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Merrill: “Are the stars aligning for wage growth?”

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Merrill: “Are the stars aligning for wage growth?”

A few excerpts from an article by Merrill Lynch economist Joseph Song: Are the stars aligning for wage growth? One of the puzzles and disappointments of 2017 was the lack of better wage growth. Average hourly earnings started the year growing around 2.5% yoy but ended the year where it started, despite the unemployment...
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MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest Weekly Survey

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MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest Weekly Survey

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey Mortgage applications increased 4.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 12, 2018. … The Refinance Index increased 4 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted...
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Bank Failures by Year

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Bank Failures by Year

In 2017, eight FDIC insured banks failed. This was up from 5 in 2016. The great recession / housing bust / financial crisis related failures are behind us. The first graph shows the number of bank failures per year since the FDIC was founded in 1933. Click on graph for larger image. Typically about...
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Oil Rigs “Total US oil rigs were up 10 to 752 this week”

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Oil Rigs “Total US oil rigs were up 10 to 752 this week”

A few comments from Steven Kopits of Princeton Energy Advisors LLC on Jan 12, 2017: • Total US oil rigs were up 10 to 752 this week • Horizontal oil rigs were up 4 to 654 • We have expected rig counts to rise sharply in recent weeks, and we saw some – but...
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Thursday: Unemployment Claims, PPI

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Thursday: Unemployment Claims, PPI

Thursday:• At 8:30 AM ET, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for 245 thousand initial claims, down from 250 thousand the previous week. • Also at 8:30 AM, The Producer Price Index for December from the BLS. The consensus is a 0.2% increase in PPI, and a 0.2%...
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Tuesday: Job Openings

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Tuesday: Job Openings

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Back Near Recent Highs Mortgage rates rose today, largely due to bond market movement from the end of last week that never made it onto last week’s rate sheets. … Lenders normally need to see a certain amount of market movement by a certain time...
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Schedule for Week of January 7, 2018

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Schedule for Week of January 7, 2018

The key economic reports this week are December retail sales and the Consumer Price Index (CPI). —– Monday, Jan 8th —–3:00 PM: Consumer Credit from the Federal Reserve. The consensus is for consumer credit to increase .0 billion in November. —– Tuesday, Jan 2nd —–6:00 AM ET: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for December....
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Friday: Employment Report, Trade Deficit

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Friday: Employment Report, Trade Deficit

My December Employment Preview Goldman: December Payrolls Preview Friday:• At 8:30 AM, Employment Report for December. The consensus is for an increase of 190,000 non-farm payroll jobs added in December, down from the 228,000 non-farm payroll jobs added in November. The consensus is for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 4.1%. • At...
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Update: Ten Economic Questions for 2018 #wdym

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Update: Ten Economic Questions for 2018 #wdym

Note: I’ll be on Bloomberg’s #wdym today. Here is a review of the Ten Economic Questions for 2017. Here are my ten questions for 2018. See links at bottom for a follow up, with some thoughts on each of these questions. The purpose of these questions is to provide a framework to think about...
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Question #5 for 2018: Will the Fed raise rates in 2018, and if so, by how much?

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Question #5 for 2018: Will the Fed raise rates in 2018, and if so, by how much?

Earlier I posted some questions for next year: Ten Economic Questions for 2018. I’m adding some thoughts, and maybe some predictions for each question. 5) Monetary Policy:  The Fed raised rates three times in 2017 and started to reduce their balance sheet. The Fed is forecasting three more rate hikes in 2018.  Some analysts...
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