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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 – June 16, 2017

The Fed Strikes Again – The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to raise the federal funds rate to a target range between 1.00 and 1.25 percent. This is the third 25 basis point increase the FOMC has conducted in the past six months. The decision to increase the benchmark rate came on...


Behind the Numbers – June 2, 2017

Is 138,000 Enough to Make the Fed Move? – Analysts and economists had hoped for, and expected, a stronger report. The Labor Department reported the U.S. added 138,000 jobs in May, far below the estimated 182,000. Over the past three months, an average 121,000 jobs were added monthly. That average has...


Behind the Numbers – May 26, 2017

New Clues from the FOMCFinally, for a change, the Federal Reserve gave the financial markets some positive information to chew on. The minutes from the early May FOMC meeting revealed policy makers were in fact developing a plan to reduce the balance sheet. 


Behind the Numbers – May 19, 2017

Optimism Winning Over Activity – The housing market is improving, although not as fast and steady as economists wish. Economists were hoping to see a rebound in new home construction in April after unusually harsh weather dampened activity in March. Unfortunately, housing starts in April were a...


Behind the Numbers – May 12, 2017

Retail May Not Be Dead...Yet – Retail sales rebounded in April, bringing a sigh of relief to economists who feared consumers had lost their appetite for spending money. Not only did April sales increase 0.4 percent, but March sales were revised higher. The look back means spending was not as weak in the first...


Behind the Numbers – May 5, 2017

Two Days and Nothing New – The two-day FOMC meeting revealed nothing new. The committee voted unanimously to keep the target interest rate at 0.75 to 1.00 percent. The press release noted that while economic activity slowed and household spending improved only modestly, fundamentals...


Behind the Numbers – April 28, 2017

Spending stunts growth – Despite feeling confident about the economy and financial conditions, consumers did not put their money where their expectations were in the first quarter. Consumer spending hit a roadblock during the first quarter of 2017, bringing economic growth...


Behind the Numbers – April 21, 2017

Housing remains on firm foundation – The unusual weather patterns in February and March created fluctuations in the housing market that appear concerning at first glance. However, when you compare the two months' data together, the activity becomes normal. Construction of new homes declined...


Behind the Numbers – April 14, 2017

Has Inflation Reached its Peak Already? – Two key measures of inflation are already beginning to show signs of softening after February’s PCE (personal consumption expenditures) index topped the Federal Reserve’s target of two percent. Both the consumer and producer price indices declined in March. Producer prices...


Behind the Numbers – April 7, 2017

Weather and Retail Wreak Havoc in March – March ended the stunning job growth of recent months. Employers added 98,000 jobs in March versus the expected 180,000 jobs. The two-month revision subtracted 38,000 jobs. Harsh weather and a decline in retail created most of the losses. Retail lost 30,000 jobs for the...


Behind the Numbers – March 31, 2017

Game of Financial Tug-of-War – This week felt like a game of tug-of-war. After watching the financial markets move in one direction last week, this week they pulled back and forth. The markets kept trying to regain ground each day, with stock prices and bond yields doing their best to move higher. Strong...


Behind the Numbers – March 24, 2017

But, I Thought Rates Were to Move Higher – Despite the key interest rate increase the Federal Reserve voted on just a week ago, the financial markets turned the other cheek this week. The three major stock indices posted the worst one-day losses this year. The Dow fell over 200 points for the first time since...


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