AgentIndustry News

Slowing economy, the Fed and rate hikes

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

The Fed's statement last week switched from a May forecast for a moderating economy to a declarative: economic growth is moderating. Now. Unlike a certain past-Fed president, the Fed has no history of alternate meanings for the verb "to be" -- is means is. Fed Chair Ben Bernanke got it dead center: every current-condition datum released this week reflected a slowing economy. Moderately slowing, but slowing, which has held long-term rates just below their highs. This morning's payroll data for June disappointed everyone except bond traders, the actual 121,000 gain less than half of many forecasts. The twin surveys by the purchasing managers' association slid in June, below the May readings and below forecast. Note that this moderation should not be confused with a pre-recession table-edge: unemployment is at or below the lowest tolerable for inflation risk, 4.6 percent; there is no up-tick in layoffs; and wage growth at almost 4 percent year-over-year is as high as it can be and stay i...