on January 4th. Until then, have a wonderful holiday season and we look forward to reuniting with you in 2016!
Larry covers a lot of ground in our last discussion before the holidays: those in their 30’s may experience an upcoming economic event for the first time in their adult lives; an in-depth discussion on oil; and a look at Colorado’s hemp business. Larry also notes, “The longer the dollar stays up, the more it’s going to hurt the Chinese economy.” This discussion is full of interesting economic information. Listen in! Our Economic Discussions will return on January 4th. Have a safe and happy holiday season!