U.S. Economic News

U.S. Economic News

September 4, 2014

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ADP National Employment report shows that nonfarm private-sector employment increased 204,000 in August, the fifth month of job growth over 200,000.  July’s increase in jobs was revised downward 6,000 to 212,000.  ADP report

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed slightly in July to its lowest level in six months, as exports rose 0.9% and imports increased 0.7% from the previous month.  Although $40.5 billion gap came in slightly below consensus expectations, its steady decline points to solid third quarter economic growth.  BEA reportReuters

Initial claims for unemployment insurance ticked up 4,000 to 302,000, pointing to a healthy but not accelerating jobs market.  The four-week moving average edged up slightly to 302,750, while continuing claims fell to their lowest level since June 2007.  DOL reportReuters

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at an annual rate of 2.3% during Q2 2014, up from a revised -4.5% drop. Labor costs fell 0.1% and output jumped 5.0% in Q2. BLS report

ISM’s non-manufacturing index showed stronger-than-expected growth in August, with the composite index edging up 0.9 percentage points from July to 59.6, the highest reading since the index’s inception in January 2008.  Business activity jumped 2.6 percentage points and employment increased 1.1 percentage points, while new orders decelerated 1.1 percentage points.  Report

U.S. News

Yesterday’s Beige Book survey indicates widespread economic improvement, as all of the Fed’s district banks indicated modest or moderate economic growth for the third consecutive report.  Improvements in consumer spending, tourism, and even housing buoyed the report, while skilled worker shortages remained a concern for businesses.  WSJ

Energy and Environment News

Energy and Environment News

August 1, 2014

Top Stories

Coal. Hydropower production facilities in China have displaced much of the nation’s demand for coal imports, as evidenced by record-low coal shipping rates. Three hydroelectric plants started this year generated enough energy to replace 26 million tons of coal, or approximately 370 cargo loads. Bloomberg

Energy Outlook.
A report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration finds that energy companies are continuing to take out new lines of credit in efforts to finance projects amid flat cash flows and oil prices. The report says that this increase in debt is not inherently bad, so long as low interest rates and expanding production generate the revenue needed for the debt repayments. Fuel Fix

OP-ED of the Day

Energy Policy. Bob Sussman argues that the state-specific carbon reduction goals proposed in the EPA’s Clean Power Plan are fair due to the analytical, data-driven approach employed by the EPA.  He addresses several of the goals’ key criticisms with state-specific examples, pointing out that the uniform application of the EPA’s methodology produced equitable and achievable targets. Brookings

Quote of the Week

“The reason is simple: A degraded environment leads to a degraded economy.”

Source: Christine Lagarde, director of the IMF, in a statement yesterday calling nations to implement higher energy taxes that reflect the harmful impacts of fossil fuel use on both the environment and public health. (7.31.14)

Keybridge’s Wescott Headliner at Credit Suisse Global Megatrends Conference

Keybridge’s Wescott Headliner at Credit Suisse Global Megatrends Conference

May 19, 2014

Dr. Robert F. Wescott was one of the headline speakers at the Credit Suisse Global Megatrends Conference in Milan this past March.  He discussed his views on the global economy and key risks and opportunities for investors.  For more information on Keybridge’s latest economic outlook, please contact us at info@keybridgedc.com.

Links: Credit Suisse, Dr. Wescott’s bio


Predicting Gold Prices with the Keybridge U.S. Momentum Monitor

Predicting Gold Prices with the Keybridge U.S. Momentum Monitor

May 15, 2014

Keybridge’s U.S. Economic Momentum Monitor is shown to be a reliable indicator of future movements in gold prices.  This latest Key Insight provides a useful tool for timing investments in gold.

Related Documents: Key Insight – U.S. Momentum Monitor and Gold Prices – May 2014

Lease Foundation & Keybridge Release U.S. Equipment & Software Investment Momentum Monitor

Lease Foundation & Keybridge Release U.S. Equipment & Software Investment Momentum Monitor

May 14, 2014

The ELFF-Keybridge U.S. Equipment & Software Investment Momentum Monitor consists of indices for 12 vertical markets and are designed to identify turning points in their respective investment cycles with a 3 to 6 month lead time. In addition to their presence in the quarterly Economic Outlook, monthly Momentum Monitors are available to Foundation donors free of charge.

Links: Lease Foundation, Keybridge Momentum Monitors