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Behind the Numbers

Catalyst Corporate’s weekly economic commentary is produced by expert advisors, consultants 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 – July 13, 2018

Up, Up, Up She Goes – Both the wholesale and consumer price indices are moving in the direction the Federal Reserve has been counting on. While the monthly measures were on par or just below the prior month’s readings, the June year-over-year levels were the highest in over six years. PPI...


Behind the Numbers – July 6, 2018

Goldilocks is in the House Again – June’s job report is being described as “just so-so” and “steady as she goes.” Job additions were better than expected (up 213,000), wage gain was not so great (0.2 percent for the month, 2.7 percent year-over-year), and the unemployment rate was good and bad (4.0 percent)...


Behind the Numbers – June 29, 2018

Housing Built with Grain of Salt – This week's reports on the housing market should, once again, be taken with a grain of salt. New home sales rose 6.7 percent in May, to the highest level in six months. Sounds like a booming housing market, especially after last week’s report of a five percent jump in housing...


Behind the Numbers – June 22, 2018

A Run on Worry Beads – Most of the week was spent worrying about what-ifs: what if a trade war erupts, what if China plays hard ball, what if General Electric is removed from the Dow? Granted, the last issue wasn't really a major what-if, but more of an "it finally happened" action. After 110 years,...


Behind the Numbers – June 15, 2018

Half My Kingdom for a Glass of Water – Will water become the next great commodity embraced by capitalism, like gold? You may be thinking, "How can that be? It comes down free in buckets, usually when I am planning something outdoors. Seventy percent of the earth is covered in water. You must be crazy." Possibly,...


Behind the Numbers – June 8, 2018

Job Openings Set Records – The Labor Department's Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report for April marked a couple of milestones. While the report showed a record 6.7 million unfilled jobs in April, revisions to March's report showed that, for the first time since tracking began in 2000, the...


Behind the Numbers – June 1, 2018

Job Gains Across the Board – The U.S. added 223,000 jobs in May, about 30,000 more than expected. Aside from an outlying report in February, May was the first time since November that more than 200,000 jobs were added. Even better, the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, the lowest rate since...


Behind the Numbers – May 18, 2018

The Week the Markets Woke Up – The bond market woke up with a vengeance this week to everything that has been talked about for months – trade tariffs, geopolitical issues, and the fate of higher interest rates. After struggling for weeks to stay over three percent, the 10-year Treasury note surged...


Behind the Numbers – May 11, 2018

Inflation...Where Did it Go? – Inflation fear is off the table, at least for this week. Both wholesale and consumer prices rose less than expected in April. In both cases, specific products had significant declines that brought the indices lower. For instance, wholesale food prices declined the most since 2016. On...


Behind the Numbers – May 4, 2018

The Numbers Say it All...Almost – The U.S. added 164,000 jobs in April, the March total was revised higher by 33,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent – the lowest rate since 2000. By those measures, the labor market is humming along quite nicely. The one weak data point in the Labor...


Behind the Numbers – April 27, 2018

The Times They Are A-Changin' – What would Henry Ford think? This past week, Ford, the venerable 115-year-old auto manufacturer that revolutionized manufacturing, wages, production management and, arguably, America, announced that it will, for the most part, abandon the manufacturing of sedans! The maker of such cars as the iconic Thunderbird and the ageless Mustang will limit sedans to approximately 10 percent of its vehicle line...


Behind the Numbers – April 20, 2018

Cha-ching, the Consumer is Back – After a three-month hiatus, the consumer is back in action! Retail sales rose 0.6 percent in March, the first positive report since November. Eight of the 13 industries in the index were positive, with auto sales and personal care stores topping the list. Autos sales increased 2.0...


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