Catalyst News

Catching Ping Pong Balls and the Latest Economic Insights, Now Easier than Ever

by Catalyst Corporate | Jul 02, 2021

With economic indicators bouncing around like a spilled box of ping-pong balls, a panel of Catalyst Strategic Solutions advisory experts assembled in late June to help credit unions sort through recent developments and form an independent view of the economy. 

The Mid-Year Economic Update webinar featured commentary and insights from Mark DeBree, managing principal of Catalyst Strategic Solutions, along with Steven Houle, vice president of advisory services, and Chris Shipman, senior advisor. Together, they examined the economic trends dominating the first half of 2021 and provided guidance and strategic options for navigating the remainder of the year.

One key observation? Inflation is back.

“There has been a spike in inflation in recent months,” Houle noted.  “The question is: is it here to stay or is it transitory?”

Houle pointed out that the Federal Reserve has signaled it believes inflationary pressures to be temporary – fueled, in part, by “pipeline challenges.” Nevertheless, Houle said he expects the Fed to monitor inflation closely so that it does not exceed the two percent target.

The Fed has committed to watching it closely. And economists are thinking the Fed might increase rates twice in 2023.

Another noteworthy and impactful trend is the nation’s tightening employment market. During the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment shot to 15 percent. However, in recent months, the unemployment rate has fallen to under six percent. Houle noted there were 9.3 million job openings in April, the highest in more than 10 years.

After sorting through key economic data, presenters offered thoughts on how credit unions can best position for the changes ahead – including putting excess cash into higher-earning short-term investments and managing liquidity trends as the economic recovery continues.

For more insights, view the on-demand presentation here, or contact Catalyst Strategic Solutions for a one-on-one review of your balance sheet.