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Behind the Numbers

Catalyst Corporate’s weekly economic commentary is produced by expert advisors, consultants 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 – April 20, 2018

Cha-ching, the Consumer is Back – After a three-month hiatus, the consumer is back in action! Retail sales rose 0.6 percent in March, the first positive report since November. Eight of the 13 industries in the index were positive, with auto sales and personal care stores topping the list. Autos sales increased 2.0...


Behind the Numbers – April 13, 2018

Inflation Higher, But Not Causing Stir – This week’s inflation reports showed a spike in price pressures from a year ago, but not enough to cause panic in the financial markets. The 2.4 percent year-over-year increase in the consumer price index was anticipated, as the impact of the cellphone contract pricing wars from...


Behind the Numbers – April 6, 2018

Jobs - The Payoff is in the Detail – The job report for March may look disappointing at first, but once you dig deeper, the picture is solid. The U.S. added 103,000 jobs last month, the fewest in six months. But, February's already strong gain was increased higher by 13,000 to a startling 326,000 jobs. This...


Behind the Numbers – March 30, 2018

Savings are Soaring...For Now – For the second month in a row, incomes outpaced spending. Personal incomes rose 0.4 percent, and spending increased 0.2 percent in February, a mirror image of activity in January. The wage component of income was up 0.5 percent, suggesting the gain in incomes could...


Behind the Numbers – March 23, 2018

Powell to the Point – The FOMC voted to increase the fed funds rate by 25 basis points, bringing the new target range from 1.50 to 1.75 percent. The committee's outlook on the economy remains optimistic, despite some moderation in recent business and consumer spending. The...


Behind the Numbers – March 16, 2018

Inflation Not a Threat Yet – The markets and investors have been over-worried and over-focused on rising inflation ever since the January job report was released in February. Initial reports of a 2.9 percent annual gain in wages created a wave of panic. Since then, several reports have been released...


Behind the Numbers – March 9, 2018

Job Market Explodes – What a difference a month makes. The February report revealed the largest number of jobs added since June 2016, AND inflation fears were calmed. Employers added 313,000 jobs in February, with an additional 54,000 added in the two-month revisions. Substantial gains...


Behind the Numbers – March 2, 2018

Powell, Tariffs and Stocks - OH MY! – What a week it was in the financial markets. Each day gave us another economic report to dissect and digest, all the while trying to figure out how far the stock market was going to rise and fall by the closing bell. Federal Reserve Chairman (yes, we are back to the full Chairman...


Behind the Numbers – February 16, 2018

Should We Fear Inflation? – It was another wild week for the financial markets. Inflation was the fear factor that drove interest rates higher and created another tumultuous week in the stock market. The markets were bracing for two major inflation reports that would clue us in to how much consumer...


Behind the Numbers – February 9, 2018

And Down We Went – Becoming Fed Chair is a tough job, especially when the stock market has its largest point drop in history on your first day at work. Jerome Powell was faced with this wake-up call on Monday, when the Dow fell almost 1,600 points during the day. Ironically, the plunge was...


Behind the Numbers – February 2, 2018

Jobs Jump in January – Life is good, according to January's job report. Not only did U.S. companies add 200,000 jobs in January, but wages increased the most since 2009. Hourly earnings were up 2.9 percent from a year ago and up 0.3 percent for the month. Some of the wage gains can be...


Behind the Numbers – January 26, 2018

Not Quite Three Percent, but Close – The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent during the fourth quarter of 2017. Consumer and business equipment spending were the largest drivers of activity. Personal consumption jumped 3.8 percent, the best pace in almost a year. Investment in equipment...


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