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Behind the Numbers

Catalyst Corporate’s weekly economic commentary is produced by expert advisors, analysts and investment representatives from Catalyst Strategic Solutions. This publication provides a recap of economic events for the prior week, as well as insights regarding the impact economic developments may have on credit unions.


Behind the Numbers – August 11, 2017

Forget Waldo...Where's Inflation? – The Federal Reserve has told us many times that the low level of inflation is transitory, and inflation will eventually manifest. But so far, there has been no sign of sustained price pressure. Both the PPI and CPI gauges of inflation came in below expectations and at or below...


Behind the Numbers – August 4, 2017

All it Takes is an Apple a Day – The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 22,000 on Thursday, marking the 32nd record close this year. This was the event of the week, even if credit unions are focusing more on bonds than stocks. Apple was the catalyst that pushed the index to its next milestone,...


Behind the Numbers – July 28, 2017

Expected Time of Arrival is "Relatively Soon" – The Fed spoke, the market reacted…and now what? More waiting. As expected, after two days of discussion, the FOMC left interest rates unchanged and did not announce an exact beginning to the balance sheet reduction program. The committee did tweak the timing for...


Behind the Numbers – July 21, 2017

Builders Busy, but Bleaker Outlooks – Construction on new homes increased for the first time in four months during June. Housing starts rose 8.3 percent to a 1.22 million annualized pace, the fastest pace since February. The pick-up in activity was a combination of increased activity in single- and multi-family...


Behind the Numbers – July 14, 2017

Do We Sense Some Back Pedaling? – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spent two days this week defending and explaining the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy to members of Congress. The Q&A session elicited a short-lived rally in the financial markets. Yellen suggested the fed funds rate does not have far to...


Behind the Numbers – July 7, 2017

Discussion + Disagreement = Confusion – Minutes from the June FOMC meeting indicate a Federal Reserve that seems confused about a number of things. At the top of the list is inflation, followed by when to begin reducing the balance sheet and how to do so without disrupting the financial markets. Discussions at...


Behind the Numbers – June 30, 2017

1-2-3...About Face – The last week of the month made up for the dullness of the previous three weeks. The financial markets did an about face after global central banks began addressing tighter, rather than easier, monetary policy.


Behind the Numbers – June 16, 2017

The Fed Strikes Again – The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to raise the federal funds rate to a target range between 1.00 and 1.25 percent. This is the third 25 basis point increase the FOMC has conducted in the past six months. The decision to increase the benchmark rate came on...


Behind the Numbers – June 2, 2017

Is 138,000 Enough to Make the Fed Move? – Analysts and economists had hoped for, and expected, a stronger report. The Labor Department reported the U.S. added 138,000 jobs in May, far below the estimated 182,000. Over the past three months, an average 121,000 jobs were added monthly. That average has...


Behind the Numbers – May 26, 2017

New Clues from the FOMCFinally, for a change, the Federal Reserve gave the financial markets some positive information to chew on. The minutes from the early May FOMC meeting revealed policy makers were in fact developing a plan to reduce the balance sheet. 


Behind the Numbers – May 19, 2017

Optimism Winning Over Activity – The housing market is improving, although not as fast and steady as economists wish. Economists were hoping to see a rebound in new home construction in April after unusually harsh weather dampened activity in March. Unfortunately, housing starts in April were a...


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