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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 – December 8, 2017

Jobs Increase, Wages Disappoint – It was another stellar month for job growth. The U.S. added 228,000 jobs in November, many more than estimated. Business services, manufacturing and construction were among the industries with the largest job gains. More full-time than part-time positions were placed,...


Behind the Numbers – December 1, 2017

Best Growth Spurt in Three Years – The economy grew at 3.3 percent in the third quarter, an improvement from the original estimate of 3.0 percent. This is the fastest pace of quarterly growth in three years. The bulk of the increase came from the business sector. Business equipment spending increased 10.4 percent...


Behind the Numbers – November 17, 2017

Enough to Make the Fed Move? – Inflation is showing signs of normalizing, as the aftermath effects of the hurricanes begin to subside. The core wholesale price index, PPI, increased 2.4 percent year-over-year in October, a gain of 0.2 percent from September. This is the largest 12-month gain in core...


Behind the Numbers – November 10, 2017

Bits and Pieces – Very little market-moving economic data was released this week. Instead, the financial markets were driven by other issues – arrests in Saudi Arabia, Treasury auctions and progress (or lack thereof) on the tax reform program. By the end of the week, stocks plummeted as...


Behind the Numbers – November 3, 2017

More of the Same, with a Twist – This week's scheduled FOMC meeting was basically a non-event as far as the financial markets were concerned. The target range for the federal funds rate was left unchanged at 1.00 to 1.25 percent. The committee gave a better grade on economic activity this time around...


Behind the Numbers – October 27, 2017

The Economy is Humming Along – It has been two years since the U.S. economy had back-to-back quarters of three percent or more growth. Until now. The economy grew 3.0 percent during the third quarter, after expanding 3.1 percent in the second quarter. Analysts had been bracing for a slowdown...


Behind the Numbers – October 20, 2017

Housing - A Tale of Two Cities – Activity in the housing market during September paints a good picture of the inconsistencies stemming from hurricane recovery efforts. Sales of existing homes rose 0.7 percent, the first increase in three months, as the housing market in Houston began to recover. Houston...


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...


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