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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 – October 13, 2017

Inflation Spike - Real or Temporary? – The puzzle of rising, or not rising, prices was evident in the September inflation data. Both producer and consumer prices increased at a faster pace than in August, with most of the gain coming from higher energy and gasoline prices as the hurricanes shut down refining...


Behind the Numbers – October 6, 2017

Ignore the Bad, Applaud the Good – Everyone knew to expect an unusually weak job report for September, due to the hurricanes. We were not disappointed. U.S. employers experienced a net decline of 33,000 jobs in September, much worse than the anticipated increase of just 80,000 jobs and the first negative...


Behind the Numbers – September 29, 2017

Housing's Eroding Foundation – The foundation of the housing market is crumbling, or at the very least, stalled and stagnant. Rising prices and dwindling inventory continue to erode progress made the past two years. National home prices rose 5.9 percent in July from a year ago. This is the highest annual...


Behind the Numbers – September 22, 2017

Let the Unwinding Begin! – The Federal Reserve gave the markets what they wanted, and more, this week. As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced the long-promised balance sheet normalization program will begin in October. The Fed will allow $10 billion in Treasury and...


Behind the Numbers – September 15, 2017

Inflation - Here to Stay? – Inflation has become the single most important measure of the economy this year, especially the closer we get to a Federal Reserve meeting. As critical as it is to get this indicator right, it is becoming more difficult. And Mother Nature will create additional challenges in the...


Behind the Numbers – September 8, 2017

Politics, Weather and Nuclear Threats – There is nothing like a few threats to get the market going. If you were one of the many people who thought bond yields could only move higher this year, well…you may need rethink that. Bond yields and stock prices trended lower this week, mostly in a flight to safety move...


Behind the Numbers – September 1, 2017

Job Weakness - Real or Fake News? – A pattern has developed for the Labor Department’s August job report – revise it higher after the initial report. It is creating a lot of debate this time around. Was today’s report another one to ignore? Is it closer to reality this time? Or even worse, is it the last clean report we will...


Behind the Numbers – August 18, 2017

Crank Up the Music – The minutes from the July Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting presented a committee still confused and debating over their next move. The committee is struggling to balance concerns over low inflation and a labor market that is close to full employment...


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...


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