Keybridge Releases Baseline Report for the 2025 Communities Beverage Calories Initiative

Keybridge Releases Baseline Report for the 2025 Communities Beverage Calories Initiative

June 28, 2017

In September 2014 the American Beverage Association, The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, PepsiCo, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation announced a commitment to reduce beverage calorie consumption per person by 20 percent by 2025 nationwide and in 8-10 select communities. This report features baseline year estimates of per person beverage calorie consumption for each of the five BCI Communities selected to date. It also shows the changes in calorie consumption after the first partial year of implementation in the first two selected communities in Little Rock and Eastern Los Angeles.

Link: 2025 Beverage Calories Initiative: Communities Initiative Baseline Report & 2015 Update
Link to Detailed Methodology: Communities Initiative Detailed Methodology

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 27, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index inched up from 117.6 to 118.9 in June.  The rise was driven in part by an increase in the Present Situation Index while the Expectations Index edged down.  Conference Board Report
 
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index indicated an increase in home prices, as the seasonally adjusted 20-city average rose 0.3% in April (up 5.7% Y/Y).
Analysts say that rising mortgage rates and a tight supply of homes will likely drive up prices in the future. Report

U.S. News

The International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) has lowered its forecast for U.S. economic growth in 2017 and 2018 to 2.1%.  The IMF does not expect tax reform or significant infrastructure spending to boost economic activity either this year or next, and the organization believes that structural problems such as an aging population and lagging productivity will hinder growth. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration has begun to hold public hearings regarding its plan to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”).  The public hearings will include testimony from leading trade groups, academics, and other industry leaders who hope to influence the administration’s discussions with Mexico and Canada. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 26, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

New orders of manufactured durable goods fell 1.1% in May after decreasing 0.9% in April (revised), but are up 2.8% year-over-year.  Excluding transportation, new orders rose 0.1% (up 4.6% Y/Y).  Census Bureau Report

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell from 0.57 in April to -0.26 in May, indicating below average economic growth for the month. The employment, production, and personal consumption and housing components made negative contributions, while the sales component made the only positive contribution. Chicago Fed Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel imports have received opposition from senior leaders on both sides of the aisle.  Opponents say that the tariffs could raise the costs of inputs for U.S. consumers of steel and could also cause retaliatory policies by U.S. trade partners. WSJ
 
Richard Rubin of the Wall Street Journal writes that congressional Republicans have proposed eliminating the tax deduction for interest paid on debt. Rubin argues that the elimination of this deduction could have an outsized effect on the U.S. finance and agriculture industries, as both firms and individuals would struggle to raise and service debt cheaply. WSJ
 
The Bank for International Settlements (“BIS”) on Sunday warned that escalating worldwide protectionist sentiment could threaten the global economy.
In its annual report, the organization claims that rolling back globalization could be just as damaging to robust economic growth as reversing critical technological advancements. WSJ

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 23, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

New home sales increased 2.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 610,000 in May, and are 8.9% above the May 2016 rate. The median sales price rose to $345,800 and the inventory of new homes dropped to 5.3 months at the current sales rate. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

Limited job prospects for disabled workers may indicate that the U.S. labor market is still recovering from the recession. Last year, 4.9 million disabled Americans, age 16 to 64, were either employed or looking for work, which is well below the 5.2 million in the workforce in 2009. WSJ

In a press release yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced that US banks passed their first round of stress tests for the year. The tests, meant to determine whether 34 banks would be able to withstand severe global recession, indicated that the banking sector could endure $493 billion in losses and emerge from a market crash “well capitalized.” FT

U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

June 22, 2017

U.S. Economic Indicators

The FHFA House Price Index shows that U.S. house prices rose 0.7% in April and were up 6.8% from the same period last year.  House prices rose on an annual basis in all nine census divisions. Report
 
Initial jobless claims increased 3,000 to 241,000 last week.  
The four-week moving average rose 1,500 to 244,750. DOL Report

U.S. News

Former Federal Reserve Governor Kevin Warsh said yesterday that the Federal Reserve is accountable to Congress and should be open to possible reforms.  Warsh also asserted that the Fed needs to review how it communicates internally as well as with the public in order to ensure transparency and accountability for monetary policy decisions. WSJ
 
The Wall Street Journal reports that congressional Republicans are struggling to agree on a fiscal year 2018 budget resolution, which is necessary to enact tax reform this year.  Some Republican members of Congress want to see significant boosts to defense spending while others seek a balanced budget, meaning there will likely have to be a bipartisan budget agreement as in past years. WSJ
 
President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Patrick Harker says that he supports a pause in interest rate hikes while the Fed begins shrinking its balance sheet. 
Harker argues that the Fed has discussed its balance sheet long enough and should take action in the coming months to reduce its holdings of various assets. FT

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