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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 – March 24, 2017

But, I Thought Rates Were to Move Higher – Despite the key interest rate increase the Federal Reserve voted on just a week ago, the financial markets turned the other cheek this week. The three major stock indices posted the worst one-day losses this year. The Dow fell over 200 points for the first time since...


Behind the Numbers – March 17, 2017

Fed Brought Smile to Financial Markets – The long anticipated rate move by the Federal Reserve finally happened, sending a sigh of relief through the financial markets. The Federal Open Market Committee voted nine to one to raise the benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points. The new range is 0.75 to 1.00 percent....


Behind the Numbers – March 10, 2017

JOBS - Is It Enough to Move the Fed? – The official job report for February was solid. The unemployment rate declined to 4.7 percent, 235,000 jobs were added during the month, and wages increased 2.8 percent over a year ago. All signs point to the continuation of a steadily improving labor market and overall...


Behind the Numbers – March 3, 2017

The Fed and Interest Rates? – Headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased more than most analysts projected, driven largely by gains in the always volatile energy sector. Core inflation, which backs out volatile commodities, such as food and energy, is approaching the Fed’s target inflation...


Behind the Numbers – February 24, 2017

Hints Continue to Fall Without Landing – This week contributed more pieces to the rate puzzle, but the complete picture remains a mystery. Minutes from the February 1 FOMC meeting were released mid-week, providing insight into two days of discussion between the 12 voting members of the Federal Reserve...


Behind the Numbers – February 17, 2017

To March or Not to March... – This week was all about the timing of the next Federal Reserve interest rate move. Comments from various Federal Reserve members and a string of solid economic reports spurred bets that a move could happen in March. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave an upbeat...


Behind the Numbers – February 10, 2017

Beginning of an Export Turnaround? – The U.S. trade deficit improved 3.2 percent in December to -$44.3 billion. The improvement came from a 2.7 percent increase in exports, primarily for aircraft and industrial supplies. The increase in exports was the largest since September 2012. Imports rose 1.5 percent on...


Behind the Numbers – February 3, 2017

Is the Waiting Game Back On? – The first Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting of the year came and went with little fanfare this week. As expected, the Committee unanimously voted to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.50 to 0.75 percent. This was the first meeting since...


Behind the Numbers – January 27, 2017

How High Can We Go? – If you listened closely, you may have heard a collective shout of excitement from avid stock investors. After weeks of waiting, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finally broke through the sought-after threshold of 20,000. The market came close to this magical number several...


Behind the Numbers – January 20, 2017

Has Inflation Made Its Debut? – Could it be the Federal Reserve found its crystal ball? In December, the Federal Reserve acknowledged that inflation was moving closer toward their target as one reason for increasing the short-term interest rate. Lo and behold, consumer prices posted their largest annual...


Behind the Numbers – January 13, 2017

The Effect of the Big Red Bows – The first tally of how successful retailers were during the prime holiday shopping months was revealed in the Commerce Department's December retail sales report. Total sales rose 0.6 percent in December, and increased 0.2 percent in November, double the original...


Behind the Numbers – January 6, 2017

Starting the Year with JOBS – The job market finished 2016 on a strong note. During December, 156,000 jobs were added, bringing the total number of jobs gained in 2016 to 2.17 million. This was the sixth consecutive year the U.S. added over two million jobs. The unemployment rate edged up a tenth of...


Behind the Numbers – December 30, 2016

What a Year! – As this is the last weekly economic report for the year, it seems appropriate to give a year-end wrap up in 200 words or less. 2016 will be remembered as a year that kept us on our toes. The year began with expectations for at least two, if not three rate increases, only to...


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