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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 – February 15, 2019

Can We Trust the Data? – The December retail sales report was shocking, to say the least, especially after what had been reported to be the strongest holiday shopping season in four years. According to the Commerce Department’s report, retail sales fell 1.2 percent, a big miss from the...


Behind the Numbers – February 8, 2019

Mixed Messages – The financial markets operated on a series of mixed messages this week. Stock prices and bond yields moved higher, as fourth quarter corporate earnings continued their positive trend, the government shutdown ended and investors enjoyed a feeling of hopefulness....


Behind the Numbers – February 1, 2019

Powell Practices Patience – The first FOMC meeting of the year gave investors everything they could hope for – patience and a nod to ending the balance sheet reduction program sooner than later. The committee decided after its two-day meeting to be “patient as it determines what future adjustments...


Behind the Numbers – January 25, 2019

'No News'is INCOMPLETE Picture – A week without economic data is like a car without fuel – it goes nowhere. Many of the reporting agencies that provide monthly data on all aspects of the economy have been quieted due to the government shutdown. We are left with a few random reports that provide an...


Behind the Numbers – January 11, 2019

New Meanings Mantra for Fed – The financial markets finally got the Fed’s message from December – the Fed really was trying to sound more dovish than what the market interpreted. The minutes from the December FOMC meeting released this week gave us new meanings for the words used by the...


Behind the Numbers – January 4, 2019

Jobs, Just in Time – It was time for some good economic news, and the monthly job report did not disappoint. The U.S. added 312,000 jobs in December, the largest monthly gain in 10 months. The two-month revision added an additional 58,000 jobs for a total gain of 2.64 million jobs in 2018....


Behind the Numbers – December 21, 2018

A Dove Disguised as a Hawk? – What initially was labeled a "dovish hike," quickly became viewed as extremely hawkish by the financial markets. The Federal Open Market Committee voted unanimously to increase the fed funds rate 25 basis points, making this the fourth move in 2018 and the ninth rate move in three years. The Committee reduced the...


Behind the Numbers – December 14, 2018

Have Prices Peaked? – Inflation appears to be receding after a mid-year peak. The year-over-year rates for both wholesale and consumer prices fell to the lowest levels in more than nine months. Wholesale prices rose 2.5 percent from November 2017, while consumer prices were up 2.2 percent in the same period. The recent plunge in global oil costs is...


Behind the Numbers – December 7, 2018

No Reason to Run for CoverThe sky is falling! Or, in our case, stock prices and bond yields are falling. But the message is the same – this week’s dramatic action in the financial markets may be another Chicken Little situation. Stock investors continue to...


Behind the Numbers – November 30, 2018

He Said, They Said – How many ways can you analyze a speech? Too many, when it comes to the Fed. Analysts, economists and market pundits had a field day on Wednesday trying to interpret the real meaning behind...


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