U.S. Economy

For the week ending May 22, 2015, U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged about 16.5 million barrels per day. This was 237,000 barrels per day more than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 93.6% of their operable capacity last week. (Source: U.S Energy Information Administration, May 28,…

The Texas production index is the measure of the health of manufacturing. The index fell to a negative 13.5 in May—its lowest reading in six years. (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, last accessed, May 27, 2015.) Texas is the second-largest producer of manufactured goods in the United…

The U.S. manufacturing sector looks to be struggling. At the very least, U.S. manufacturing data suggests the U.S. economy is headed towards a slowdown. Industrial production in the U.S. fell for the fifth straight month in April 2015. According to the data from the Federal Reserve, industrial production…

On Friday, May 22, 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report on the consumer price index (CPI) for April. The CPI increased 0.1% month-over-month in April. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 22, 2015.) Meanwhile, the core CPI, which excludes food and energy (two of the…

Over the past six years, the Federal Reserve has been the major driver of the bonds market, snapping up $3.5 trillion in bonds. Thanks to the Federal Reserve and a number of other factors, investors are getting nervous and selling. In fact, they’re selling so much so that…

On Friday, May 1, 2015, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) published its April report on the U.S. manufacturing sector. The key number to look at in this report is the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which is an indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector. According…

Ask even an amateur economist, and they will tell you this: an increasing money supply eventually leads to inflation. It’s a simple concept; the more paper money there is in the system, the less it’s worth and the less it buys. And this is exactly what is happening…

According to Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, “More jobs have now been created in the recovery than were lost in the downturn… the unemployment rate, at 6.2% in July, has declined nearly 4 percentage points from its late 2009 peak.” (Source: “Labor Market Dynamics and Monetary Policy,” Federal Reserve,…

It was a regular flight for me to Miami…a late Saturday afternoon two weeks ago. As our flight approached Miami International Airport, the captain announced we would soon be starting our descent. Then something happened that I thought was strange. We started circling in the air. Not once…

The fiscal cliff is causing a drag on the economy and, in particular, the desire of consumers to want to spend. The reality is that the budget cuts and tax increases will impact spending regardless of how the deal turns out, as taxes will rise. The push to…

Economist Nouriel Roubini, a professor of economics at New York University, who is also known widely as “Dr. Doom,” has always leaned towards the bearish side. He has forecasted a U.S. recession for 2012 due to the building gridlock in the government. In the modern world of social…

Two different parts of the world, two very different ways countries are dealing with their economic contractions… In the U.S. yesterday, Eric Rosengren, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said that the Fed should do more to bring down the unemployment rate. Rosengren suggests that the…

My how times have changed… Only 10 years ago, if a European country were to get into financial trouble, the first “help” phone call would have gone to the West; to America, to Washington. Fast forward just a few years, and France President Nicolas Sarkozy is publicly seeking…

— reporting from Florence, Italy Something different for my readers today… I’m going to talk about food. But don’t worry; in the end, I’ll relate it back to the economy and the stock market, as I eventually do with all my stories. Okay, so I’m eating out every…

It’s a slow-growth economy across the board, and it’s going to stay that way for quite a while longer. So, investors have to play the hand that they’re dealt. I’ve found over the years that it’s very useful to ask simple, common-sense questions about the economy, and the…

Alan Greenspan's mystique has been thoroughly demystified in the aftermath of the crash of 2008. That has not stopped him from offering more opinions. The other day, he opined that advancing equity markets would do so much more for the U.S. economy than dumping any more government stimulus…

It seems that the U.S. economy is heading towards another recession. There is no other way of describing what the erosion of confidence is doing to it. Although the first half of 2010 has been more than decent, a number of economic indicators are suggesting that the U.S.…

New data coming out of the U.S. shows that the U.S. economy is deteriorating, if indeed it has ever reached the recovery stage. Yet, the Obama Administration and Republican Congress cannot overcome their standoff and finally decide on a unified front to deal with the economy. Last week,…

— by George Leong, B. Comm. In an interview with The New York Times, investment guru Warren Buffett said that the mounting U.S. debt would be problematic as we move forward. Buffett suggested that there could be a problem with finding buyers for U.S. debt, which is used…