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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 – March 22, 2019

Be Careful What You Ask For – Has anyone recovered from Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announcement? I, for one, am still shocked and a bit annoyed at the Fed for being so open with its thoughts. The financial markets were hoping to gain clarity about future interest moves...


Behind the Numbers – March 15, 2019

My Warning was Warranted – This time last month, I sent out a warning suggesting we not give up hope on consumers’ desire to shop. At that time, the Commerce Department reported retail sales plummeted 1.2 percent in December, the worst drop in nine years. It wasn’t clear if the data was...


Behind the Numbers – March 8, 2019

Where Did the Jobs Go? – Hello? The Labor Department reported the U.S. added just 20,000 jobs in February. That is much, much lower than the 180,000 that was expected. Even if you believe the economy is slowing, this number is surely too low. The last time the job number was this low was...


Behind the Numbers – March 1, 2019

No Doubt Anymore – If there was any doubt about the Fed’s agenda, that was erased this week. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s two-day testimony before Congress confirmed the Fed is in a holding pattern. In a follow up to last week’s release of the January FOMC minutes, Powell...


Behind the Numbers – February 15, 2019

Can We Trust the Data? – The December retail sales report was shocking, to say the least, especially after what had been reported to be the strongest holiday shopping season in four years. According to the Commerce Department’s report, retail sales fell 1.2 percent, a big miss from the...


Behind the Numbers – February 8, 2019

Mixed Messages – The financial markets operated on a series of mixed messages this week. Stock prices and bond yields moved higher, as fourth quarter corporate earnings continued their positive trend, the government shutdown ended and investors enjoyed a feeling of hopefulness....


Behind the Numbers – February 1, 2019

Powell Practices Patience – The first FOMC meeting of the year gave investors everything they could hope for – patience and a nod to ending the balance sheet reduction program sooner than later. The committee decided after its two-day meeting to be “patient as it determines what future adjustments...


Behind the Numbers – January 25, 2019

'No News' is an INCOMPLETE Picture – A week without economic data is like a car without fuel – it goes nowhere. Many of the reporting agencies that provide monthly data on all aspects of the economy have been quieted due to the government shutdown. We are left with a few random reports that provide an...


Behind the Numbers – January 11, 2019

New Meanings Mantra for Fed – The financial markets finally got the Fed’s message from December – the Fed really was trying to sound more dovish than what the market interpreted. The minutes from the December FOMC meeting released this week gave us new meanings for the words used by the...


Behind the Numbers – January 4, 2019

Jobs, Just in Time – It was time for some good economic news, and the monthly job report did not disappoint. The U.S. added 312,000 jobs in December, the largest monthly gain in 10 months. The two-month revision added an additional 58,000 jobs for a total gain of 2.64 million jobs in 2018....


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