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Catalyst Connect Archives


Catalyst Connect – August 22, 2017     
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    Mining the Millennial Mindset: Is your credit union engaging with the largest generation in modern history? One Catalyst Corporate employee shares her insights from Cornerstone Credit Union League's recent Young Professionals Conference in an effort to help credit union leaders across multiple generations better understand the millennial mindset.

    An Economic Forum BONUS! Catalyst Corporate Economic Forum attendees are invited to maximize learning opportunities at two early-morning bonus sessions. Led by experts from Catalyst Strategic Solutions and CU Investment Solutions, these sessions will tackle topics of interest in a changing rate environment.

    Keep Your Tokens Current: Is your ACH Online token expiring soon? To find out, view either the issue date (month and year) or expiration date (month, day and year) on the back of the token. Tokens are good for up to five years. If you need a replacement or have any questions, please email ach@catalystcorp.org.

    You’ve Got Mail: See what's new at Catalyst Corporate. The third quarter 2017 SCAN publication should arrive in your mailbox this week. If you can't wait, it's also available online.

    Upcoming Training and Education: Security Safekeeping Transition Training (Aug. 30), CECL Overview and Analytics (Aug. 31), TranZact for the Accounting Department (Sept. 6) and Evaluating Mortgage-Backed Securities & Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (Sept. 14).



Catalyst Connect – August 15, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – August 8, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – August 1, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – July 25, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – July 18, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – July 11, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – June 27, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – June 20, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – June 13, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – June 6, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – May 30, 2017     
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    Strengthen Your Portfolio Management: At the CUNA CFO Council Conference last week, Catalyst Strategic Solutions’ VP of advisory service gave CFOs direction and perspective on portfolio management. Topics covered included balance sheet strategies, market and investment trends and key components of investment portfolio management.

    Member Feedback Requested: Member Loyalty Group emailed Catalyst Corporate’s Member Survey to credit unions May 16. If you have not responded to this brief survey, please check May 16 emails in your inbox OR watch for a follow-up email from MLG this Thursday, June 1. Your input is appreciated!

    Mind Your Business… Services: Is your credit union positioned to provide funding, fee-generating deposit accounts and payment services to the growing small business community? Catalyst Corporate VP of sales, Karen Coble, gives insights on ways your credit union can support, engage and advise the SEGs and small businesses in your community.

    This Quarter's Numbers: Review Catalyst Corporate's performance through the first quarter of 2017. The Q1 Progress Summary offers information about membership growth, key performance ratios and more.

    June Education Opportunities: ACH Origination (June 14), Deposit Capture Research and Accounting (June 21), ALM Series Part 1: An Orientation (June 22), Manage Rising Rates with Derivatives (June 27) and CUBG’s Commercial Real Estate Lending for Credit Unions (Plano, TX June 28-29).



Catalyst Connect – May 23, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – May 16, 2017     
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    1.5 Billion and Counting: Catalyst Corporate recently surpassed $1.5 billion in loan participations since the program's inception. See how selling loans through this program has helped one credit union manage balance sheet liquidity, risk and key regulatory ratios, while keeping assets in the credit union industry.

    Where in the World…? Located just east of Romania and south of Ukraine is Moldova. Despite a recent decrease in Moldova’s poverty levels, it remains one of the poorest countries in Europe. Catalyst Corporate Chief Operating Officer Brad Ganey visited credit unions in Moldova to explore ways to improve and stabilize their payments infrastructure.

    Unlock the Secrets of Business Lending: Credit unions have long gravitated toward investment real estate as a way to do business lending. The source of repayment on these loans is easy to understand and is generated primarily from rental income. However, lending to operational businesses can add diversity to a credit union's loan portfolio.

    You’ve Got Mail! Earlier today, credit unions received Catalyst Corporate’s Member Survey by email from Member Loyalty Group. Please take a moment to respond to this very brief survey on your business relationship with Catalyst Corporate and Catalyst Strategic Solutions. Your input is appreciated!

    Upcoming Training Opportunities: Funds Transfer Services (May 17), Deposit Chek® Reports on TranZact (May 24) and ACH Origination (June 14).



Catalyst Connect – May 9, 2017     
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    Loan Participations – A Buyer’s Perspective: Many credit unions today are faced with excess deposits. See how loan participations are helping credit unions, such as Service 1st Credit Union, meet this challenge.

    Climbing the Investment Ladder: An “investment ladder” is more than just a catchy phrase, says Leah Schlangen, a Catalyst Corporate investment officer. It's an important strategy in managing a credit union's investment portfolio.

    Checking Accounts Live On! As long as checking accounts continue to play a viable role in members' lives, credit unions will need to continue processing those checks. Why not consolidate your credit union's check processing, settlement and liquidity with Catalyst Corporate?

    Heads Up: In coming days, Catalyst Corporate will conduct its annual Member Survey. Credit unions will receive a seven-question email survey from Member Loyalty Group, requesting feedback on your business relationship with Catalyst Corporate and Catalyst Strategic Solutions. Your input is valued immensely. Please take a moment to respond to this very short questionnaire.

    May Education and Training: Funds Transfer Services (May 17) and Deposit Chek® Reports on TranZact (May 24).



Catalyst Connect – May 2, 2017     
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    How Will Members React to a Rising Rate Environment?  A lot has changed since the last rising rate cycle. How will these changes affect your members' financial behavior? Catalyst Corporate advisor, Jonathan Jackson, shares his insights in a new blog post.

    Small Business Week: April 30 - May 6 is National Small Business Week. Did you know Catalyst Corporate assists credit unions in meeting small business member needs? See how these offerings can enhance your small business services portfolio.

    Design to Mobile: A consistent user experience across all service delivery channels reduces "friction" for your members. Brad Ganey, chief operating officer of Catalyst Corporate, explains the importance of a mobile-only experience regardless, of what online device is used – smartphone, tablet, wearable or desktop.

    All Things ACH: Phase 2 of Same-Day ACH takes effect September 15, 2017. Is your credit union ready? Check out the latest issue of Catalyst Corporate's ACH Advisor for more on Catalyst Corporate’s Same-Day debit tutorial, as well as a special feature on the roles of ODFIs and Originators.

    May Training Opportunities: Funds Transfer Services (May 17) and Deposit Chek® Reports on TranZact (May 24).



Catalyst Connect – April 25, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – April 18, 2017     
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    Making the Most of Mobile: If you believe mobile services and millennials are important to the future of our industry, we’ve got to do a better job of learning their language, StrategyCorps' Dave DeFazio told a credit union audience last week. How can we do better? He shared a few ideas…

    Siems Joins Forum Lineup: Federal Reserve economist and storyteller Thomas Siems joins the list of presenters at Catalyst Corporate’s 40th annual Economic Forum, set for Oct 2-4 at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Las Colinas.

    Manage Interest Rate Risk with Derivatives: Hedging risk with derivatives is uncharted territory for many credit unions. Find out how they work, how to make them part of your ALM framework and what NCUA guidance says about them at an upcoming webinar.

    Training Opportunities: Corporate Checking & Positive Pay (April 19), Lessons from the World’s Mobile Experience Leaders (April 28) and CUBG’s Commercial Real Estate Lending for Credit Unions  (Portland, OR, May 2-3).



Catalyst Connect – April 11, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – April 4, 2017     
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    Cut Fraud with CardNav: Card fraud remains a big concern for many credit union members. Catalyst Corporate's Card Services program protects members from fraudulent activity with CardNav – a service giving debit and ATM cardholders the ability to turn on and off their cards, set controls and receive alerts.

    Insights from Catalyst: Stress. It’s just one syllable, but it could have a disastrous effect on one’s mind, body and soul. A stressed balance sheet could be just as detrimental to a credit union and its members. See the important role liquidity stress testing plays. Check out Catalyst Corporate's new blog – Insights from Catalyst.

    ALM Services Take Center Stage: Sit back and enjoy the show! Watch Catalyst Strategic Solutions' four new videos (look for the film icon under "Resources" at the bottom of the page) to learn what your peers are saying about ALM services.

    Upcoming Education and Training: Student Loan Program Overview (April 6), TranZact Basics for the User (April 12), Corporate Checking & Positive Pay (April 19) and CUBG’s Commercial Real Estate Lending for Credit Unions  (Portland, OR, May 2-3).



Catalyst Connect – March 28, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – March 21, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – March 14, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – March 7, 2017     
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    Timeless Conundrum? Modern Solution: Checking accounts aren’t what they used to be – and that could be good for credit unions. Read how Catalyst Corporate's Checking with Benefits offers a solution to the declining financial productivity of checking accounts.

    Your Source for Everything ACH: Have questions about Phase 2 of Same-Day ACH? Want to register for Catalyst Corporate's ACH webinar series? Check out the latest ACH Advisor and stay in-the-know about all things ACH.

    Lock Down Information Security: Credit unions often lack the internal resources to manage ongoing information security. Digital Defense, Inc., Catalyst Corporate's partner for information security, works with more than 800 credit unions to identify vulnerabilities that open the door to cyber-criminals and hacktivists. See how DDI recently helped one credit union bolster its data protection efforts.

    March Training Opportunities: TranZact for the Accounting Department (March 8), Cash Services (March 15), CUBG’s Business Lending Bootcamp (March 21-22) and ACH Rules – Returns & Exception Processing (March 22).



Catalyst Connect – February 28, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – February 21, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – February 14, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – February 7, 2017     
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    Differentiation is Key to Mobile Banking: Differentiation may be one reason 15 percent of banks and credit unions with mobile banking apps changed vendors in 2016, 2015 and 2014. See how Catalyst Corporate is helping credit unions stay on top of mobile banking trends and technology.

    Howdy, Partner: Catalyst Corporate values partner relationships with CUSOs that provide high-quality training and educational opportunities. CU Business Group is one CUSO that offers year-round learning opportunities for credit union staff, including its upcoming Business Lending Bootcamp.

    The Future of Freddie and Fannie: While the new administration may bring change to housing finance reform, no one knows what that will look like. Dan Abdill, Senior Investment Officer for Catalyst Corporate, explains what the future could hold for the housing finance market.

    Upcoming Educational Opportunities: TranZact Administration (February 8), Share Drafts (February 15), ACH Rules – The Basics (February 22) and TranZact for the Accounting Department (March 8).



Catalyst Connect – January 31, 2017     
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    Benefit from a Brokerage Account: Credit unions have unique needs, and having a brokerage partner who understands these needs is refreshing. Catalyst Corporate, in partnership with credit union-owned CU Investment Solutions (ISI), delivers customized portfolio strategies through its experienced team of registered representatives.

    Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Catalyst Corporate’s experts have a lot to say, and they’re using the CU Resources blog to spread those messages. Read their guest-blog posts, published the last Thursday of each month since August 2016.

    Calling All Executives: Catalyst Corporate's brief Quarterly CU Confidence Survey closes TONIGHT (January 31) at midnight. Through your answers, the survey measures the attitudes of credit union CEOs nationwide regarding the economic environment.

    Upcoming Training Opportunities: TranZact Administration (February 8), Share Drafts (February 15) and ACH Rules – The Basics (February 22).



Catalyst Connect – January 24, 2017     
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    Increase Remote Deposit Efficiency:TranzCapture’s Teller Capture service can increase credit union efficiency by eliminating many manual processes associated with remote deposit.

    There's Still Time: Have you registered for Catalyst Corporate's Accelerating Success Conference yet? Don't miss hearing leading industry experts, networking with credit union peers and connecting with Catalyst Corporate executives.

    New SSAE16 Statement: To demonstrate its compliance with internal controls for operations, information and systems, Catalyst Corporate engaged a firm to perform an SSAE16 review for the period Oct. 2015-Sept. 2016. The review is available in TranZact under Settings/(any page)/Related Documents.

    Catalyst Corporate Members Show the Love: Members from more than three dozen credit unions will “show the love” by drawing hearts on checks deposited via their credit union’s Mobile Capture service. The "Capture My Heart" promotion runs February 7-14.

    Training and Educational Opportunities: TranZact Administration (February 8), Share Drafts (February 15) and ACH Rules – The Basics (February 22).



Catalyst Connect – January 17, 2017     
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Catalyst Connect – January 10, 2017     
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    Blueprint for Success Streaming Live TODAY! Join Catalyst Corporate at 1 p.m. CT Tuesday, Jan. 10 for the fourth annual Blueprint for Success economic outlook. Don't miss a chance to hear predictions for this year's economy, earn CPE credit and ask industry experts your most pressing questions.

    Member Update: This week, Catalyst Corporate CEO Kathy Garner will provide a Fourth Quarter 2016 Member Update, sharing results of financial performance goals and key strategic initiatives, along with highlights for 2017. The Member Update video will be available Thursday, Jan. 12 at www.catalystcorp.org.

    CEOs to Share Leadership Lessons: A panel of credit union CEOs from across the country will share what they’ve learned about inspiring their employees at Catalyst Corporate's Accelerating Success Conference. Register by Jan. 13 for Early Bird pricing!

    Catalyst Corporate Closed Monday: Catalyst Corporate will close Monday, Jan. 16, to observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. See Catalyst Corporate’s holiday schedule.

    Training Opportunities: TranZact Basics for the User (January 11), ACH Receipt & Returns with Catalyst (January 18) and TranZact Administration(February 8).



Catalyst Connect – January 3, 2017     
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    Interact with Blueprint for Success: Hear predictions for this year's economy AND earn your first CPE credit of 2017 without ever leaving your desk. Catalyst Corporate’s Blueprint for Success will stream live on January 10 at 1 p.m. Central Time. Attendees will have a chance to interact with the speakers.

    What Can We Expect in 2017? The beginning of a new year brings a new administration and a new economic agenda. What does that mean for the economy? Steven Rick, chief economist for CUNA Mutual Group, will share his thoughts during his presentation at Catalyst Corporate’s Accelerating Success Conference next month.

    Catalyst Strategic Solutions Survey Results: Each year, Catalyst Strategic Solutions conducts ALM and Advisory Service surveys to measure client satisfaction levels. Check out the results from the 2016 surveys.

    Upcoming Training and Education: TranZact Basics for the User (January 11) and ACH Receipt & Returns with Catalyst (January 18).



Catalyst Connect – December 27, 2016     
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    Registration Now Open: Register now for Catalyst Corporate’s Blueprint for Success. Designed to provide credit unions with an economic outlook and insights for strategic planning in 2017, the interactive event will stream live January 10 at 1 p.m. Central Time.

    Early Bird Gets the Deal: Start the new year with a little more dough in your pocket. Register for Catalyst Corporate’s Accelerating Success Conference before January 13 and save $75 on the registration fee! And, reserve your room at the Omni National Resort at $199 per night by January 13.

    'Capture My Heart' Coming Soon! Credit union members can show the love in February! For the third year, Catalyst Corporate will offer a Valentine-themed Capture my Heart Campaign to help  credit unions boost member awareness and usage of Mobile Capture services.

    Happy New Year! We have enjoyed working with members in 2016 and look forward to seeing everyone in 2017!

    January Training and Education: TranZact Basics for the User (January 11) and ACH Receipt & Returns with Catalyst (January 18).



Catalyst Connect – December 20, 2016     
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    Save the Date for Blueprint for Success: Blueprint for Success, the first of many financial management educational programs that Catalyst Corporate and Catalyst Strategic Solutions will offer in 2017, will stream live January 10 at 1 p.m. Central Time. The presentation is designed to help credit unions understand how unfolding economic activity may influence strategic planning in 2017.

    Crafting the Ideal Member Experience: How do you market your credit union to members who don’t all fit into the same mold? Kelly McDonald, president of an award-winning advertising and marketing firm, will present strategies to do just that at Catalyst Corporate’s Accelerating Success Conference.

    Closed for the Holidays: Catalyst Corporate will close Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2, to observe the Christmas and New Year holidays. See Catalyst Corporate’s holiday schedule.

    Upcoming Training Opportunities: TranZact Basics for the User (January 11) and ACH Receipt & Returns with Catalyst (January 18).



Catalyst Connect – December 13, 2016     
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    All TranzCapture Services are Live: TranzCapture, Catalyst Corporate’s new deposit capture service suite is now fully operational. Thirty-six credit unions are already on the Branch Capture service.

    Tee Off with Catalyst Corporate: Still searching for the perfect holiday gift? How about a chance to tee off on one of the premier golf courses in the country? Attendees of Catalyst Corporate’s 2017 Accelerating Success Conference are invited to a golf outing at the Catalina Course at the Omni National Resort in Tucson on February 15.

    Update Your Contacts in TranZact: Catalyst Corporate will conduct a Contingency Communications exercise on Wednesday, December 14 at 10 a.m. Central Time.

    Training and Education Opportunities: TranZact Basics for the User (January 11) and ACH Receipt & Returns with Catalyst (January 18).



Catalyst Connect – December 6, 2016     
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    A Checking With Benefits Road Trip: When you're responsible for marketing a new service to your members, you should know how it works. Prior to launching Catalyst Corporate's Checking with Benefits mobile rewards app, one credit union marketing director took it for a 1,500 mile test drive!

    Take a Credit Union Learning Tour: “You don’t know what you don’t know,” is how Bobby Michael, CEO of Army Aviation Center FCU, explained a “learning journey” that he and executives of four other credit unions took this summer. He will share his experience at Catalyst Corporate's Accelerating Success Conference.

    Calling All Members/Owners: Join us at Catalyst Corporate’s 2017 Annual Meeting, Thursday, February 16, 12 p.m. at the Omni National Resort in Tucson, AZ. The official notice, including the Nominating Committee's slate for board of directors, was mailed to member credit unions last week. The Annual Meeting is scheduled during the Accelerating Success Conference.

    TranZact Corporate Checking Enhancements: On December 7, Catalyst Corporate will introduce several enhancements to its Corporate Checking module in TranZact. Most notable are a streamlined Positive Pay search function, three years of check history and a new Stop Payment report. View Catalyst Corporate's on-demand training for more information on these new features.

    Contingency Communication: Catalyst Corporate will conduct a Contingency Communications exercise on Wednesday, December 14 at 10 a.m. Central Time.



Catalyst Connect – November 29, 2016     
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    2017 Product Training Schedule is Now Online: Registration is open for Catalyst Corporate’s 2017 product training webinars. Topics range from cash services to fraud protection to ACH rules. All webinars are free.

    Staying Relevent – What Credit Unions Need to Know: Today’s most popular mobile apps define the way consumers absorb information, connect with others, manage their finances and get through everyday tasks, said Dave DeFazio at a recent conference. DeFazio will share his insights for competing with big banks in a free encore performance.

    ACH Central Debuts a New Look: Phase 1 of Same-Day ACH is in the books, but Catalyst Corporate's ACH Central is still home to vital information about all things ACH. Check out the redesigned website and the latest ACH Advisor.

    Q4 SCAN is Headed Your Way: Catalyst Corporate's most recent SCAN publication, which highlights the 2017 Accelerating Success Conference, customizable marketing materials and more will arrive in your mailboxes this week. You can also view the Fourth Quarter SCAN online.

    2016 Education and Training: New Features in Positive Pay (Dec. 1) and Loan Portfolio Analytics (Dec. 1).


Contact Catalyst Corporate if you are looking for an older issue of [Connect/SCAN/Behind the Numbers].


SCAN Archives


SCAN Third Quarter 2017
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SCAN Second Quarter 2017
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SCAN First Quarter 2017
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SCAN Fourth Quarter 2016
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Contact Catalyst Corporate if you are looking for an older issue of [Connect/SCAN/Behind the Numbers].


Behind the Numbers Archives


Behind the Numbers – August 18, 2017
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...


Behind the Numbers – July 14, 2017
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Do We Sense Some Back Pedaling? – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spent two days this week defending and explaining the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy to members of Congress. The Q&A session elicited a short-lived rally in the financial markets. Yellen suggested the fed funds rate does not have far to...


Behind the Numbers – July 7, 2017
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Discussion + Disagreement = Confusion – Minutes from the June FOMC meeting indicate a Federal Reserve that seems confused about a number of things. At the top of the list is inflation, followed by when to begin reducing the balance sheet and how to do so without disrupting the financial markets. Discussions at...


Behind the Numbers – June 30, 2017
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1-2-3...About Face – The last week of the month made up for the dullness of the previous three weeks. The financial markets did an about face after global central banks began addressing tighter, rather than easier, monetary policy.


Behind the Numbers – June 16, 2017
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...


Behind the Numbers – March 17, 2017
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Fed Brought Smile to Financial Markets – The long anticipated rate move by the Federal Reserve finally happened, sending a sigh of relief through the financial markets. The Federal Open Market Committee voted nine to one to raise the benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points. The new range is 0.75 to 1.00 percent....


Behind the Numbers – March 10, 2017
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JOBS - Is It Enough to Move the Fed? – The official job report for February was solid. The unemployment rate declined to 4.7 percent, 235,000 jobs were added during the month, and wages increased 2.8 percent over a year ago. All signs point to the continuation of a steadily improving labor market and overall...


Behind the Numbers – March 3, 2017
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The Fed and Interest Rates? – Headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased more than most analysts projected, driven largely by gains in the always volatile energy sector. Core inflation, which backs out volatile commodities, such as food and energy, is approaching the Fed’s target inflation...


Behind the Numbers – February 24, 2017
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Hints Continue to Fall Without Landing – This week contributed more pieces to the rate puzzle, but the complete picture remains a mystery. Minutes from the February 1 FOMC meeting were released mid-week, providing insight into two days of discussion between the 12 voting members of the Federal Reserve...


Behind the Numbers – February 17, 2017
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To March or Not to March... – This week was all about the timing of the next Federal Reserve interest rate move. Comments from various Federal Reserve members and a string of solid economic reports spurred bets that a move could happen in March. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave an upbeat...


Behind the Numbers – February 10, 2017
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Beginning of an Export Turnaround? – The U.S. trade deficit improved 3.2 percent in December to -$44.3 billion. The improvement came from a 2.7 percent increase in exports, primarily for aircraft and industrial supplies. The increase in exports was the largest since September 2012. Imports rose 1.5 percent on...


Behind the Numbers – February 3, 2017
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Is the Waiting Game Back On? – The first Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting of the year came and went with little fanfare this week. As expected, the Committee unanimously voted to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.50 to 0.75 percent. This was the first meeting since...


Behind the Numbers – January 27, 2017
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How High Can We Go? – If you listened closely, you may have heard a collective shout of excitement from avid stock investors. After weeks of waiting, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finally broke through the sought-after threshold of 20,000. The market came close to this magical number several...


Behind the Numbers – January 20, 2017
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Has Inflation Made Its Debut? – Could it be the Federal Reserve found its crystal ball? In December, the Federal Reserve acknowledged that inflation was moving closer toward their target as one reason for increasing the short-term interest rate. Lo and behold, consumer prices posted their largest annual...


Behind the Numbers – January 13, 2017
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The Effect of the Big Red Bows – The first tally of how successful retailers were during the prime holiday shopping months was revealed in the Commerce Department's December retail sales report. Total sales rose 0.6 percent in December, and increased 0.2 percent in November, double the original...


Behind the Numbers – January 6, 2017
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Starting the Year with JOBS – The job market finished 2016 on a strong note. During December, 156,000 jobs were added, bringing the total number of jobs gained in 2016 to 2.17 million. This was the sixth consecutive year the U.S. added over two million jobs. The unemployment rate edged up a tenth of...


Behind the Numbers – December 30, 2016
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What a Year! – As this is the last weekly economic report for the year, it seems appropriate to give a year-end wrap up in 200 words or less. 2016 will be remembered as a year that kept us on our toes. The year began with expectations for at least two, if not three rate increases, only to...


Behind the Numbers – December 16, 2016
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A Vote of Confidence – Finally, we got what we expected – a 25 basis point increase in the federal funds rate. The Federal Open Market Committee voted unanimously to increase the target lending rate to a range between 0.50 to 0.75 percent. During the press conference following the FOMC...


Behind the Numbers – December 9, 2016
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All the Noise Came from Stocks – This week did not provide any significant market-moving data, just several reports that help fill in the economic puzzle. The real story this week was yet another series of record-breaking closes in the stock market. The three key stock indices reached new highs many times this...


Behind the Numbers – December 2, 2016
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Unemployment is Lowest in Nine Years – You saw it here first. This is a how your local media will report the latest news from the Labor Department: the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in November, the lowest rate since August 2007. The household measure comes from twice as many people leaving the...

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