Search results for: recession

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Room to run

While the current U.S. business cycle is likely past its mid-point, its durability should not be measured by length alone. The tepid nature of the recovery has prevented the build-up of excesses that normally precede recessions.

Tagged with: Economy, Global Economy, Investing

The coming divide in state credit quality

We expect an increased divergence in state credit quality in the coming years, compared with what has been seen over the past two decades. While the overall state sector remains robust, we believe notable credit distinctions are beginning to materialize among several weaker states.

Tagged with: Fixed Income, New Tax Regime

Municipal pension obligations: Why fear about underfunding may be unjustified, and why Chapter 9 will never become pervasive (save a few outliers)

Concerns about plan solvency are widespread and attention-grabbing, though perhaps unjustified. Collectively, pension funded ratios have declined at the state and local level, though the cost of funding actuarially required contributions remains manageable as a percent of governmental spending.

Tagged with: Fixed Income, New Tax Regime

A less certain world favors high-quality stocks

Current sentiment indicators do not suggest that Europe is heading back towards recession, though GDP growth will remain subdued. If Q3 sees a rebound, full QE may be unlikely this year, but any further weakness will increase the pressure on the ECB to act.

Tagged with: Economy, Equities, Global Economy, Investing, Markets

Slack and Inflation

Low unemployment rate indicates modest slack in labor market. Decline in labor force participation now looks mostly structural.

Tagged with: Economy, Fixed Income, U.S. Economy

To infinity and beyond!

Financial markets are now questioning the time limit on an infinite QE policy and what lies beyond its expiration. While volatility and corrections are unpleasant, they can motivate investors to focus on fundamental issues such as capital investment and labor productivity.

Tagged with: Economy, Investing, Markets

Apparel retail doldrums

Since 2011, consumer spending has been below average overall, and spending on retail apparel has been especially poor. A host of factors, from shifting consumer priorities to poor inventory control have forced apparel retailers to compete on price, and sales and profitability have suffered dramatically.

Tagged with: U.S. Economy

Steady as she goes

The March labor market report was solid, with the overall private level of employment finally exceeding the pre-recession high. The Household Survey had the unemployment rate holding steady at 6.7%.

Tagged with: Economy, U.S. Economy

Flexible income strategies — Avoiding side effects from the Fed’s medicine

In today’s low interest rate environment, investors with cash on hand and a limited appetite for risk aren’t having an easy time growing their wealth. The Fed’s strong influence throughout the government and corporate bond markets makes it hard to find attractive fixed-income instruments of low or moderate risk.

Tagged with: Asset Allocation, Fixed Income, Investing

Release the doves

The Fed (and all central banks) is highly sensitive to shifts in inflation expectations by either consumers or the markets. The one-year TIP breakeven appears to be pricing in some deflationary pulse and is also pulling down longer term inflation expectations across the curve.

Tagged with: Economy, Global Economy, Investing
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